The results are in from a study done after Hurricane Harvey. It tracked chemical exposure through wristbands and it's the first of several studies conducted in the Houston area.

Researchers from Oregon State University's Superfund Research Program, Texas A&M and Texas Health and Environment Alliance worked together to sample 27 participants in the Highlands community, east of Houston.

Residents wore the wristbands for a week and then they were shipped off to Oregon State University for testing.

No exposure to dioxins was found. However, other chemicals did show up in the results that are found in things like personal care products.

"There are other chemicals that we found that are also toxic, I think the important thing to note is how much is present in the wristband," said Dr. Kim Anderson, Oregon State University. "We're not saying these levels are indicative that you will have a health outcome, we're just trying to say there are other chemicals to be concerned about."

Dr. Kim Anderson, Oregon State University. (Photo by Stephen Ward, Oregon State University)
Dr. Kim Anderson, Oregon State University. (Photo by Stephen Ward, Oregon State University)
Stephen Ward, Oregon State University or simply Oregon State University

"I think this is a very creative approach to measuring chemical exposure," said Dr. Tom Teets, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Houston.

Teets says because many of the chemicals are not regulated by the government, it's hard to know what is considered harmful. "Everything will harm you at some level," he said. "The issue right now is you don't have a comparison study."

Anderson says her team does plan to retest participants 1 year after Harvey to track additional results.

"I think a lot of people don't realize how many chemicals they are exposed to and how many actual chemicals that they're exposed to are from their own homes or personal choices," said Dr. Anderson. "A lot of the chemicals people are exposed to are things they actually have control over.

Researchers plan to meet with participants to share individual results on Wednesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Highlands Community Center.

You can view the study in its entirety here:

Houston Highlands Aggregate Report 06132018 FINAL


Harvey victims wear wristbands to track chemical exposure