Team Helps Reduce Lead in Madagascar Drinking Water

A USF team is helping residents of a town in Madagascar reduce their exposure to lead. “We learned the locally manufactured pumps had really high levels of lead,” says researcher James Mihelcic. “They were taking old car batteries and melting them down to make check valves in the pumps.”

The team replaced some of pumps directly and then expanded their impact by training local technicians to do so themselves. They also worked with local health practitioners to measure blood lead levels of children that drank water from the pumps. The combined efforts helped decrease the blood lead levels of 87 percent of the children tested during the study.

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