|Sobsey co-authors World Health Organization report on household water treatment options|
|July 11, 2011|
Mark Sobsey, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of environmental sciences and engineering at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is co-author of a newly published World Health Organization (WHO) report, "Evaluating Household Water Treatment Options: Health-based Targets and Microbiological Performance Specifications."
The document is the first to offer global criteria for evaluating whether a household water treatment option reduces waterborne pathogens sufficiently to protect health. It provides policy makers and implementers with an evidence-based approach for selecting options suited to local conditions.
Sobsey presents a number of technical recommendations, including discussions about how to evaluate microbiological performance of household water treatments, which protocols and guiding principles to use, and whether and how national technology evaluation programs might be developed.
The resource is especially intended for settings in which water quality laboratories may have limited capacity and incremental improvements of household water treatment could have a substantial impact on public health.
"This report brings together and synthesizes previous findings on household water treatment technology performance evaluation in harmonization with the health risk-based framework and approach of the latest World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, 4th edition," Sobsey said.
"The document embraces the concept of encouraging incremental improvement of household water treatment technology and its performance evaluation. It is an important contribution because counties and other stakeholders who want to certify household water treatment technology now have a range of choices that can be adapted to their context and unique conditions."
School alumnus Joe Brown, PhD, former student of Sobsey's and now a lecturer in the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is also a co-author.
The report is available online.
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