Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health
Water sanitation and (WHO/UNICEF).are critical to health, survival, and development. Many countries are challenged in providing adequate sanitation for their entire populations, leaving people at risk for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related diseases. Throughout the world, an estimated 4.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation
In the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, we are developing and evaluating strategies to ensure that water is safe to drink and use in our daily lives both locally and abroad.
A Mobile Data Collection Platform Helps Reveal the Prevalence of a Neglected Tropical Disease
In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 200 million people are infected with the parasitic worms that cause schistosomiasis. Released by freshwater snails, the worms penetrate the skin of people who bathe in water contaminated by human sewage. The disease can cause liver damage, kidney failure, bladder cancer and infertility if left untreated. Working with the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 project, Natalie Exum, PhD ’16, MS, an assistant scientist in Environmental Health and Engineering, is putting mobile technology in the hands of local data collectors to help determine the disease’s prevalence in Uganda. Learn More.
An Assessment of Drinking Water in the Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon, one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, is subject to pressure from climate change, deforestation, mining, and urbanization, with translational impacts on water quality, ecosystems, and human health. Shifts in the water cycle due to changes in climate or land use threaten ecosystem stability, food security, economic status, and human health. Recent surges in developmental activities, including logging, agriculture, petrochemical operations, and mining, have caused increases in deforestation and external impacts. These changes can expose humans to pathogens and contaminants (e.g., heavy metals and pesticides) causing acute and chronic illness and water-related, vector-borne disease (e.g., malaria).
A team of Hopkins researchers traveled to the Peruvian rainforest to conduct an assessment of the quality of drinking water utilized by some of these villages to gain understanding of the overall safety of available potable water sources as a first step towards developing a broader water research platform. This study generated an enhanced evaluation of the sources and types of drinking water contaminants in the Peruvian Amazon. Learn more.
Bill Ball, PhD
A current interest of Ball's is the development and application of appropriate and sustainable technologies for developing nations, with focus on water resources, drinking water, and sanitation.
Paul Ferraro, PhD
Ferraro's research focuses on behavioral economics and the design and evaluation of environmental programs in the private and public sector.
Ciaran Harman, PhD
Harman's research group studies water flow and transport from soil to hillslope to watershed scales. Our work combines theory development, field work, experimental studies, and numerical modeling. The work is organized around two broad themes: flow and transport in the landscape; and structure and evolution of the critical zone.
Chris Heaney, PhD
Heaney is currently studying the health impacts of recreational beach activities, particularly waterbourne and other infectious diseases. A goal of his lab is to advance understanding of the health consequences of joint exposures to pathogens and toxicants in environmental and occupational contexts, including food animal production, drinking and recreational water, and municipal and industrial waste management.
Ben Hobbs, PhD
Hobbs' research interests in this area encompass stochastic electric power planning models, multi-objective and risk analysis, mathematical programming models of imperfect energy markets, environmental and energy systems analysis and economics, and ecosystem management.
Carsten Prasse, PhD
Carsten investigates the fate of contaminants in the built and natural environment using state-of-the-art analytical chemistry techniques (e.g. high-resolution mass spectrometry) with the focus on identifying transformation products and understanding underlying mechanisms of transformation in the urban water cycle.
Kellogg Schwab, PhD
In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health laboratories, Schwab has investigated numerous waterborne and foodborne outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis. His current research projects involve improving environmental detection methods for noroviruses (the leading cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide) by integrating quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, proteomics and pyrosequencing.
Fenna Sillé, PhD
The focus of Dr. Sillé's research is understanding the effects of environmental exposures on the development and function of our immune system. Her major research directions are:
1. Understanding the long-term effects of early-life arsenic exposures on immunity and (infectious) disease risk. - Currently studying the interaction between arsenic and tuberculosis,
2. Establishing an integrated platform for immunotoxicity testing of early-life chemical exposures,
3. Investigating the effects early-life exposures on immunological memory and vaccine efficacy.
Alan Stone, PhD
Stone has studied chemical reactions at nanoparticle/water interfaces for more than 25 years. Synthetic chemicals directly added to environmental media merit special attention, i.e. chemicals used in agriculture, animal production, forestry, and aquaculture, as large volumes of water are used for cooling, paper-making, and water supply. He researches how natural constituents found in such waters interact with treatment chemicals.