This week: March 5, 2021 - Bruce Fowler, Ph.D. - Ongoing Flint Michigan Lead in Drinking Water Crisis & Effects of Lead
March 5: Bruce Fowler, Ph.D. - Ongoing Flint Michigan Lead in Drinking Water Crisis & Effects of Lead in Children
March 12: Abdel-Razak Kadry, Ph.D. - A Journey Through the Historical Monuments of Egypt
March 19: Dr. Bob Sonawane - The Global Problem of E-Waste Pollution and Human Health Impact
March 26: Ms. Elizabeth Linske - The Global Threat of Plastic Pollution to Oceans

This week: Bruce A. Fowler, Ph.D, Fellow ATS: Ongoing Flint Michigan Lead in Drinking Water Crisis & Effects of Lead in Children

March 5th
Bruce A. Fowler, Ph.D, Fellow ATS

The public health problem of lead in drinking water systems has been appreciated for several thousand years. The Roman engineer Vitruvius (81 BC – 15 BC), who was involved in constructing the water system in ancient Rome was well aware of the dangers of using lead pipes (fistulas) for carrying water from the terra cotta main lines into homes. (A quote which is relevant today on this matter is something to the effect that “We know that lead is bad but on the other hand it is cheap and easy to work with so we will use it anyway.”) Lead may also be leached from lead or copper lines with lead solder acidic (soft) water from chemicals added to inhibit bacteria. The result is increased lead levels water consumed by humans. In more recent times, elevated lead levels have been found in a number of municipal water systems, most notably including Washington, DC (2003-2004) and Flint Michigan (2014-2019).

In other words, the problem of lead in water systems is not new and still with us. Solution range from replacing all lead-containing municipal water systems to using chemicals to reduce lead solubility into water. Major questions include:

What is a “safe level” for lead in drinking water?
For some people, it’s zero.

What are the effects of low dose lead exposure?
Loss of cognitive ability, irritability, kidney effects and others.

How long does lead stay in the body?
Decades, due to skeletal deposition but this may vary due to processes affecting the skeleton such as pregnancy, osteoporosis etc.

Who is at risk?
All age groups, both genders and genetic inheritance.

Bruce A. Fowler, a Past President of our club, has a B.S. degree in Fisheries (Marine Biology) from the University of Washington in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Pathology from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1972. He began his scientific career at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences prior to becoming Director of the University of Maryland System-wide Program in Toxicology and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He then served as Associate Director for Science in the Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine at CDC / ATSDR. He is currently a private consultant and Adjunct Professor, Emory School of Public Health and Presidents Professor of Biomedical Science at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Dr. Fowler has been honored as a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, a Fulbright Scholar and Swedish Medical Research Council Visiting Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden and elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS). He has served on the Council of the SOT and the Board of Directors of the ATS. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association and past chair of the Advocacy Committee. Dr. Fowler is the author of over 260 research papers and book chapters; he has authored or edited/co-edited 10 books or monographs on metal toxicology, molecular biomarkers, computational toxicology and mechanisms of chemical–induced cell injury.

Bruce Davis – Climate Change and What We Must Do About It

February 19th
Climate change can seem overwhelming!
This presentation will explain:

How the climate is changing, the role of human activity in causing the changes and What we must do to prevent further damage to our environment

The presenter, Bruce Davis, is a graduate of William & Mary with a degree in physics. He was a high school science teacher early in his career. Later, he earned a JD degree at the University of Virginia and practiced law in the DC area for 40 years. Bruce has been trained by the Climate Reality Project, an organization created by Al Gore to increase public awareness that human-caused climate change is degrading our environment and inspire the worldwide action required for humanity’s sustainable future.

Bruce Davis

Feb 26: America’s Drastic Shift: What are the Paths for Energy and Climate – Scott Sklar, President, The Stella Group

February 18th
Scott Sklar, President, The Stella Group

Scott Sklar is President of The Stella Group, Ltd. a strategic policy and clean technology optimization firm facilitating clean distributed energy utilization, which includes advanced batteries and controls, energy efficiency, fuel cells, geoexchange, heat engines, minigeneration (natural gas), microhydropower (and freeflow, tidal, wave), modular biomass, photovoltaics, small wind, and solar thermal (including daylighting, waste-toenergy, water heating, industrial preheat, building air-conditioning, and electric power generation). The Stella Group, Ltd. Is one of the very few companies that blends distributed energy technologies (microgrids, hybrid systems), aggregates financing (including leasing), with a focus on system standardization. Sklar founded the company in 1995 and joined it full time as its President in 2000.

Sklar is an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University teaching three unique interdisciplinary courses on sustainable energy, and an Affiliated Professor with CATIE, an international graduate university located in Costa Rica focused on sustainability for Latin America. His 2018 GWU summer course, “Renewable
Energy for Critical Infrastructure”, is the first such course in the United States. He is Energy Director of GWU’s Environment & Energy Management Institute (EEMI). He was also an Adjunct coteaching a Renewable Energy in Latin America course at American University’s School of International Studies (SIS) in 2014.

Prior, Scott Sklar served for 15 years (1985-2000) simultaneously running two Washington, DC-based trade associations, as Executive Director of both the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association. Before his move to SEIA and NBIA, he was Political Director of The Solar Lobby (1983-1984), a renewable energy advocacy organization founded by the nine major national environmental organizations. Before joining “the Lobby”,(1980-1983) he was Washington Director and Acting Research Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), founded by Senate Majority Leader Mike
Mansfield and technologist EF Shumacher. This federally-funded applied technology organization assisted low income communities in system design, integration, and utilization of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Sklar began his energy career as an aide to Senator Jacob K. Javits (NY) (1970-79) where he focused on energy and military matters for nine years. During his Senate tenure, he cofounded the Congressional Solar Caucus that lead many of the innovative legislation promoting renewable energy in the 1970’s.