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Showalter Project

Recruitment is completed! - We are currently analyzing the data and hope to share our results in late 2022 or early 2023.


High levels of Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) exposure among industry workers have been associated with a specific set of neurological effects. Of particular concern is that children may be more vulnerable to PCE exposure because of the developmental stages that they are in. We plan to enroll 80 children (6-11 years old) from the Martinsville community and measure their exposure to PCE and other VOCs in exhaled breath samples, as well as in indoor air and possibly drinking water samples. We will assess neurobehavioral performance with a set of validated age-appropriate tests.  

This project is funded by the Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust.


March 2021 - June 2021

April 2021

July 2021 - Ongoing

July 2021 - Feb 2022

May - June 2022

Nov 2022 - Jan 2023

Social Media Campaign

Project Launch Meeting & Recruitment Prep

Participant Recruitment

Field Data Collection #1

Field Data Collection #2 (anticipated)

Distribution of Research Results (anticipated)


The results of this study can be used to inform the community about the health impact of PCE exposure and potential mitigation actions if an association is detected. We plan to return the results to the parents of the participants if they choose to receive the results. The results will be for research purposes only and should NOT be considered a comprehensive clinical evaluation of children’s neurobehavioral performance. We will provide a list of local licensed providers and educational resources if a family is concerned about their child’s neurobehavioral performance upon receiving the report and would like to follow up with licensed providers for professional evaluations. We may not find an association of PCE exposure with neurobehavioral performance; however if we do, we will try our best to leverage available resources to help the Martinsville community including the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville to take necessary actions to lessen the risk and health impact.  


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