Navigation Links
OU graduate student developing solutions for water problems in Ethiopia
Date:5/16/2011

A University of Oklahoma environmental science graduate student will travel to Ethiopia in June to test materials she has been investigating as possible solutions to fluorosisa widespread problem in the Rift Valley, where high levels of fluoride in the drinking water result in dental and skeletal disease.

Laura Brunson, graduate student in the OU College of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, works with researchers in the OU Water Center on global water challenges, specifically fluorosis. Left untreated, fluorosis causes darkening of the teeth and bone deformities. In Ethiopia, the side effects of fluorosis are clearly health related, but have a cultural aspect as well. Novel approaches to this problem are needed to produce effective solutionssolutions not readily available in rural, impoverished areas of countries like Ethiopia.

Brunson has been investigating inexpensive, sustainable and locally available solutions, such as adsorptiona useful technology for fluoride removal from drinking water because it does not require energy input outside of gravity and, depending on the material used, can be very effective at removing fluoride to meet the World Health Organization standard. She has been investigating fluoride removal using several novel materials including aluminum coated wood and bone chars.

Bones charred at a high temperature are effective in the removal of fluoride from water, but Brunson is investigating other materials with similar properties of bone char because some communities do not like the idea of treating water with bones. Wood char is one possibility, but it has to have a coating for it to work as well as bone char. Brunson will test these materials in Ethiopia this summer. "It's important to test the materials in the location where they will actually be used," she says.

When Brunson can determine the effectiveness of the materials, the next step is building awareness in the region. A sustainable treatment plant will be needed and this will require community support. On this aspect of the project, Brunson is working with a group of students from the OU Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth to develop and implement a business model for the bone char technology. Incorporating the model into Ethiopian communities will help to ensure the project's success.

Brunson is also working with Paul Spicer, an OU anthropologist, to conduct surveys in the area to understand the values, motivation and interests of the Ethiopian people. "We need to know what the Ethiopian people think about their water and what their treatment preferences are," says Brunson. Spicer will spend one week in the area on this crucial part of the project. According to Brunson, "A project often fails because no one takes the time to understand the concerns of the people who are affected."

On this visit, Brunson hopes to gain a better understanding of the materials she has been investigating as part of her graduate research project, but more important, she hopes to find a solution to the water problem in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jana Smith
jana.smith@ou.edu
405-325-1322
University of Oklahoma
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Conference highlights graduate student research in education, health and criminal justice
2. Decline in international medical graduates exacerbates shortage of general surgeons
3. ACGME task force proposes graduated duty hour and supervision standards
4. US dental schools leave graduates unprepared to screen for sleep disorders
5. Healthcare Reform Confusion May Create Coverage Gap for College Graduates
6. Just Graduated College Seniors Ride for Loved Ones With Diabetes Cycling Cross Country to Raise Funds to Help Find a Cure
7. UBC graduate student finds a start/stop switch for retroviruses
8. Tai Sophia Institute Offers Individual Graduate-Level Courses
9. First iPad App Developers Graduate from Around the Globe: Ready to Show Their New Apps
10. UMDNJ Online Graduate Certificate in Aging Program Accepting Applications
11. Most Teachers Favor Inclusion for Autistic Students
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have ... many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has ... period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob ... sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational ... and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, Dr. ... Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to suffer ... Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture ... , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & ... by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of ... will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017 OBP Medical , ... medical devices, today announced regulatory approval from ... (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA)) to ... surgical retractor with integrated LED light source and ... and exposure of a tissue pocket or cavity ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... The Rebound mobile app is poised to become a vital ... prescription drug addiction. The app empowers users to develop an ... their dosage in a safe, controlled manner while maximizing well-being. ... 100,000 people to sign up will enjoy 3 months of ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: