Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health and Oregon State University are studying people who worked in or are living in homes that flooded from Hurricane Harvey last year to identify what dangers might have been in flood waters.

This is part of the second round of a study using wristbands to detect chemicals from air and water exposure. It also collects biosamples to detect bacteria and mold.

The first round took place around this time last year, just days after recovery efforts began after Harvey hit.

The wristbands can detect volatile and semi-volatile chemicals directly from air and water. After seven days, researchers will collect the wristbands for measurement of chemical exposures.

Biosamples, which can detect some exposures the wristbands cannot, and health questionnaires also will be collected from participants. The information gathered will be used to assess the possible health impact of chemical and environmental exposures.

There are community events set up for people in the Houston area to enroll or learn more about the study. The first was Sunday at the St. John Vianney Catholic Church in west Houston.

Another is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 14 at the East Houston Civic Club from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Sept. 16, there is another event at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Baytown.

“It is important to know what hazards we face in these types of natural disasters and how we can better prepare and respond next time it happens,” said Dr. Melissa Bondy, associate director for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center who is helping lead the research.

“We also want to understand long-term health effects as a result of flood waters.”

The National Institutes of Health is helping Baylor College of Medicine fund the research with three grants.

Results for both rounds of the study will be available in early 2019.

For more information, contact or Georgina Armstrong at (713) 798-2951.

Click here for more information on Harvey environmental health and safety related issues.

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