Queen's University

Haiti water quality and earthquakes

2010-03-19

The following Queen’s University experts are available to discuss water-quality and geological earthquake issues in Haiti.WATER QUALITYQueen’s University Chemistry professor Stephen Brown is an expert in water-quality issues and water purification and is available to discuss issues facing Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.  Some officials fear Haiti may run out of drinkable water in two or three days.“Water availability will be critical to saving those who did manage to survive.  It’s an essential component in medical operations along with being needed for drinking and preparing food. For the period extending beyond a few days, lack of water will contribute to further deaths, especially among the sick and injured who will not be able to tolerate dehydration. For what water is still available after several days, contamination will be an issue, and lack of sanitation will bring a significant risk of disease outbreak,” Mr. Brown says. “The damage to the infrastructure in Haiti will make it essential to bring in temporary water treatment systems, rather than just bringing in water from outside. It will be many months or years before the central water distribution systems of Haiti are operating again at the same level before the earthquake.”Prof. Brown is in the Dept. of Chemistry and the School of Environmental Studies.  His research group develops technologies for monitoring the quality of drinking water. 
EARTHQUAKESLaurent Godin (bilingual in English and French) is an Associate Professor in the Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering department at Queen’s. Dr. Godin specializes in structural geology and continental tectonics.
To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or e-mail michael.onesi@queensu.ca, or Kristyn Wallace at 613.533.6000 ext. 79173 or e-mail kristyn.wallace@queensu.ca at News and Media Services, Queen’s University.

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