March 2020 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting
Fresh Market Restaurant
2255 E. Wood St.
Paris, TN 38242

Tuesday, March 10th 

Dinner 6:00 pm ($10, $5 for students)
Presentation 7:00 pm
Kid’s Science Center 7:00 pm

Dinner:  Choice of Pork Chops, Grilled Chicken, or Pasta Primavera

Program: An Examination of Drinking Water Disparities in Tennessee: The Origins and Effects of Toxic Heavy Metals

Speaker: Dr. Sujata Guha, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Tennessee State University

Abstract:  Several toxic metals, commonly present in drinking water, are believed to play important roles in the development of cancerous tumors. Although the US Safe Drinking Water Act requires drinking water to meet health standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, violations occur regularly. In this study, we have investigated the role of the two predominant toxic heavy metals identified in the drinking water sources in Tennessee: copper and lead. We have analyzed the levels of copper and lead, as well as the total water hardness among different counties of Tennessee, with different socioeconomic backgrounds. We determined that the effects of lead and copper in drinking water were random, although counties with typically lower average household incomes typically had higher levels of the metals. The contaminant levels were found to remain below the threshold established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Tennessee. Water from the Cumberland River was harder than water obtained from other rivers in Tennessee. Furthermore, the total hardness of water did not correlate with the average household income of the various counties.

Speaker Bio:  Dr. Guha is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Tennessee State University in Nashville with expertise in atmospheric chemistry, computational modeling of atmospheric processes, kinetics of atmospheric reactions, spectroscopy, photochemistry, and free radical reaction mechanisms.  She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Dubuque in Iowa, and both her M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue.  Dr. Guha has served as Chair of the Nashville Section of the ACS and is currently the Graduate Program Director at TSU.

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