The beads of resin may not look like much but they could save hundreds of thousands of at-risk people in Bangladesh and parts of India.
Human Rights Watch says up to 20 million people are at risk from arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh.
Millions have already suffered from what the World Health Organisation calls “the biggest mass poisoning in human history”.
Millions of “tube-wells” have been dug across Bangladesh since the 1940s. The simple pumps were rolled out across the country by the government and NGOs from the 1970s onwards as a way of delivering cost-effective bacteria-free water.
However during the 1980s cases of arsenic poisoning began to emerge.
Arsenic can not be seen or smelt; the first signs of its impact are skin lesions which only emerge once the poisoning has taken place.
The poisoning can set off a range of heart diseases and cancer and the external symptoms look a lot like leprosy, which can lead to victims and their families being shunned by the local community.
A heavy price
Siaton Nessa Meherpur has lesions on her skin from arsenic poisoning. She’s in her mid-50s and she says the disease has blighted her entire family.
“Because of this well my whole skin is filled with black patches,” she says.
“I am worried about my children because no one is prepared to marry them.”
While the government has made efforts to replace the wells, in many rural areas they are still the primary source of water especially as many families have dug their own tube wells.
Human Rights Watch estimate 43,000 people die each year in Bangladesh from illnesses caused by arsenic poisoning.
Minhaj Chowdhury, 28, was raised in the United States but visited family in Bangladesh during school holidays.
“It shocked and deeply saddened me to think how we never had to worry about water being fatal in the US but here in Bangladesh one in every five deaths was associated with unsafe drinking water,” Mr Chowdhury says.
After his grandfather died due to a disease linked to water he decided to take action.
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