News & Updates

Scholar Spotlight: Thabit Pulak

November 5, 2014

A.B. Duke Scholar Thabit Pulak ’18 takes on the issue of access to clean water in Bangladesh with his award-winning, inexpensive, open-source arsenic filter. Find out more about Thabit’s non-profit, iKormi and about his research at Duke.

A Texas native of Bangladeshi heritage, Pulak made regular journeys to Bengladesh as a youth. On his trips, he noticed a recurring issue of arsenic water poisoning, which affects nearly 70 million people in Bangladesh, and about 300 million people across the world.

“Continually drinking arsenic-tainted water results in arsenicosis, which is a chronic state of arsenic poisoning that gradually develops into various types of bodily cancers,” Pulak said. “So I thought, if exposure to arsenic was reduced, then the incidence of cancer would decrease as well.”

His solution was ingenious as well as inexpensive, developing a water filter from materials found in a typical village home. Follow how he continues the work on implementing his ideas on the iKormi website.

This article first appeared on Duke Today.