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Your Environment. Your Health.


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Principal Investigator: Kile, Molly L
Institute Receiving Award Oregon State University
Location Corvallis, OR
Grant Number R01ES031669
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 10 Sep 2020 to 30 Jun 2024
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 1 Abstract 2 Approximately 34 million Americans rely on private wells to supply their drinking water. Private wells are 3 excluded from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Consequently, people who use private wells have not benefited 4 from pollution prevention activities mandated by this law. This is a public health concern because toxic 5 chemicals such as arsenic, nitrate, and lead are frequently detected in drinking water provided by private wells 6 at concentrations that exceed the Safe Drinking Water Act's maximum contaminant levels. Chronic exposure to 7 toxics in drinking water increase the risk of several chronic diseases. Several states in the U.S. have 8 implemented or are proposing legislative policies to require testing and treatment of private wells. As the 9 numbers of states implementing these policies increase, it is critical that public health agencies offer a program 10 to aid homeowners with adherence to these new policies, specifically in the domains of understanding water 11 test results and choosing appropriate remediation solutions. Previous programs increased well testing and 12 knowledge of hazards, yet the majority of private well users still did not test their well water or remediate 13 detected hazards. Subsequently, there is a need to determine if individual-level interventions would be more 14 effective for promoting behaviors that would reduce, mitigate, or eliminate exposure to contaminated well 15 water. Lay health care workers are effective in clinical settings with improving the outcomes and management 16 of chronic diseases, and may be able to provide cost-effective counseling to promote environmental health 17 decision making among homeowners that have contaminated wells. Thus, we propose to conduct a community 18 efficacy trial that brings together university-based researchers, State and Local agencies, and Extension 19 Services. Together, we propose a community efficacy trial implemented by community health navigators via the 20 Extension service. Specifically, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial in one rural county in Oregon to 21 test the acceptability, fidelity, scalability and efficacy of 3 different intervention arms to reduce harmful 22 toxicant exposures through the adoption of appropriate well water treatment. Upon completion, we will 23 produce a private well safety intervention program that has been tested and modified through empirical 24 research. By capturing the costs and retaining the most efficacious intervention components, our cooperative 25 approach has a better chance of scalability into practice across multiple stakeholders (i.e. Extension services, 26 state health agencies). This information has the potential to reduce health disparities in rural America that are 27 related to a household's source of drinking water.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 94 - Communication Research/Environmental Health Literacy
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Lindsey Martin
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