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Public lecture: The health risks created by clean water

image: iStock Photography

A public lecture examining the unintended health risks associated with water disinfection is being hosted by Loughborough University.

The talk, by eminent environmental scientist Dr Susan D Richardson, takes place on Monday 24 June.  Based at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Richardson’s area of expertise is in identifying new disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water.

Water disinfection was a public health triumph of the 20th century, with millions of people worldwide now receiving quality drinking water every day from public water systems.  However, chemical disinfection has also produced an unintended health hazard:  the potential for cancer, miscarriage, and birth defects that are associated with chemical DBPs.  Swimming pools are also chemically disinfected for public health protection leading to the formation of DBPs, some of which are suspected to be the cause for increased asthma in elite swimmers.

In this lecture, entitled ‘Drinking Water Chemicals: Discoveries and Challenges’, Dr Richardson will explore the efforts being made to tackle this issue and examine new innovations being developed by the chemical engineering community to try and provide solutions.

It is being held at the University’s Burleigh Court Hotel and Conference Centre, with a welcome reception at 4pm followed by the lecture at 5pm.  The event is free to attend and to book a place please call Janey Briers on 01509 222502 or email

The annual Loughborough University Davis-Swindin Chemical Engineering Series is organised by the Department of Chemical Engineering.  It is an endowed legacy gift from Norman Swindin, a pioneer of Chemical Engineering and an honorary reader at Loughborough, to honour George Edward Davis, the founding father of Chemical Engineering.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/101

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224