PROTECT will conduct targeted and non-targeted studies and develop a centralized data repository to understand cumulative risk factors and develop prevention strategies. The targeted studies will focus on chlorinated solvents and phthalates because they are suspect contaminants both mechanistically and due to their presence in many Superfund sites in the US and Puerto Rico. For the etiology, fate/transport, and remediation studies, PROTECT will test di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and trichloroethylene (TCE). Selection of these two contaminants for this research is supported by the EPA’s 2007 CERCLA Priority List of Hazardous Substances, which includes TCE as No. 16, and DEHP as No. 76. DEHP is a model for semipolar contaminants, and TCE is a model for nonpolar contaminants.
Research Projects and Support Cores: The goals and objectives will be achieved by the following integrated biomedical and non-biomedical research projects:
- Project 1: Discovery of Xenobiotics Associated with Preterm Birth
- Project 2: Pollutant Activation of Cell Pathways in Gestational Tissues
- Project 3: Phthalate Exposure and Molecular Epidemiologic Markers of Preterm Birth among Women in Puerto Rico
- Project 4: Dynamic Transport and Exposure Pathways of Contaminants in Karst Groundwater Systems
- Project 5: Green Remediation by Solar Energy Conversion into Electrolysis in Groundwater
The projects will be supported by the following cores: