How untreated water is making our kids sick
A Florida State University researcher has drawn a link between the impact of climate change and untreated drinking water on the rate of gastrointestinal illness in children.
Assistant Professor of Geography Chris Uejio has published a first-of-its-kind study, “Drinking-water treatment, climate change, and childhood gastrointestinal illness projections for northern Wisconsin (USA) communities drinking untreated groundwater,” in the Hydrogeology Journal. The study explores the benefits of additional drinking water treatment compared to the risks created by climate change.
“Most people may not realize this, but there are about 20 million people in the country who access drinking water that isn’t treated,” Uejio said. “These households are particularly vulnerable to rainfall events and contamination events where disease causing pathogens can get in their drinking water sources.”
Uejio’s study is the first to examine how future rainfall may impact human health. He partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Campus to examine the rate in which children ages 5 and under are at risk for gastrointestinal illness (GI) 30-plus years into the future between 2046 to 2065 compared to the period between 1991 and 2010.
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