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University of Mississippi Lead in Drinking Water Project
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2023 Authors: Otts S., Willett K.

Childhood lead poisoning is a challenging social issue that requires the coordination of health, housing, and environmental law and policy. Little is known about the contribution of lead pipes and water treatment to lead poisoning in Mississippi. The University of Mississippi Lead in Drinking Water Project (UM Lead Project) launched in 2017 and is headed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Mississippi (Stephanie Otts, J.D. and Dr. Kristie Willett) and the Southern Rural Development Center (Dr. John Green). The team takes a community-engaged, research-based approach to address lead in water-related health gaps in the state. To date, the Team has organized almost twenty lead education and sampling events, tested drinking water for more than 300 families, presented annually at the Mississippi Water Resources Conference, taught an Honors College Experiential Course, established a referral program with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), partnered with Mississippi State Extension's SipSafe program to sample water at childcare facilities for lead, and published two academic journal articles. This presentation will provide an overview of the team's work in 2022, including the results of a statewide lead forum hosted in Jackson, MS in October 2022.

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