On March 17th, Dr. Ingrid Padilla, lead investigator on PROTECT Project 3, gave a one-hour virtual talk on “Contaminant Distribution and Potential Exposure of Contaminants in Karst Water.” The Facebook Live event, which was hosted by the University of Puerto Rico – Arecibo, was part of the monthly series “Boricuas en el Karso (Puerto Ricans in the Karst).” This series features Puerto Rican scientists presenting their research in Spanish and is part of the 2021 International Year of Caves and Karst.

Dr. Padilla’s talk began with an overview of PROTECT and the study’s overall question of how environmental contamination in Puerto Rico impacts rates of preterm birth. The bulk of the presentation focused on how environmental contaminants, such as CVOCs and phthalates, are distributed in both groundwater and tap water in the northern karst region of Puerto Rico. The half hour presentation was followed by a lively question and answer period, led by Dr. Angel Acosta-Colon of the UPR-Arecibo Department of Physics and Chemistry.

As of mid-April, the video has been viewed 600 times. The recording of the live event is available on the University of Puerto Rico – Arecibo Facebook page, along with the rest of the Boricuas en el Karso series.