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Principal Investigator: Liu, Sa
Institute Receiving Award Purdue University
Location West Lafayette, IN
Grant Number R01ES033486
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 12 Aug 2022 to 31 May 2027
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary We propose to develop a community engaged research program in Martinsville, IN, a community of 11,000 people that overlays four groundwater contamination sites, including a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency- designated Superfund site. The total size of the groundwater contamination is over 60 acres and lies within a single aquifer. The contaminants are chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs), primarily tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), thought to originate from several dry cleaning and metal degreasing operations. An activated carbon filtration system has been in operation since 2005 to remove PCE/COVCs from the municipal water, which now meets EPA drinking water standards. However, a recent report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concludes that people’s health may be harmed by breathing indoor air contaminated via vapor intrusion, the migration of volatile compounds from contaminated groundwater and soil into buildings above. The long-term goal of our research is to understand health effects of PCE exposure in communities, and to empower community members’ participation in environmental health decision-making. The project will be led by a transdisciplinary academic team in a strong partnership with two community based organizations. This team will partner with an existing, engaged Community Advisory Board (CAB), to accomplish three aims. Aim 1 will assess the community’s concerns and perceptions about the contamination and associated health risks, and how that changes across the 5-year project. Aim 2 will quantify current exposure to PCE/CVOCs in exhaled breath and indoor air from 300 residents using a cutting edge assessment tool, proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS). Through modeling we will estimate cumulative exposures in residents and investigate associations of CVOC mixtures with visual and cognitive functions, which are hypothesized to be a sensitive non-cancer endpoint for PCE exposure. We will also address the community’s concerns about elevated cancer rates using Indiana state cancer registry data. In Aim 3, we will design and implement a targeted educational campaign to promote PCE/CVOC testing and installation of mitigation systems when residential contamination levels exceed exposure limits, with a focus on promoting property owners’ and landlords’ participation in vapor intrusion testing and remediation activities. With the CAB, we will co-design the action plan, identifying and responding to emerging barriers, through a Developmental Evaluation (DE) process utilizing a Theory of Change (TOC) model informed by the evaluation team’s qualitative and quantitative analysis of data on stakeholder concerns and responses. Throughout the process of community assessment and education, we will evaluate the effectiveness of the process, identifying pathways for moving from research to effective actions.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 97 - Partnerships for Environmental Public Health/Community Research
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Liam O'Fallon