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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Temple: MPH Student Examines Flaws in Water Lead Testing Systems

Dr. Michael Rosen (MPH 2017), a new graduate of the Temple University College of Public Health, is the first named author of a discussion article to appear in the July 15 issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment.

[Photo: Dr. Michael Rosen]

A discussion about public health, lead and Legionella pneumophila in drinking water supplies in the United States” discusses the complex issues of lead and Legionella – the bacterium that causes Legionnaire’s disease – in U.S. drinking water systems. The paper examines the Flint, Michigan, water crisis and the spike in cases of Legionnaire’s disease there related to insufficient water treatment. Pitfalls in water lead testing are also discussed.

“There appears to be a wide gulf between protocols for sampling tap water for analysis of lead levels and the actual practice by municipalities. This needs to be resolved if we are to know the true frequency of elevated water lead levels in tap water in U.S. homes,” says Dr. Rosen, the paper’s lead author.

Dr. Rosen undertook his study under the guidance of Lok Pokhrel, assistant professor of environmental health in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, who is named as a coauthor along with Dr. Mark Weir, a former faculty member in the department.

“While it may appear to be a simple ‘lead in water’ issue, it is, in fact, not; it is complicated by a lack of sufficient funding for lead research and implementation as well as environmental justice issues,” said Dr. Pokhrel, the paper’s senior and corresponding author.

The teacher and student also collaborated on a paper modeling the human health risks of heavy metals which they are now preparing to submit to a peer-reviewed journal.