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      Biography and Glossary Terms

Biography and Glossary Terms
Adsorption - The chemical process in which filter media encourage water contaminants to separate from the water molecules and bond to the filter media.

Alzheimer’s Disease - A disease marked by the loss of cognitive ability and memory due to abnormal tissue development in the brain.

Bacon, Sir Francis - A British scientist and author of the 16th century. Besides his experimentations in water filtration, Bacon is considered the father of deductive reasoning.

Carson, Rachel - An influential writer of the 1960s. Her publication of Silent Spring sparked the environmental protection movement.

Chemical Filtration - A process by which water contaminants are attracted to the atomic charge of a filter media and encouraged to break their bond with water molecules.

Cholera - An infectious, gastrointestinal disease, caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Cholera is a waterborne disease that ran rampant throughout Europe and the United States until the introduction of water filtration and chlorination.

Clean Air Act - An act of the U.S. legislature, passed in the early 1970s. The act was intended to address the growing problem of air pollution due to industrial operations.

Clean Water Act of 1972 - An act of the U.S. legislature, passed in 1972. The act addressed dramatically decreasing water quality in the nation as a result of industrial waste and poor application of pesticides. The goal of the act was to provide fishable and swimmable surface water areas.

Dysentery - An inflammatory disease of the intestinal tract, usually caused by bacteria or protozoa infection. The disease is characterized by fever and severe diarrhea.

Hippocrates - A Greek philosopher of the classical period (circa 460-370 b.c.e.). Hippocrates is traditionally acknowledged as the father of modern medicine. Besides his theory of the four humors in the body and his invention of the Hippocratic sleeve, a simple, conical water filter, he is accredited with the Hippocratic oath, “First do no harm,” which all medical practitioners must take.

Hooke, Robert - An English physicist, mathematician, and inventor of the 17th century. Among his many achievements, Hooke was the first to recognize biological matter in drinking water, using a microscope. He also coined the term “cell.”

Hume, David - A Scottish philosopher and historian of the 18th century. His writings shaped 19th and 20th century empiricist philosophy.

Janssen, Zaccharias and Hans - Dutch spectacle makers who first began to recognize the magnifying properties of concave lenses.

La Hire, Philippe de - A French scientist of Enlightenment period. La Hire believed in the right of all individuals to receive clean drinking water. His writings initiated the formation of municipal water treatment plants.

Metropolis Water Act of 1852 - A British law that required the filtration of all drinking water distributed to urban residents.

Multimedia filter - Combines different media elements to capitalize on chemical filtration processes, usually incorporating carbon and at least one other medium.

Parkinson’s Disease - A progressive nervous system disease associated with the destruction of brain cells that produce dopamine and characterized by muscular tremors. Onset of the disease is linked to ingestion of some pesticide chemicals.

pH - A measure of the general acidity or alkalinity of a substance. A neutral pH is 7.0 with acidic substances ranging from 0 to 6.9 and basic substances ranging from 7.1 to 14.

Physical Filtration - A process by which water contaminants are physically blocked from passage through a membrane or filter media.

Potable - A synonym for drinkable and is a measure of water quality.

Sanskrit - An ancient Indic language. Sanskrit is the traditional language of Hinduism, as well as the classical literary language of India.

Simpson, James - A British scientist and engineer. Building upon the filtration efforts of Robert Thom, Simpson initiated the construction of municipal water treatment plants throughout the United Kingdom.

Slow sand filter - Uses a granular bed of sand crystals to physically block the passage of contaminants. Slow sand filters were the first effective municipal water treatment filters, but they are quickly growing obsolete.

Smith, Adam - An important Scottish philosopher and scientist of the Scottish Enlightenment period, Smith created the theory of laissez-faire (free market) economics. Laissez-faire economics are the foundation of the U.S. Economy.

Snow, John - A British scientist. Snow was the first to recognize the spread of cholera through contaminated water as well as the potential of water filters to prevent outbreaks of cholera.

THMs - Trihalomethanes. A byproduct of chlorinated water that contain natural organics. THMs are linked to several types of cancer.

Thom, Robert - A Scottish scientist and engineer of the Scottish Enlightenment period. Thom built the first municipal water treatment plant in Paisley, Scotland using slow sand filtration.

Typhoid - A waterborne disease characterized by high fever and violent diarrhea. This disease is caused by the ingestion of bacteria in food or water.

VOCs - Volatile Organic Chemicals. Synthetic chemicals dissolved in water, like insecticides and herbicides, which vaporize at low temperatures.

Van Leeuwenhoek, Anton - Widely considered the father of microscopy. Van Leeuwenhoek built on the discovery of the Janssens to create the first simple microscope.
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