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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Columbia Superfund Research Program: Water Testing Project for NJ Families

The Columbia Superfund Research Program, led by Dr. Joseph Graziano, professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, partnered with Hunterdon Medical Center and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to offer free well water testing of arsenic and lead for pregnant women and families with young children. The project involves an interdisciplinary team of scientists from Lamont – Doherty Earth Observatory and City College of New York.

[Photo: Dr. Joseph Graziano]

Private wells in the Hunterdon County area can have high levels of naturally-occurring arsenic, which can be especially harmful to children who drink the contaminated water. The researchers are engaged with the community to educate vulnerable populations of the potential risks, offer the necessary testing, and provide them with remediation guides if necessary.

Dr. Joseph Graziano’s research career is devoted to understanding the consequences of exposure to metals, which occurs via exposure in the home, such as lead paint, or arsenic in drinking water, or outdoors; due to airborne emissions from industry or transportation vehicles. His current research is aimed at understanding the consequences of arsenic exposure, and on devising strategies to reduce toxicity and provide arsenic-free drinking water, a problem which spans the world. Findings that both arsenic and manganese in drinking water are associated with cognitive deficits in children, add urgency to solving this enormous public health and environmental problem.