Abul Hussam, who invented an arsenic-removing, point-of-use home water filter, has been named one of TIME Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment for 2007.

Abul Hussam, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Virginia’s George Mason University who invented an arsenic-removing, point-of-use home water filter, has been named one of TIME Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment for 2007.

TIME’s senior environmental writer Bryan Walsh wrote that Hussam was selected because he was among “those ready with solutions.”

According to TIME, the water treatment device is “a deceptively simple device to address the problem” of arsenic in drinking water.

Hussam, who hails from Bangladesh, has first-hand experience with ground water contaminated with dangerous levels of arsenic. Through re-search, he created an “affordable, effective and environmentally sustainable way to make water arsenic-free,” TIME reported.

His SONO filter, which won him the Grainger Challenge Gold Award from The National Academy of Engineering in February, works by having a top bucket – filled with coarse river sand and a composite iron matrix – filter coarse particles and inorganic arsenic. A second bucket – holding more coarse sand and wood charcoal – then removes organics. Finally, the water is filtered again through fine river sand and wet brick chips.

“People tell me how their symptoms of arsenic poisoning have been eased or even reversed with use of the SONO filter,” Hussam said in his TIME profile. “I even hear that women now prefer to wash their hair with filtered water as it makes it softer.”