Over the last decade we have gained a detailed understanding of the static geochemical characteristics of arsenic and manganese contaminated aquifers and have characterized the rapid response of sediment to artificial chemical perturbations in incubation experiments. However, remarkably little is known about the basic aspects of hydrogeology that are vital for understanding the evolution of groundwater chemistry along flow paths that are contaminated by these metals. We do not know how the solute fluxes that drive manganese and arsenic mobility enter the aquifer, what patterns groundwater flow follows, or how solutes mix across different flow paths. Little is known about deeper groundwater flow, and basic issues such as the significance of regional flow and groundwater pumping are still controversial. In the proposed research, we will combine networks of sensors and geophysical imaging techniques with three-dimensional groundwater flow and transport models to characterized changing subsurface conditions. We will observe how subsurface conditions may be altered by installation of community supply wells, the most common approach to providing safe water, and we will develop predictive models for future shifts in groundwater chemistry. Our results will provide insight into the processes that cause metal mobilization from sediments, and will enable better management of contaminated groundwater.

Public Health Relevance

This project will address critical issues of toxic metals and how humans are exposed. We will address how human activity alters metal solubility in drinking water, how communities can monitor changes in hydrogeology that will change concentrations of toxic metals in drinking water and whether deep wells are an effective intervention to reduce toxic metal exposure.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Hazardous Substances Basic Research Grants Program (NIEHS) (P42)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-LWJ-M)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Harvard University
United States
Zip Code
Kappil, Maya; Wright, Robert O; Sanders, Alison P (2016) Developmental Origins of Common Disease: Epigenetic Contributions to Obesity. Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet 17:177-92
Wagner, Peter J; Park, Hae-Ryung; Wang, Zhaoxi et al. (2016) In Vitro Effects of Lead on Gene Expression in Neural Stem Cells and Associations between Upregulated Genes and Cognitive Scores in Children. Environ Health Perspect :
Gleason, Kelsey M; Valeri, Linda; Shankar, A H et al. (2016) Stunting is associated with blood lead concentration among Bangladeshi children aged 2-3 years. Environ Health 15:103
Lin, Xinyi; Lee, Seunggeun; Wu, Michael C et al. (2016) Test for rare variants by environment interactions in sequencing association studies. Biometrics 72:156-64
Stroustrup, Annemarie; Hsu, Hsiao-Hsien; Svensson, Katherine et al. (2016) Toddler temperament and prenatal exposure to lead and maternal depression. Environ Health 15:71
Kile, Molly L; Cardenas, Andres; Rodrigues, Ema et al. (2016) Estimating Effects of Arsenic Exposure During Pregnancy on Perinatal Outcomes in a Bangladeshi Cohort. Epidemiology 27:173-81
Yung, Godwin; Lin, Xihong (2016) Validity of using ad hoc methods to analyze secondary traits in case-control association studies. Genet Epidemiol 40:732-743
Kile, Molly L; Faraj, Joycelyn M; Ronnenberg, Alayne G et al. (2016) A cross sectional study of anemia and iron deficiency as risk factors for arsenic-induced skin lesions in Bangladeshi women. BMC Public Health 16:158
Rodrigues, Ema G; Bellinger, David C; Valeri, Linda et al. (2016) Neurodevelopmental outcomes among 2- to 3-year-old children in Bangladesh with elevated blood lead and exposure to arsenic and manganese in drinking water. Environ Health 15:44
Tamayo Y Ortiz, Marcela; Téllez-Rojo, Martha María; Wright, Rosalind J et al. (2016) Longitudinal associations of age and prenatal lead exposure on cortisol secretion of 12-24 month-old infants from Mexico City. Environ Health 15:41

Showing the most recent 10 out of 78 publications