Sunday, December 15, 2013

A fun fundraising activity

I read about this in a recent American Chemical Society (ACS) newsletter. It is a neat idea that Chemists Without Borders might be inspired by or may want to team up with this student group.  The ACS Student Chapter at Missouri State University came up with a way to raise funds, spread their cause, and have some fun in the process. They held a "Water Pong for Pure Water" tournament to raise money for Coins for Cleaner Water. This program gives out water purification packets to people in developing countries.  Water pong is a take on the classic college beer pong game, but with a clean water twist.

“Procter & Gamble, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed a low-cost technology in a sachet to purify even heavily contaminated water so that it meets World Health Organization standards for safe drinking water. P&G’s water purification packets are being distributed through Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW), a foundation the company created in 2004. Since CSDW’s creation, P&G has distributed over 500 million packets to 63 countries and has partnered with several global relief organizations including AmeriCares, CARE, IFRC, PSI, Save the Children and World Vision. Through these efforts, over 5 billion liters of clean water have been made available to people around the globe. The program has saved more than 22,000 lives and prevented over 165 million days of disease.”

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just So You Know

My words "We can value our membership even more" got me into the position that I am in today. As the new Vice President of Chemists Without Borders, I am determined to make good on your passion for giving back.We are Chemists who Care.

Our most successful endeavors are the ones that are essential, in some way, to the members involved in a project or initiative. Whether we are talking about creating a partnership, organizing a membership meeting, leading a new project, answering a question, organizing a fund raising initiative, or participating in a project, your time, passion, and expertise are the fuel to our success in your communities around the world.

Some members help in our internal operations or participate in a project or initiative. The Just So You Know Blog post is designed to keep you informed of what is happening at Chemists Without Borders. Our goal is to provide weekly updates for all members to know what is happening.

Stay Tuned (Click on Subscribe button and/or scroll down to the bottom)…

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Arsenic Crisis Newsletter & Discussion Group

Our friend recommends this Arsenic Crisis Newsletter & Discussion. He said of it, "… this site has a boatload of contributions, I think some of them may actually be good research. FYI in case you want to scan the overall chatter about the As problem. Regards, David"

The formal group description is:  "Newsletter & discussion of the arsenic crisis in W Bengal India and Bangladesh, and related situations. This group merges the subscriber lists of the arsenic-crisis-news, arsenic-source, arsenic-medical, and arsenic-safewater groups."

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

From Belgium via US to Cameroon

Denis (right) with teachers in computer room.

Chemists Without Borders president Bego Gerber believes that “The Power is in the Network”. 
A case in point: In January this year he sent me a quick e-mail telling me about Marijke De Vos from Belgium. She had participated in Chemists Without Borders bi-monthly call-ins and had mentioned that she raises money for a school project in Cameroon. Fast forward: In June I met her collaborator Denis Mudi Tanto in Bamenda/Cameroon. He took me to his village of Binshua (Nkambe) Donga Mantung Division Cameroon via an eight hour drive towards the Nigerian border. Denis arranged for me to pay a visit to SAMACCOLSchool Campus. Denis envisions collaborating with AIDSfreeAFRICA to establish a teaching chemistry laboratory. 

500 children received worm medicine and vitamin A

A campaign organized in time for my arrival provided micronutrients for over 500 children. I had an opportunity to pass on a donation of Worm medicine and vitamin A from Vitamin Angels/US to the St. Patrick Catholic Health Centre in Binshua. The continuity of this new program is ensured by connecting the Binshua health centers staff with AIDSfreeAFRICA country representative, Mr. Polycarp Nji fromEsu/Cameroon.

Marijke (left) and me (right) saying bye at train station
By July I had an opportunity to meet Marijke in Belgium. We proudly showed off our traditional Cameroonian dresses while Marijke’s husband prepared a delicious dinner for the entire extended family, who came to meet me. 

The future will tell what we can cook up together for the benefit of Binshua's school children. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cadmium contaminated rice

As some of you may have heard last month, Cadmium was found to have contaminated rice in China. There was an interesting article about it in the Bloomberg News: 
Human pollution is believed to be the cause.  This has understandably caused public outrage and spurred a nationwide project to determine the level of 78 elements in top soil and deeper soil levels. Bloomberg also mentions that according to a Xinhua report, China's land ministry previously stated that testing had found abnormally high levels of cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic in parts of the mid-and lower-tributaries of the Yangtze River.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Safety & Effectiveness of Triclosan in Household Products

I saw this interesting article about the antibacterial ingredient triclosan (5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol)  by CBS news. 

Triclosan is in all sorts of household products including antibacterial hand soap, acne wash, mouthwash, and even toothpaste.   Although used in household products for 40 years, the FDA has yet to decide if triclosan is actually effective as an antibacterial ingredient or safe for those that use these products.  It appears some recent animal studies are showing an increased risk of hormone related problems such as infertility and early puberty.  I’ll be interested to see what they decide.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Health and safety testing

Chemistry affects the public’s health and safety numerous times a day.  Every product you use, drink, eat, take, touch, and smell  has a chemical component to it.  Public health and safety testing companies like NSF International, play a vital role to keep the public safer. They test things like faucets, mechanical plumbing & piping, water treatment chemicals, bottled water, water filters, recreational water products, food, seafood, food equipment, dietary supplements, sport supplements, wastewater treatment units, biosafety cabinetry, automotive parts, flushability, home products, kitchen products, sustainability products, and so much more.  Go to to learn more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Running dry: Water and sanitation crisis threatens Syrian children

From reliefweb:

"A UNICEF-led nationwide assessment – the first covering the water and sanitation sector since fighting began – reveals that in areas affected by conflict water supplies are only available at one-third of pre-crisis levels. Many people in such areas have only 25 litres of water a day, compared with 75 litres two years ago.
The assessment, carried out in cooperation with municipal water departments and local private contractors, identifies six most at-risk areas – Rural Damascus, Idlib, Der Ez-Zor, Homs, Aleppo and al-Raqqa – where people’s ability to access safe water has been most severely restricted.
For example in Der Ez-Zor in eastern Syria, an area where violence was particularly severe, water is being pumped at just 10 per cent of pre-crisis levels."

More at reliefweb...

This situation highlights the need for applicable emergency water purification technologies.

The UN Report is available here

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Liberia outlines priorities for rebuilding water and sanitation sector

via Global News Network: Liberia

Liberia today unveiled a five-year investment plan which outlines priorities for rebuilding the country’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector that had been ravaged by decades of civil conflict. Access to water and sanitation services in Liberia is still low and many facilities are no longer functioning as Liberia recovers from years of war that ended in 2003.
Four out of every ten people still lack access to water, and only a third of the population have access to sanitation services. An estimated 35 percent of existing clinics and schools do not have adequate water and sanitation facilities. Solid waste management services are only available in Monrovia City, covering an estimated 55 percent of the solid waste in the capital.