Wednesday, February 1, 2023 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM CST
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Ann Briggs
Nebraska Water Center | University of Nebraska

Spring Seminar Series, February 1, 2023 | Eleanor Rogan, Water Quality and Health 

The Nebraska Water Center will hold its annual Spring Seminar Series every other Wednesday at 3:30 pm. The 2023 theme is Hot Topics in Nebraska Water.

No registration is required to attend in person in the Hardin Hall Auditorium on UNL's East Campus.

Please use this form to register to attend online.

February 1st's presentation on water quality and health will be given by Eleanor Rogan. 

Investigating the role of water quality in adverse health effects across rural Nebraska

Eleanor Rogan, Ph.D., is a professor and founding Chair of the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health (2007-present) in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Novel approaches to evaluating the possible effects of agrichemical usage on human health have been developed in recent years.  We have been using GIS, water quality databases, agrichemical usage data, and health databases.  This research has led to new evaluations of the association of specific agrichemicals and groups of agrichemicals with specific adverse health effects, such as cancer, birth defects and Parkinson's Disease. As some examples, specific use of nitrate and/or atrazine in various watersheds throughout Nebraska has been associated with higher incidences of pediatric cancer and/or birth defects.  Nebraska currently has the seventh highest incidence of pediatric cancers in the U.S., which is very concerning.  We have novel findings and our approach would be useful across the United States and could be adapted to other types of studies.

Nebraska has one of the highest incidences of pediatric cancer, especially brain tumors, and of Parkinson's Disease in the United States.   Therefore, it is both useful and important to use novel approaches to try to understand why these health problems are particularly severe in the state, as a first step in finding ways to reduce these health burdens.  Our hope and expectation is that this information will be used to begin modifying various ag practices to mitigate the some of the adverse health effects, induce policy changes so that private wells are tested for water quality, and provide encouragement for testing private wells throughout Nebraska and helping persons with unsafe well-water to adopt purification methods to make it safe.