Arsenic (As) contamination is among serious water problems which have been observed in several countries in Asia as well as in other regions. Previous investigations indicate that arsenic ingestion may result in internal malignancies, including cancers of the kidney, bladder, liver, lung, and other organs. Nanotechnology has provided feasible solutions for treatment of polluted water to meet standard requirements particularly in the case Arsenic and heavy metal contamination. Based on the problem of Arsenic and other heavy metals water pollution in ECO region, a project proposal for pre-feasibility study of application of nanotechnology was submitted to ECO secretariat as part of the ECO NANO Network activities in 2015 by INIC. Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan were the first countries to support the project.
In Regional Planning Council (PRC) meeting on 6 Dec 2016, the project titled "Pre-Feasibility Study of Removal of Arsenic Water Pollution in ECO Region Using Nanotechnology Methods" was approved and will initiate soon. In this session, Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey support was confirmed and Pakistan representative also announced its support of the project.
The project is designed with the purpose of conducting a pre-feasibility study of use of nanotechnology based water treatment solutions for removal of Arsenic (and other heavy metals) from drinking water in ECO countries. At the first step, relevant Nanotechnology and water treatment focal points will be identified in the region and will be contacted to establish a preliminary network focused on the mentioned problem and solutions. The scale and intensity of the water pollution problem will be estimated by the help of the focal points. In the next step, available technologies and systems, as well as needed existing capacities and resources in the region will be evaluated. Based on the problem, identified solutions and available resources, a report on pre-feasibility of using nanotechnology based solutions will be produced. Finally, some candidate locations with serious problem will be suggested to be considered for initial implementation of solutions in the future. It is hoped that with active contribution of water treatment authorities and relevant institutions and also research centers and technology companies in the interested ECO countries, the results of the project contribute in improving the quality of life in the ECO region.