The Board of Regents for the State of Louisiana awarded $10,000 for a pilot study grant to Dr. Adrienne Katner to study “Quantification of Lead Levels in New Orleans Drinking Water Using Innovative Sampling and Detection Methods with Improved Lead Recovery”. Dr. Katner, assistant professor of research in environmental and occupational health sciences at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health, has proposed to quantify lead levels in New Orleans tap water using innovative methods for Public Water System (PWS) compliance testing. Compared to standard U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods, the methods to be evaluated have demonstrated improved lead recovery in lab-bench studies.
Dr. Katner’s goals in pursuing this study are to produce results that will provide a more accurate assessment of area wide tap water lead levels; assist the state and city lead prevention programs in developing appropriate risk prevention messages; assist the local PWS in anticipating the consequences of proposed regulatory changes to compliance testing requirements; assist the PWS in evaluating the efficacy of corrosion-control treatments; and increase awareness of, and promote the adoption of, improved sampling and analytical methods for lead analyses by state and federal regulators.
If lead is found to be present at levels which exceed EPA requirements, various simple cost-effective methods for reducing tap water lead levels and exposures will be identified and evaluated in subsequent studies. The ultimate goals of this and future research are to develop more efficient and effective lead poisoning prevention strategies and to reduce area-wide childhood blood lead levels.