Educational Outreach

Dominic Joel Ombati

According to the United Nations environmental program, lead (Pb) is a heavy metal that is toxic even at very low exposure levels and has acute and chronic effects on human health. In the environment, lead (Pb) is also toxic to plants, animals and micro-organisms. Lead (Pb) can originate from human activities (anthropogenic) or from natural sources (geogenic). Lead poisoning occurs when humans especially children are exposed even to low levels of lead (Pb).

Lead (Pb) poisoning is a serious health problem globally and almost every county in United States has a childhood lead (Pb) poisoning prevention program. Studies carried out in Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia found some paints sold for home use containing extremely high lead levels of up to 100,000 ppm. These concentrations are several times more than the 90 ppm United Nations recommended limit of lead (Pb) in paint.

Many people know so little or nothing about lead (Pb) poisoning. To create awareness on this health problem, I have developed an educational outreach program which has now  more than 10,000 followers living in 23 countries including United States. Most of my audience is from sub-Saharan Africa which has experienced the largest known childhood lead (Pb) poisoning outbreak but with almost no awareness on digital platforms. To the best of my knowledge, this program is the largest and first of its kind in addressing childhood lead (Pb) poisoning in sub-Saharan Africa through social media network sites.

My educational outreach is through this website which is connected to a Facebook page and group. The Facebook page, group, and this website provide links to free credible information on childhood lead (Pb) poisoning. The Facebook page is connected to Facebook group under different names. The Facebook group and the links below allows you to access free downloadable pdf materials on childhood lead (Pb) poisoning for use and sharing with the goal of reaching as many people as possible.

Links to credible educational materials on childhood lead (Pb) poisoning (Click on the link).

1. California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB).

2. World Health Organization (WHO), Lead Poisoning.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.

4. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lead.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention information page is detailed and helpful. Some of the information it contains include the following: (Click on the link).

  1. Primary and secondary lead (Pb) exposure prevention.
  2. Sources of lead (Pb) exposure.
  3. Health effects of lead (Pb) exposure.
  4. Testing children for lead (Pb) poisoning.
  5. Blood lead (Pb) levels in children.
  6. Populations at higher risk of lead (Pb) poisoning.
  7. Frequently asked question about lead (Pb) poisoning.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lead (Pb) information page has detailed educational materials. Some of the information it contains include the following: (Click on the link).

  1. Basic information about lead (Pb).
  2. How to protect your family from sources of lead (Pb).
  3. Basic information about lead (Pb) in drinking water.
  4. Lead (Pb) air pollution.
  5. Pdfs with lead (Pb) safety documents and outreach materials.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB) educational pdf materials are one of the best and most comprehensive. Some of the information they contain include the following: (Click on the link).

  1. Ways to protect your child from lead (Pb).
  2. How to keep a newborn safe from lead (Pb).
  3. How to check for lead (Pb) in and around your home.
  4. Sources of lead (Pb).
  5. How to protect your child from lead (Pb) in paint.
  6. How to protect your child from lead (Pb) in dirt.
  7. How to identify some ceramics and pottery that may contain lead (Pb).
  8. Common folk remedies that contain lead (Pb).
  9. How to protect your child from lead (Pb) in jewelry.
  10. The need to have your child tested for lead (Pb).
  11. How healthy foods can keep your child safe from lead (Pb) poisoning.

World Health Organization (WHO), Lead Poisoning information page includes the following: (Click on the link).

  1. Key facts about lead (Pb).
  2. Sources of lead (Pb) and how people can be exposed to lead (Pb).
  3. Health effects of lead (Pb) in children.

Scientific Research

Dominic Joel Ombati.

My PhD research is on Fate and Transport of Anthropogenic Lead (Pb) along the Arid Section of Route 66, San Bernardino County, California. Fate and transport research project can be defined as the study of how chemicals degrade and where they travel in the environment when they are released intentionally or unintentionally. Transport is how chemicals move through the air, water and soil and fate is how chemicals change in the environment.

In my study area, anthropogenic lead (Pb) along Route 66 is mainly from leaded gasoline and it was deposited during the leaded gasoline era. Spatial distribution and surface transport mechanism of anthropogenic lead (Pb) along the arid section of Route 66 in San Bernardino County, California is my first PhD research project. Lead (Pb) chemical fractionation along the arid section of Route 66 in San Bernardino County, California is my second PhD research project. My third PhD research project is to develop an  educational outreach program on childhood lead (Pb) poisoning with a focus on populations at risk of lead (Pb) poisoning.

Scientific Research on Lead Poisoning.
   THE LARGEST KNOWN OUTBREAK OF LEAD POISONING IN HISTORY.

The worst documented case of childhood lead (Pb) poisoning outbreak occurred in Zamfara State, Northern Nigeria where about 400 children died and thousands more were disabled in the artisanal gold mining villages (Dooyema et al., 2012; Plumlee et al., 2013). The outbreak was discovered in 2010. Gold ores with lead (Pb) rich veins were mined manually and were transported in household bags to the villages for processing (Plumlee et al., 2013). First stage of ore processing involved breaking down the lead (Pb) rich gold ores manually using hammers followed by manual grinding of the broken ore fragments using household mortars and pestles or mechanical grinding by gasoline-powered flour mills that also were used to grind grains for the villagers (Plumlee et al., 2013). The grinding of lead (Pb) rich gold ores generated large amounts of lead (Pb) rich dust.

To concentrate gold particles, ground lead (Pb) rich gold ores were washed with a shower of water at the village water sources and then the concentrates were combined with liquid mercury manually in household cooking pots to form a gold-mercury amalgam which allows minute pieces of  gold to be extracted when mercury is vaporized (Plumlee et al., 2013). The villagers were significantly exposed to mercury which is also dangerous to human health. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mercury free gold mining techniques for artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM). Older children worked with their family members at the processing and sometimes  processing and storage of lead (Pb) rich gold ores occurred where children played and lived (Plumlee et al., 2013)

Researchers found that surviving children < 5 years old had Blood Lead Levels (BLL) up to 370 µg/dL (Dooyema et al., 2012). CDC recommends Blood Lead Level (BLL) be < 3.5 µg/dL. Worse off, soils contaminated by washing wastes were used to make bricks for building houses in the villages (Plumlee et al., 2013). There was high lead (Pb) exposure at all stages of gold mining and processing in these artisanal gold mining villages and that is how the worst documented lead (Pb) poisoning disaster occurred. Several agencies responded to this outbreak and the situation has improved but a lot more has to be done to avoid future outbreaks. This educational outreach program has made deliberate online efforts to target the affected artisanal gold mining villages in Zamfara State, Nigeria with links to credible digital educational materials on lead (Pb) poisoning.

Author Profile

PERSONAL INFORMATION

NAME: Dominic Joel Ombati.                      

CURRENT POSITION

PhD Earth Science candidate at Loma Linda University Department of Earth and Biological Sciences, California, USA.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION

2016 – Present: LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY, USA

PhD candidate in Earth Science.

2012 – 2016: LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY, USA  

Master of Science in Geology.

2006- 2010: BUGEMA UNIVERSITY, UGANDA

Bachelor of Science with Education (Biology Education).

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

  1. Google Project Management professional Certificate

This is a professional certificate course offered by Google through Coursera. This 27-week certificate course is developed and taught by Google program managers. This certification course focuses on all aspects of program management. Courses covered include Foundations of Project Management, Project Initiation: Starting a Successful Project, Project Planning: Putting It All Together, Project Execution: Running the Project, Agile Project Management, and Applying Project Management in the Real World. My PhD research has a project that requires professional level skills in project management.

2. Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate

This is a professional certificate course offered by Google through Coursera. Those who earn the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate have completed seven-courses, developed by Google, that include hands-on, practice-based assessments and are designed to prepare them for entry-level roles in the field. They are competent in foundational skills in digital marketing and e-commerce. One of my PhD research projects involves public awareness that require professional level skills in digital marketing.

3. Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate

This is a certification program for digital marketing offered by Meta (Facebook). This credential is awarded to entry-level digital marketers who have foundational proficiency in the skills, tools, advertising policies and best practices required to buy ads on the Facebook App, Instagram, and Messenger. One of my PhD research projects involves public awareness that requires professional level skills in digital marketing.

WORK  HISTORY

Graduate Research Assistant, Loma Linda University, California : 2012- Present.

My role is to manage scientific research projects and conduct scientific research under the guidance of my research advisor. Research project management involves grant applications, planning and organizing scientific analytical work, making presentations at professional scientific meetings, and documentation of scientific data. Research project management involves all aspects of project management life cycle. My scientific research is on sedimentary geology and environmental geology/geology and health. My work on sedimentary geology started in 2012 and it involved intense laboratory work and several field research in the Mojave Desert near Death Valley where I studied the sedimentology of the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation. My sedimentology work earned me a Master of Science degree in Geology in 2016.

I started my work on environmental geology in fall 2016 for my PhD in Earth Science. This work also involved intense laboratory work and several field research along Route 66 near Barstow, California where I studied the Fate and Transport of Anthropogenic lead (Pb) that was deposited during the leaded gasoline era. The field research and laboratory work for my environmental geology research is complete and currently am writing my PhD dissertation with goal of graduating in summer 2023.

My last PhD project involves developing an educational outreach program on childhood lead (Pb) poisoning with a focus on populations at risk of lead (Pb) poisoning. Childhood lead (Pb) poisoning is a health problem related to my PhD research in environmental geology. My educational outreach program is through social media and this website. My responsibility in this program includes creation and management of owned media (website, Facebook page and group), setting up, optimizing, and analyzing educational campaigns in digital marketing platforms such as Facebook App, Instagram, and Messenger. My current role is centered around PhD dissertation writing, digital marketing, and project management.

MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

  1. Member in the Project Management Institute (PMI).
  2. Member in the Geological Society of America (GSA).
  3. Member in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).
  4. Member in the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG).

SERVICE TO PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

2022: Serving as a committee member in the Diversity and Inclusion  committee of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG).

RESEARCH INTEREST

1. Integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) with project management and digital marketing

STEM is full of projects that require project management skills. STEM is the foundation of our society and digital marketing can expand its boundaries. My PhD research in environmental geology has projects that require professional level skills in project management. One of my PhD research projects involves public awareness and outreach that require professional level skills in digital marketing.

2. Integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) with finance.

I have developed a simplified system that integrates STEM with finance. The system is a low cost simplified financial market data analytic tool.

3. Environmental Geoscience/Geology & Health:

Fate and Transport of Anthropogenic Lead (Pb) along the Arid Section of Route 66, San Bernardino County California.

4. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy:

Sedimentology of the Neoproterozoic Sedimentary Successions in Mojave Desert, California, USA.

GRANTS RECEIVED

2017: Received US $ 870 grant from the Geological Society of America (GSA) Graduate Student Research grant program to fund my PhD research on Fate and Transport of Natural and Anthropogenic Lead (Pb) in Arid Environment, San Bernardino County, California. Grant Number: 11828-17.

2017: Received US $ 500 travel grant and full meeting registration valued at $130 from the Geological Society of America (GSA) On To the Future (OTF) travel grant program to attend and present scientific poster at the Geological Society of America 2017 annual meeting in Seattle, Washington.

2017: Received US $ 125 travel grant from the Geological Society of America (GSA) Cordilleran section travel grants program to attend and present scientific poster at the Geological Society of America 2017 annual meeting in Seattle, Washington.

2017: Received US $ 500 stipend from the Geological Society of America (GSA) to attend a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded workshop organized by the experts in the field of Geoscience and Higher Education on Mentoring and Diversity in Earth System Science at Sheraton Seattle, Washington. This workshop was held at the conclusion of the 2017 Geological Society of America annual meeting in Seattle, Washington. 

AWARDS RECEIVED

2015: Received Lathrop award from Loma Linda University Department of Earth and Biological Sciences for the presentation of a scientific research poster at the pacific section meeting of American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in Oxnard, California. This award includes a certificate and cash award of $ 150.

2016: Received Lathrop award from Loma Linda University Department of Earth and Biological Sciences for the presentation of a scientific research poster at the Cordilleran section meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Ontario, California. This award includes a certificate and cash award of $ 150.

2017: Received Grant award from Loma Linda University Department of Earth and Biological Sciences for receiving a scientific research grant from the Geological Society of America (GSA) Graduate Student Research grant program. This award includes a certificate and cash award of $ 150.

2018: Received Lathrop award from Loma Linda University Department of Earth and Biological Sciences for the presentation of a scientific research poster at the Geological Society of America 2017 annual meeting in Seattle, Washington. This award includes a certificate and cash award of $ 150.

2018: Received Grant award from Loma Linda University Department of Earth and Biological Sciences for receiving  two travel grants from the Geological Society of America (GSA) On To the Future (OTF) travel grant program  and Geological Society of America (GSA) Cordilleran section travel grant to attend and present scientific poster at the Geological Society of America 2017 annual meeting in Seattle, Washington. This award includes a certificate and cash award of $ 150.

 ABSTRACTS/CONFERENCE PAPERS AT THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA (GSA) WEBSITE

1. Transport Mechanism of the Anthropogenic Lead Along I40 Near Barstow, California.

2. Sedimentology of the Neoproterozoic Beck Spring – Kingston Peak Transition in The Kingston Range, California.

ABSTRACT/CONFERENCE PAPER AT AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM GEOLOGISTS (AAPG) WEBSITE

1. Sedimentology of the Neoproterozoic Beck Spring – Kingston Peak Transition in The Kingston Range, California.

THESIS

Sedimentology of Kingston Peak Formation KP1 Beds in Beck Canyon Region, Kingston Range, California. (Master of Science degree in geology thesis at Loma Linda University, USA, 2016).

PRESENTATIONS AT SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS

1. Made a scientific poster presentation in 2015 at the pacific section meeting of American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in Oxnard, California.

2.Made a scientific poster presentation in 2016 at the Cordilleran section meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Ontario, California.

3.Made a scientific poster presentation in 2017 at the Geological Society of America (GSA) annual meeting in Seattle, Washington.

CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS

2013:  Attended annual ArcGIS user conference organized by ESRI in San Diego, California.

2017:  Participated in a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded workshop organized by the Geological Society of America (GSA) on Mentoring and Diversity in Earth System Science at Sheraton hotel Seattle, Washington.

SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION

I have developed a simplified system that integrates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) with finance. The system is a low cost simplified financial market data analytic tool. The analytical system consists of four sub systems that are able to track trends in the USA financial markets. The system has a big commercial value because it offers clear data based insights on stocks, options, Exchange Traded Funds(ETF), and crypto assets.

PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH

1. Through social media and this website, I have developed a public education program on childhood lead (Pb) poisoning. Childhood lead (Pb) poisoning is a health problem related to my research on Fate and Transport of Anthropogenic (Pb) in the Arid Environment, San Bernardino County, California. Many people know so little or nothing about lead (Pb) poisoning.  To create awareness on this health problem, I have developed an educational outreach program which has more than 10,000 followers living in 23 countries including United States. Most of my audience is from sub-Saharan Africa which has the worst childhood lead (Pb) poisoning but with almost no awareness. To the best of my knowledge, this program is the first of its kind in addressing childhood lead (Pb) poisoning in sub Saharan Africa. My educational outreach is through this website, Facebook page, and Facebook group.

2. On January 29, 2018, I made an oral presentation on my scientific lead (Pb) research at the Riverside County lead (Pb) and healthy homes collaborative meeting in Riverside, California.

SCIENTIFIC LABORATORY EXPERIENCE AND ANALYTICAL PROFICIENCY

Laboratory experience since 2012 in sedimentary geology and environmental geoscience/ medical geology with analytical proficiency in X-ray diffraction, Microwave Plasma- Atomic Emission Spectrometry, Scanning Electron Microscopy, thin sectioning, particle size analysis, magnetic susceptibility and point counting.