Detecting Toxic Metals in Your Drinking Water - A Simple Home Test Based on Color Change [F-22-10]

Presenter: Fadi Bou-Abdallah
Location: SUNY: Maxcy 104
Classes: 1 Session 1.5 hours
Dates: Wed 10:00 AM 11/02

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The discovery of "Lead" in Flint Michigan's drinking water, but also in some of the schools in our district, drew renewed attention to the health risks posed by this toxic metal. Exposure to "Lead" represents a serious health concern that has been linked to various neurological disorders and diseases, particularly in young children whose developing brain acts like a sponge. In this seminar, I will share recent advances in this area of research and show you how our laboratory has successfully developed a simple and inexpensive test based on a visual color change to detect not only lead, but a host of other toxic metals like chromium, mercury, arsenic, and aluminum that could be present in your drinking water at home. Although we are still working towards improving the sensitivity of our test, the current detection level is somewhere around 200 parts per billion, which is quite remarkable. If permitted, I am happy to hand over sample tests to all participants to try at home.

Dr. Fadi Bou-Abdallah is a Professor of Chemistry at SUNY Potsdam. He teaches lower and upper level chemistry courses for majors and non-majors. His research program is supported by over 1.5 million dollars of research grants from several funding agencies including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He is the recipient of multiple accolades including the SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities, and multiple national awards both for teaching and research such as the Henry-Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars Award, the Research Corporation Cottrell Scholars Award, and the Outstanding Mentorship Award from the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Cap: 40

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