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
Ann Aschengrau, Sc.D., and her team completed data collection for their study on the combined impact of early life exposure to PCE-contaminated drinking water and social stressors on drug and alcohol use in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts and are currently in the midst of data analysis. Given the epidemic of substance use disorders in this region and the US, it is crucial to follow-up the team’s prior finding that early life exposure to PCE-contaminated drinking water increases the risk of substance use with the current study. By taking into account the multifactorial etiology of substance use, this research will identify possible avenues for prevention and intervention for this societal problem. During this period, the project team also co-authored an invited paper summarizing their prior SRP research findings on the reproductive and developmental effects of prenatal PCE exposure, and prepared manuscripts using SRP data on: (1) residential proximity to roadways and the occurrence of stillbirths (Butler, 2019), and (2) the impact of family and community socioeconomic status on the risk of adolescent drug use. Findings described in these manuscripts suggest that living within 50 meters of a roadway modestly increases the risk of stillbirth related to placental dysfunction and that family socioeconomic status has a greater impact on the risk of adolescent drug use than community SES measures.