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Lead Contamination in Drinking Water and Associated Housing Characteristics in the Mississippi Delta Kristie Willett, Stephanie Otts, John Green, Lynn Woo, Alex Fratesi, Rachel Haggard, Cathy Janasie, Cammi Thornton, Josephine Rhymes
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  • LeadContaminationinDrinkingWaterandAssociatedHousingCharacteristicsintheMississippiDelta

    KristieWillett,StephanieOtts,JohnGreen,LynnWoo,AlexFratesi,RachelHaggard,CathyJanasie,CammiThornton,JosephineRhymes

  • Lead(Pb)

    Oneofoldestmoststudiedtoxicants,ubiquitousSources:smelters,coalburning,leadedgas,pipesesp.ifpHlessthan6.4,potteryglazes,paint

    http://www.epa.gov/lead/

  • ProjectBackground•  UMLeadinDrinkingWaterTeamformedin2016.Co-ledbyJohnGreen(sociology),StephanieOtts(law),andKristieWillett(toxicology).

    •  ORSPInvestmentGrantin2016toworkwithcommunitypartnersinMississippiDeltatoraiseawarenessoftheissueandcollect/analyzeresidentialwatersamples.

    •  MWRRIgrantin2017toassesseffectivenessofvariouscommunityengagementstrategies.

    •  ApproachedbyFoundationfortheMid-Southin2018toexpandworktoJacksontosupporteffortsofJacksonWaterCoalitionfundedin2018byUMCommunityWellbeingConstellation.

  • ResearchQuestions•  Can multi-disciplinary, multi-method, andcommunity-basedapproaches to researchprovidemoredatatotestforpotentialleadexposure?

    •  Can these data be used to inform bettermonitoring,outreach,andpolicyreform?

    •  BasedonLCRviolations,ourworkhas focusedoncountiesinandcontiguoustotheMississippiDelta.

  • http://reic.uwcc.wisc.edu/water/

  • CommunityPartners•  NewPathwaystoHealthInitiative,Tri-CountyWorkforceAlliance•  JamesC.KennedyWellnessCenter•  Right!FromtheStartProgramstaffandchurchpartners•  MississippiStateUniversityExtension•  HarvardLawSchoolMississippiDeltaProject/DeltaDirectionsConsortium•  AaronE.HenryCommunityHealthCenterandDeltaHealthCenter

    J.Rhymes

    S.SnellRight!fromtheStartInitiative

    J.Barrett

  • CommunityEngagement&WaterTestingProcess

    If water lead concentrationis>5ppb,afilterisprovidedto resident. All participantsreceive their results andleadinfosheet.

  • Findings•  307householdshaveparticipatedintheprojectinsomeway

    ü  214householdsrespondedtothesurveyandreturnedwatersamples

    ü  Datarepresents16countiesand50censustractswiththemajorityfromHumphreys(n=42)andCoahoma(n=39),thenPanola(n=26),Sunflower(n=20),Washington(n=20),Bolivar(n=19),andQuitman(n=17)counties

    ü  Percent bottle return from 8 different engagementapproachesrangedfrom49-100%withanaverageof70%.

    ü  Participantswithleadconcentrationsexceeding5ppb(n=10)receivedcertifiedNSF/ANSIStandard53filter.

  • Leadanddrinkingwaterhouseholdcharacteristics(Householdsreturningbothquestionnairesandwatersamples,Totaln=214)

    CharacteristicsDeltaMS

    f %

    Housingtenure

    Renters 61 30

    Owners 134 65

    Otherarrangement 12 5

    Housingtype

    House 162 78

    Mobilehome 22 10

    Apartment/townhouse 25 12

    Knowwhenbuilt(yes) 113/206 54

    Built1985orearlier(yes) 54/113 48

    Pipeseverreplaced

    Yes 34 17

    Unsure 78 38

    No 90 45

    SourceofwaterPublicsystem 180 89Well 23 11

    Usefilterfordrinkingwater(yes) 64/213 30

    Usefilterforice(yes) 66/213 31

  • DrinkingwaterpHandleadconcentrationresults(ppb)

    CharacteristicspH

    (n=213)Lead(ppb)(n=214)

    Mean 7.74 0.84

    Median 7.82 0.30

    Standarddeviation 0.52 1.86

    Minimum-Maximum 5.84–9.13 nd–14.32

    Pearson’scorrelationbetweenpHandleadconcentration -0.35

  • LeadConcentrationvs.WaterpHorYearHousingStructureWasBuilt

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    14

    16

    0 2 4 6 8 10

    Aver

    age

    lead

    con

    cent

    ratio

    n (p

    pb)

    pH of water sample

    JacksonMetroRegionDeltaandNorthernRegion

    r=-0.35

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    14

    16

    1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 Ave

    rage

    lead

    con

    cent

    ratio

    n (p

    pb)

    Year housing structure was built

    r=-0.23

  • Conclusions•  Research revealed that some communities in Mississippi are

    experiencingelevatedconcentrationsofleadintheirdrinkingwater.

    •  Neither water pH nor age of housing consistently predicted higherleadconcentrations.

    •  In a well-owner community event, 6 of the 20 samples had leadconcentrations above the FDA’s 5 ppb limit. The averagepHof thewellsampleswas6.97.

    •  http://nsglc.olemiss.edu/projects/lead-contamination/index.html

  • OngoingWork•  Continue to informandempowerMississippi residents/parents tomake

    behavioral choices in their own homes and communities throughresidentialandschooldrinkingwatertestingevents.

    •  Enhance community engagement in high risk exposurepopulations (e.g.JacksonMS,wellowners,andnewmothers).

    •  Assess programmatic features, such as implementation and outreachdifferences across the rural-urban continuum, to make scalablerecommendationsforthestateandnation.

  • For water: Filters certified by NSF International

    [email protected]


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