Seth Frisbie, PhD, Environmental Chemist
Norwich Associate Professor of Chemistry Seth Frisbie, PhD, helped discover the largest mass poisoning of a population in history. Working in Bangladesh since 1997, the analytical chemist revealed that over 50 million Bangladeshis were drinking water with unsafe arsenic levels from recently installed deep water wells. Frisbie and his colleagues also discovered significant amounts of manganese, lead, nickel, chromium, and nearly three-dozen other inorganic chemicals.
The Cornell-trained chemist was unwilling to sit idly by. Working with his wife and other colleagues, he establish the nonprofit Better Life Laboratories to more deeply investigate the causes of toxic drinking water. Partnering with the Bangladesh government, NGOs and other research institutions in North America and Europe, Frisbie has worked since then to continue his investigation and to pioneer swift, practical solutions to detect and ameliorate contaminated drinking water sources. Nearly 150 Norwich students have been involved in his work.