Skip to content

Non-Targeted Testing of Chemicals in Drinking Water in California

To identify the presence of unknown and unregulated chemical mixtures in drinking water that can lead to breast cancer.

As part of our program-directed initiatives, CBCRP intends to fund up to one project related to identifying carcinogenic chemicals in drinking water. CBCRP seeks to support research to screen drinking water in California for unmonitored and unregulated chemicals and transformation products that are known and suspected mammary gland carcinogens, mammary gland toxicants and/or endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The results and methods developed from this research can stimulate future studies in population-level exposure of breast cancer causing carcinogens found in drinking water including focusing on specific geographic regions of concern and/or changes over time in type and concentration of these carcinogens. Conclusive findings can also be used to reduce toxic chemicals exposure and enact regulatory changes to better protect public health and reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Download the full RFP below.

Full Request for Proposals (pdf)

Application materials are available on proposalCENTRAL.

Applications must be submitted by 12:00 pm PST on January 17, 2019.

The aims of this initiative are to:

  1. Characterize the presence of chemicals in drinking water delivered from public water systems in a cross-section of California households. For the purpose of this research, chemicals include but are not limited to: industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, consumer product ingredients, and pharmaceuticals; unmonitored and unregulated commercial chemicals, The chemicals of particular interest for this initiative are those that are known and suspected mammary gland carcinogens, mammary gland toxicants, and/or endocrine disrupting chemicals.
  2. Fill in the gaps of knowledge and focus on how drinking water quality may differ by region, water filtration center, etc. and how these differences may be mediated by social factors including community-level income levels, home ownership and other social factors.
  3. Quantify the levels of the 10-15 most commonly detected mammary gland carcinogens, mammary gland toxicants and/or endocrine disrupting chemicals which have previously been unmeasured or underreported in drinking water.
  4. Identify new chemical compounds, emerging contaminants or transformation products with notable concentrations in drinking water that could function as breast carcinogens.

Project guidelines

The proposed research should:

  • Be conducted by a transdisciplinary collaborative team with demonstrated capacity to design and conduct each component of the study, including but not limited to expertise in analytic chemistry, environmental toxicology, exposure sciences, water sample access and collection capacity, and community engagement.
  • Include community engagement in all aspects of the project.
  • Indicate how the selection of the cross-sectional samples of drinking water supports the hypotheses/aims of the proposed research; takes into account and represents, as much as feasible, the diversity of California’s water sources, seasonal variation and differences across filtration centers. Be sure to justify a water sampling strategy to best address the aims of the initiatives. CBCRP has a particular interest in gaps of knowledge about factors that may influence breast cancer hot spots, where the breast cancer incidence is higher than in surrounding communities and areas. CBCRP will also consider study designs that include bottled drinking water as one of the water samples.
  • Describe how new chemicals, contaminants, emerging compounds and transformation products in drinking water will be identified. These new compounds may act as mammary gland carcinogens and can be the focus for further study, monitoring and regulation.
  • Incorporate a study design that considers utilizing targeted, systematic and non-targeted analyses. Non-targeted analyses are required.
  • Include a workflow for non-targeted analyses that should posit and support, with the literature, appropriate prioritization strategies/tools and data processing methods. Different approaches to tackling the amounts of data gained from non-targeted analyses pose both challenges but opportunities to further refine emerging strategies for environmental analyses of this type.
  • Have a database, similar in structure and content to the GAMA program’s database, characterizing the nature and extent of the mixture of chemicals in California’s drinking water including their connection to breast cancer risk as one of the research deliverables.

Project duration and budget caps

CBCRP intends to fund up to one project.

  • Maximum Duration: 5 years
  • Budget cap for total project direct costs: $600,000