Arsenic in the environment
Arsenic often appears in minerals that are rich in iron and sulphur. Unfortunately, the presence of these minerals near man-made wells can lead to arsenic contamination of drinking water.
The team worked out how arsenic is incorporated within a number of iron sulphide minerals such as 'fool's gold'. With this information they can identify the factors that lead to arsenic being released in water.
This discovery raises the possibility of stabilising arsenic-containing iron sulphide rock by introducing additives that slow the rate at which it dissolves, thus reducing water contamination.