Superfund Research Program
Early Life Exposure to Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-Contaminated Drinking Water and Social Stressors may Interact to Increase the Risk of Substance Use Later in Life
Since April 2018, Ann Aschengrau, Ph.D., and her team have traced potential study subjects and collected questionnaire and other relevant data for the current study on the impact of early life exposure to environmental and social stressors on substance use. In particular, they have successfully traced 98 percent of living subjects and have invited them to participate in the current study. Questionnaire data collection is ongoing using both electronic and paper formats, several reminders, and $10 incentives to maximize response rates.
During this period, Aschengrau and her team also completed analyses and published several manuscripts stemming from her prior SRP studies on the impact of prenatal tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-exposure on reproductive health, including delayed time to pregnancy (Wesselink 2018), stillbirths (Aschengrau 2018) and birth defects (Aschengrau 2018). They also submitted a manuscript for publication on residential proximity to roadways and the occurrence of stillbirths (Butler, submitted). In addition, they presented their research findings in a variety of settings, including the annual meetings of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, and "The Think Teach Do" Showcase at Boston University School of Public Health. Published results to date suggest that prenatal PCE exposure increases the odds of stillbirth and certain birth defects in a dose-dependent fashion and that high PCE levels around the time of pregnancy attempt lead to longer times to pregnancy.