Water Quality, Exposure and Health

Dr. Mustafa M. Aral, professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Springer Publishing recently introduced Water Quality, Exposure and Health, a multidisciplinary journal focused on global human health consequences of exposure to water pollution in natural and engineered environments. This international journal provides a unique platform for scientists in this field to exchange ideas and share information on research for the solution to health effects from exposure to water pollution. It publishes original research articles and integrative reviews that are relevant to this theme.

Dr. Aral serves as editor in chief with Dr. Andrew A. Meharg of the University of Aberdeen, UK serving as co-editor in chief. The journal encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and methodologies with specific research topics including local, regional and global water pollution, exposure and health problems; health risk analysis of water pollution, methods of quantification and analysis of risk under uncertainty; aquatic biogeochemical processes in natural and engineered systems and health effects; analysis of pollution, exposure and health data; and more.

In its first publication, one of the journal articles was awarded the 2010 U.S. Public Health Service Engineering Literary award (peer-reviewed category). The article entitled "Reconstructing Historical Exposures to Volatile Organic Compound-Contaminated Drinking Water at a U.S. Military Base" details how numerical modeling of groundwater flow and contaminant fate and transport is being used to reconstruct historical drinking-water contamination by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Authored by M. L. Maslia (BSCE '76, MSCE '80), M. M. Aral (PhD '71), R. E. Faye, R. J. Suárez-Soto, J. B. Sautner, J. Wang, W. Jang, F. J. Bove, and P. Z. Ruckart, the analyses reported are being used to provide critical information to epidemiologists at the base to determine whether association exist between birth defects, specific childhood cancers, and the ingestion of contaminated drinking water during pregnancy.

In addition, Dr. Aral worked with Springer to author and publish the textbook entitled Environmental Modeling and Health Risk Analysis to be used for CE 4320. The book is intended to serve as a comprehensive source for the advancements and contributions made in environmental transformation and transport modeling in general and the associated health risk assessment topics in particular. The selection of the title, Environmental Modeling and Health Risk Analysis stems from an ambitious objective of providing a review of air, surface water and groundwater quality modeling topics and linking these models with exposure and health risk analysis.

Dr. Aral graduated from Georgia Tech in 1971 with a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering. His research specializes in large-scale environmental simulations in surface water and groundwater, environmental exposure analysis, and health risk assessment. He has numerous publications in these areas and actively pursues a state-of-the-art research program in these topics within the activities of the Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory (MESL). Most recently, Dr. Aral was recognized by the Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI) with the 2010 Outstanding Service award from the EWRI Groundwater Hydrology Committee. He also earned the 2010 Watershed Council Best Technical Paper award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for his work on the paper "Saltwater Intrusion Hydrodynamics in a Tidal Aquifer". The award was presented at the World Environmental & Water Resources Congress in May.

For additional information about Dr. Aral and the research activities of the MESL program, visit: http://www.ce.gatech.edu/research/MESL/.