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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the study?
The purpose of this study is to better understand the quality of your drinking water and how levels of environmental chemicals in drinking water correlate to levels of these chemicals and measures of health in blood. In particular, we are interested in a chemical called dioxane.
Who can participate?
  • 18 years of age and older
  • Live on Long Island
  • Have lived in current home for at least one year
What will be involved if I participate?
  • We will contact you by phone for a brief screening interview. If you are selected as a participant, we will schedule a time to visit your home.
  • During this home visit, a team of two researchers will collect water from your kitchen tap, collect a blood sample, and interview you about your health and your home.
  • The field team will collect water samples from your kitchen tap. You can stay with them if you like. They will run the water for a few minutes and will then fill several tubes with tap water.
  • A member of the field team is a trained phlebotomist who will collect a sample of blood from you
  • The field team will ask you questions about your health and your home. Examples of questions we will ask include: “When was your home built?”, “What is your main drinking water source?”, and “In the past 3 months have you taken any of the following vitamins or supplements?”
  • The visit to your home will last approximately 90 minutes.
  • As recognition and appreciation of your time, participants will receive a total of $20 after completion of the study.
Are there any risks to being in the study?
  • Risks of this study are very low.

    The physical risk of this study is the possibility of bruising at the site where we draw blood. We reduce these risks by having a trained phlebotomist complete the blood draw.
  • With respect to privacy risks, we take many steps to keep your information confidential. To protect your confidentiality, you will be assigned a unique, random identification number, which will be used instead of your name on all questionnaire data collected. Similarly, all water samples collected from your home will not be labeled with your name but will be coded with the same unique number before submission to the laboratory. Any information that could identify you will be stored in a locked file by the Principal Investigator for this study. The tablet and application used to conduct the survey are both password protected and completed questionnaires are stored encrypted on a protected server, accessible only to researchers involved in the data collection and analysis.
  • The samples and information will only be used for research and will not be sold.
  • After the end of the study, the data collected from you will not be able to be matched to you. Other scientists may be given access to the study data for future research questions, but it will not be possible to identify you. The findings of this study may be used for scientific publication or presentation, but no information that would reveal your identity will be included. We will never reveal the measurements or information collected at a specific home or neighborhood.
Are there any benefits to being in the study?
  • We will share the results of your water and blood tests if you choose. Your results will be put into context by comparing them to government safe levels, where available.
  • By participating in the study, you will contribute to important public health research.
  • Your participation may lead to a better understanding of the safety of the water in your community.
Who is funding this study?
The study is funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). NIEHS is a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Who are our community partners?
Local community organizations are critical for helping us to spread word about the study and help us to understand community concerns. We are currently working closely with Citizens Campaign for the Environment on these issues.
What if I agreed to participate, but changed my mind?
  • Participating in this study is voluntary. You are free to choose not to take part in this study.
  • If you do participate in the study, you are free to stop and withdraw from this study at any time during its course. To withdraw from the study, you can contact a member of the research team at any time and tell them you no longer want to take part. This will cancel any future house visits and no new information identifying you will be gathered after that date.
Who can I contact with questions?
Email us at or contact us by phone at 203-737-2530 to speak to a member of our research team.