Ann Conkle
Feb 6, 2012

VIDEO: Engineering safer drinking water in Africa


In the United States and other developed countries, fluoride is added to drinking water and toothpaste to help strengthen teeth. But too much naturally occurring fluoride can have exactly the opposite effect, leading to dental and skeletal fluorosis.  Laura Brunson, environmental scientist at the University of Oklahoma,  is working on methods of removing fluoride from drinking water, using tools and raw materials readily available in local communities. Brunson and her team recently returned from a month of fieldwork in Ethiopia, where they tested filtering methods using charred bones and charred wood.