The PROTECT goal is to define the relationship between exposure to environmental contamination and preterm birth; and to develop new technology for discovery, transport characterization, and green remediation of Superfund Contaminants in karstic aquifers.
PROTECT objectives are to:
- Increase the evidence that environmental contaminants contribute to preterm birth; identify the causative chemicals; and learn how to remediate these chemicals in karstic aquifers by a green process.
- Build a better understanding of the potential role, mechanisms and relevance of pollution-induced oxidative stress in preterm birth.
- Discover and understand risk factors and their interactions for preterm birth by developing and mining an integrated, centralized, indexed epidemiological, hydrogeophysical, environmental fate and transport, and environmental exposure data repository for Puerto Rico.
- Determine the effect of episodic transport on patterns of exposure through highly mobile karstic aquifers and develop adaptable remedial actions.
- Improve and apply nontargeted chemical analysis including bioassay-directed chemical analysis to biological samples and environmental samples.