Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people


Principal Investigator: Robert Oswald

Department of Molecular Medicine
Email: reo1@cornell.edu; Phone: 607-253-3877
Sponsor: The Claneil Foundation
Grant Number: N/A
Title: Ensuring the Safety of Our Water and Food Supply Through Bioloigcally Based Testing
Project Amount: $75,000
Project Period: 12/01/13-11/30/14

DESCRIPTION: The safety of our food supply is dependent upon fresh, clean water. Determining if water is free of toxic materials is made exponentially more difficult in the presence of industrial activity, such as a shale gas drilling operation, which employs and extracts a mixture of chemicals that are not well defined. Chemical testing and the standards used to interpret the results have serious drawbacks when the potential toxic chemicals are not always known and when multiple toxic chemicals may be present. This project proposes a different approach to water testing, one that complements current methods and circumvents problems of unknown chemicals. Biological testing does not ask what chemicals are present but asks whether substances are present with biological effects; essentially, the real question that is raised in any water test. The goal is to implement a comprehensive water screen to detect biologically active substances (e.g., endocrine disrupting chemicals).