Navigation Links
Additional research must be done to ensure safety of pit latrines, new study says
Date:3/21/2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Pit latrines are one of the most common human excreta disposal systems globally, and their use is on the rise as countries aim to meet the sanitation-related target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Strong evidence supports the use of these basic toilets as a way to improve human health. However, improperly designed pit latrines can actually allow disease-causing microbes or other contaminants to leach into the groundwater. The contaminated water puts people, and especially children, at risk of developing potentially life-threatening diarrheal diseases.

A new study by Jay Graham, PhD, MBA, MPH, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) in collaboration with Matthew Polizzotto of North Carolina State University first estimates the number of people worldwide that rely on pit latrines. The study goes on to identify some key knowledge gaps that could be addressed to keep the drinking water safe and protect the public.

Using survey data, the researchers calculated that an estimated 1.77 billion people around the globe use pit latrines, a step up from places that have no sanitation facilities. In the countries where pit latrines are common, the study suggests that more than 2 billion people rely on the groundwater for their primary source of drinking water. Despite the risk of widespread contamination of the water from improperly designed or poorly located pit latrines, the researchers found there are very few studies on this risk. Graham and Polizzotto reviewed the scientific literature and found that the studies that have been done on this topic are small and limited in scope.

The researchers conclude that much more needs to be done to identify technologies that can be used to protect the groundwater from contaminants coming from pit latrines. In addition, the team says that more work must be done to understand the impact of global warming on coastal areas of developing countries. If global warming results in flooding of regions relying on simple pit latrines the end result could be widespread contamination of the environment, Graham says.

"Poorly built pit latrines or those that are sited improperly can be a human health risk," Graham said. "Additional research could identify technologies and guidelines that might help developing countries build safer pit latrines."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Fackelmann
kfackelmann@gwu.edu
202-994-8354
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Warmer soils release additional CO2 into atmosphere; Effect stabilizes over longer term
2. Radiologists study necessity of additional imaging recommendations in PET/CT oncologic reports
3. Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards nearly $4 million in new NARSAD grants
4. Obama calls Ben-Gurion U. brain research a great idea
5. Academy scientists receive top honors for long-term research and training initiatives in Mongolia
6. Impressive list of research teams for the 2013 HFSP Research Grants
7. John Moores gives $2 million to Scripps Research to develop river blindness field test
8. Researchers spot molecular control switch for preterm lung disorders
9. Ben-Gurion U. researchers and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. develop psoriasis drug
10. AAOS awards recognize innovative orthopaedic research
11. IUPUI stem cell research could expand clinical use of regenerative human cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by ... Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation ... of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall ... 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C ... software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive ... back to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast cancer ... can use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of every ...
Breaking Biology Technology: