Scrapbook Photo 06/10/24 - 100 New Stories - REAL Environmental & Conservation Leadership In PA:
Citizen Science Opportunity: Penn State Looking For 60 Volunteers For Endocrine Disrupter Study In Susquehanna River Watershed

The Penn State Center for Contaminants of Emerging Concern is looking for 60 citizen scientists to participate in a study focused on identifying personal care products in water samples collected throughout the Susquehanna River Basin.

Many compounds that make up our personal care products (household cleaners, personal hygiene/ health and beauty products, laundry detergents, etc.) are classified as endocrine disrupters.

Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) have the ability to mimic or alter hormones to an extent that can stunt or inhibit the development of many aquatic organisms, especially fish and amphibians.

For this study, we are looking to recruit citizen scientists who will partake in a EDC footprint calculator, and collect a water sample from a predetermined location in the SRB.

The EDC footprint calculator is similar to existing water and carbon footprint calculators. Users will be asked to insert the amount of household products they own into three categories; health and beauty, laundry, and cleaning.

This online survey can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Following this survey, citizen scientists will be asked to select one of 60 locations across the SRB to collect a surface water sample. Sampling kits will be mailed to citizen scientists.

We anticipate sending out sampling kits the first week of June. When kits are received, citizen scientists will be asked to collect and ship their water sample to Penn State (pre-paid return shipping label included) within a week or two.

After samples have been processed, citizen scientists will receive a detailed report including their EDC footprint calculator results, water sample results, and how these results compare to the other sampling locations.

If you would like to take the EDC footprint calculator AND collect a water sample this fall, please sign up for an open location to sample using this link.

You can use our interactive map to see sampling locations.  Through the link you can search for sampling locations using our interactive map and sign up for a site to sample.

Please only sign up for 1 sampling location. After all sampling locations are filled, Katie Hayden, Graduate Research Assistant, will reach out with next steps.

Thank you for your time and if you have any questions, please feel free to email Kathryn Hayden at: (  We hope you can join us!

Visit the Penn State Center for Contaminants of Emerging Concern webpage for more information on endocrine disrupters.

[Posted: April 22, 2021]


Go To Preceding Article     Go To Next Article

Return to This PA Environment Digest's Main Page