Grantee Research Project Results
Developing the Chemical Health Risk Identification System (CHRIS) for Drinking Water SourcesEPA Grant Number: SU840412
Title: Developing the Chemical Health Risk Identification System (CHRIS) for Drinking Water Sources
Investigators: Linden, Karl G.
Institution: University of Colorado Boulder
EPA Project Officer: Spatz, Kyle
Project Period: July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023
Project Amount: $25,000
RFA: 18th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2021) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Water
Environmental chemical pollution represents a significant and growing threat to environmental and public health globally. Water supplies throughout the US, as well as the rest of the world, contain measurable concentrations of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, agrochemicals, and other anthropogenic contaminants. The ever-increasing number of chemicals in widespread production and use pose a significant challenge to water quality and public health, and tools are needed to rapidly identify potential chemical risks in drinking water sources so appropriate treatment methods can be selected and implemented to protect public health.
This project seeks to develop a freely accessible, evidence-based decision-support tool to identify potential chemical risks due to common sources and known occurrence of chemical contaminants in the environment. The Chemical Health Risk Identification System (CHRIS) will help consumers, environmental engineers, and regulators to rapidly assess potential chemical risks in drinking water by synthesizing research on chemical occurrence, sources, fate, and transport in drinking water sources globally, while providing appropriate treatment methods and policy interventions to mitigate chemical risk. The development of this novel risk assessment tool will allow a wide range of stakeholders to assess and react to potential chemical threats to human health. This outcome will be most felt in historically disadvantaged communities, where a free, survey-based tool such as CHRIS can have a large impact.
The goal of this project is to develop an alpha version of the CHRIS tool to assist in rapid chemical risk assessment and treatment selection for global drinking water sources. CHRIS will be developed through a systematic review process that synthesizes known chemical occurrence, common sources, and other environmental risk factors to develop an algorithm that produces a unique risk profile and suggests appropriate technologies and interventions to prevent human exposure to chemical contaminants based on answers to a set of survey questions. The alpha version of CHRIS will be validated against existing occurrence data for specific case studies where risk factors can be identified. This project encapsulates the P3 approach because it will synthesize known information about global occurrence of anthropogenic contaminants to protect public health and promote human flourishing. In addition, the CHRIS tool will serve as an educational resource regarding anthropogenic impacts on the environment and health as well as available technologies and interventions for addressing chemical threats to public health in drinking water.
As a result of this project, it is expected that a systematic review of chemical sources and occurrence will be conducted, leading to the development and release of a decision-support tool for addressing chemical threats to drinking water supply. Results of the systematic review will be published, and trends will be identified that can be used to target treatment and regulatory interventions to reduce chemical pollution in the environment and protect public health. An alpha version of CHRIS will be developed whereby users can fill out a set of evidence-based survey questions that identify possible chemical risks and appropriate treatment technologies for specific drinking water systems. The CHRIS tool will reduce human exposure to chemical contaminants and lead to a cleaner planet by recommending appropriate interventions to prevent chemical pollution and effective treatments for chemicals in the environment.