Essay on Davins Case of Lead in Drinking Water

3 pages
636 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Lead poses a significant danger to the health of human being. It has been found to damage kidney, brain cells and red blood cells making the pregnant women and children the most vulnerable to its effects. It highly slows down the physical and mental growth of children and infants (Brown et al.,2012;pg 33)

To check the genuity of the Brita Longlast Filter in solving Devins drinking water issue, it will involve five steps. The first step will be determining the standards for safe drinking water. According to CDC, there is no level of Lead concentration in water that is safe .EPA standards dictate that, the maximum contaminant level of Lead in drinking water should be zero. Known this fact is important for checking Brita filters efficiency in providing safe water.

The second step is to determine the Brita Longlast Filter specifications. The most important factors for this case are the discharge rate and the lifespan of the filter. With discharge rates, one can accurately measure the volume discharged by measuring the running time in stopwatch, which is critical in taking samples at different times. The lifespan of the filter, as stated in their advertisement is after filtering 120 gallons. This threshold is important because it provides the validation point of the filter. The water sample taken at the one-twentieth gallon should contain no lead concentration if their claim about the efficiency of the filter is true.

The third step will involve conducting the actual test of the filter itself. One will require 5 clean sampling bottles, a stopwatch, the Brita Longlast Filter, discharge collection bottles, constant supply of the tap water from the lead pipes of concern. The 5 sampling bottles are for collecting the filtered water at the intervals of 30 gallons, that is, the first sample will be from the 1st gallon, the 2nd will be from 30th gallon, the 3rd will be from 60th gallon, 4th will be from 90th gallon and the 5th will be from the last 120th gallon. The reason for taking the five samples is to measure the consistency of the filtering efficiency. Depending on the recommended discharge of the filter discharge tap, the water sample should be taken at specific times determined by calculating the time required to fill each gallon. Care should be taken especially when taking the last sample of the 120th gallon because its results are key in evaluating the suitability of the filter for Devins drinking water problem.

After collection of these samples, the next step will be the fourth, which will involve testing them. A certified laboratory that is independent and not associated in any way with the Brita Filters Company will analyze the samples. This eliminates any chances of compromising the integrity of the results .In the lab, a method that with ability to detect less than 1.0 ug/l concentration of lead should be used. Such procedure has been proposed by Bertenshaw et al.(1981) ,where Lead in drinking water can be done using atomic absorption spectrophotometry combined with electrothermal atomization.

The last step will involve checking the results and checking the validity of the advertisers claims. If the results of the 5th sample do not meet the standards set by EPA for safe drinking water, then Brita Longlast Filter will not be a solution for Devins drinking water concern. If the results of the analysis show no trace of Lead concentration in the 5th sample, then the filter will be effective in removing Lead hence make the drinking water safe.

Work cited

Bertenshaw, M. P., D. Gelsthorpe, and K. C. Wheatstone. "Determination of lead in drinking water by atomic-absorption spectrophotometry with electrothermal atomisation." Analyst 106.1258 (1981): 23-31.

Brown, Mary Jean, and Stephen Margolis. Lead in drinking water and human blood lead levels in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012.

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