Ryan McAdams, MD (Associate Professor and Division Chief, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery), along with undergraduate engineering students Akshith Mandepally and Cara Stanker, received a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship to develop an affordable, effective, and durable solar-powered air filtration device for household use in Uganda and Tanzania.
These devices may minimize rural community members’ exposure to particulate matter caused by the in-home burning of wood, charcoal, or agricultural waste for heat or electricity—and help reduce the likelihood of resulting heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory problems.
“Diseases caused by pollution resulted in an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015, and household air pollution was responsible for a third of all pollution-related deaths,” McAdams said. “In the most severely affected countries, though, pollution-related disease is responsible for more than one death in four. This is especially important when you’re looking at vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly.”