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Michelle Del Rio, PhD
Assistant Professor, IU Bloomington
Dr. Del Rio conducts interdisciplinary, and community engaged research to understand the relationships between environmental exposures and social determinants of health and develop low-cost structural interventions for under resourced communities and socially vulnerable populations. Her current projects aim to reduce water insecurity in rural communities in Indiana and prevent chronic low-level lead (Pb) exposure in U.S. children. Learn more about Dr. Del Rio.

Alyson Alde, MA
Research Associate, IU Bloomington
Alde's research focuses on drinking water quality and lead exposure. She is interested in understanding drinking water infrastructure and how it impacts human health. Learn more about Alde.

Gabriel Filippelli, PhD
Chancellor's Professor, IU Indianapolis

Dr. Filippelli is a Chancellor’s Professor of Earth Sciences and Executive Director of the IU Environmental Resilience Institute. Filippelli is a biogeochemist with broad training in climate change, exposure science, and environmental health. Learn more about Dr. Filippelli.

Angela Herrmann, MA
Program Manager, IU Indianapolis

Herrmann focuses on managing research projects and facilitating community partnerships.

Project partners

Partners who are critical to the success of this project include the Indianapolis Public Library, Marion County Public Health Department, and WFYI Public Radio.

Research studies

Studies have consistently and conclusively shown that no amount of lead exposure is safe for small children. This project aims to build on recent findings that suggest chronic low-level lead exposure and exposure risks persist for children up to 16 years of age who live in one historically lead-impacted and predominantly Hispanic community along the U.S.-Mexico border.

However, do these findings apply to other socially vulnerable communities in the United States? If so, which modifiable risk factors contribute to persistent and chronic low-level throughout childhood? Project researchers seek to compare lead exposure, sources, and risk factors in children up to age 12 who live in neighborhoods still dealing with legacy soil lead contamination attributed to industry and lead-based paint. The findings of this study will inform best practices for monitoring and preventing childhood lead exposure.

The goals of this project are three-fold:

  1. Understand residents’ perceived risk of lead contamination;
  2. Screen homes and consumer products for elevated lead levels; and
  3. Screen children for elevated blood lead levels while examining connections to food insecurity and ongoing lead exposure risks.

If you live in Marion County, Indiana, and want to learn more about this project and qualification criteria, please contact Angela Herrmann. Contact IU researchers, Dr. Michelle Del Rio or Alyson Alde, for more information about the project research.