EPA awards Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers more than $1.35 Million for research to better understand exposure of young children to chemicals in soil and dust
PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 10, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $1.35 million in funding today to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers in Baltimore to better estimate children’s chemical exposures from soil and dust ingestion. The funding was part of nearly $9.3 million awarded to seven institutions for this type of research.
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School researchers will use the funds to create an integrated and innovative portfolio of tools and approaches to assess dust and soil exposures for children ages six months to six years via activity pattern and tracer studies.
“It is our duty to protect the health of those most vulnerable among us, including our children,” said Wayne Cascio, acting principal deputy assistant administrator for science in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The researchers receiving these awards will improve our understanding of how children are exposed to chemicals, which will inform future actions to reduce these exposures and better protect their health.”
Young children may ingest significant quantities of soil and dust because they often play on the ground and put their hands and other objects into their mouths that can have dust or soil on them. For children, especially those six months through six years of age, soil and dust ingestion can be a major route of exposure to chemicals such as lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and asbestos.
“We are excited to deploy an array of cutting-edge approaches like computer vision and non-target analysis to better understand children’s exposures to soil and dust,” said Keeve Nachman, associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and Principal Investigator. “Our work will address a fundamental gap in risk assessment critical to children’s public health protection.”
The research announced today will focus on improving estimates of children’s ingestion rates of these chemicals. Accurate, comprehensive measurements of soil and dust ingestion rates are critical for effective risk assessment, reduction, mitigation, and prevention measures.
The universities below are also receiving funding through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program to help improve children’s health.
• Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
• Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
• New York University, New York, New York.
• North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina.
• University of California Davis, Davis, California.
• University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, Nevada.
Scientific and engineering research that advances EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment is a competitive, peer-reviewed, extramural research program that provides access to the nation’s best scientists and engineers in academic and other nonprofit research institutions.
The STAR program funds research on the environmental and public health effects of air quality, climate change, environmental justice, water quality and quantity, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides.
Learn more about these projects: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/666/records_per_page/ALL
Learn more about EPA’s research grants program: https://www.epa.gov/research-grants