Heavy Metal Contamination in United States Army Reserve Command Facilities Hacking for Defense SPring 2021

What is Hacking for Defense?

Designed by Stanford University, Hacking for Defense is an educational program created to help solve real-world problems in the defense community. The course includes students from various majors who work as a team, conducting extensive research and interviews to develop solutions to these problems. James Madison University is the first to offer this class to undergraduate students.

Our Task

Sponsored by the United States Army Reserve, our team was tasked to quantify and catalog facilities contaminated with heavy metals in order to provide appropriate safety guidance and mitigation measures.

Meet the Team

Tripp Uroskie is graduating in May 2021 with a Business Management major and a minor in Global Supply Chain Management.
Emma Carr is graduating in May 2021 with a major in International Business and a minor in Global Supply Chain Management.
Emma Thatcher is graduating in May 2021 with a major in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communications
Collin Cowdrey is graduating in May 2022 with a major in International Affairs.
Michael Ferris is graduating in December 2021 with a major in International Affairs.

Overview: The US Army Reserve consists of approximately 200,000 soldiers and Army Civilian employees across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Pacific and European Theaters.

Situation: USARC Safety Department identified 746 buildings with some level of heavy metal contamination. They also discovered that 224 locations are potentially generating heavy metals such as Lead, Hexavalent Chromium, and Cadmium.

Our Proposed Solution

The map above displays data of contaminated facilities in the 63rd Readiness Division of the Army Reserve.

Quantify and track the contamination across facilities to mitigate exposure to soldiers and civilians.

Our goal is to prevent service members and their families from being exposed to heavy metals. We hope to produce an efficient way of understanding where clean-up is most needed. We decided to use ESRI's ArcGIS software to display and analyze our data. The ArcGIS Map will give safety teams a visual of the situation and allow them to allocate resources accordingly. ArcGIS is a powerful tool for understanding environmental concerns and nearby populations. It should be easy to implement because the USARC is familiar with the software.

Using ESRI's ArcGIS software, we plan on geographically displaying the data of the contaminated facilities.

The Metals

Lead: a common metal that is found in bullets, which can be released as a residue in the smoke of a fired gun. Lead enters the body through ingestion as well as inhalation of fumes. Once in the body, it can cause kidney issues, high blood pressure, and neurological issues that can impair brain functioning. For more information: https://www.osha.gov/lead

Cadmium: is used as a plastic stabilizer, it is found in nicad batteries, but it is usually released from use as a pigment. It is a fine powder that is carried through the air and the main concern is breathing it in as dust. The health consequences associated with long-term exposure to this heavy metal include kidney, bone, and lung disease. Acute exposure can cause lung damage and flu-like symptoms. For more information: https://www.osha.gov/cadmium

Hexavalent Chromium (Cr^6): a metal that can be released through manufacturing processes such as welding and chromate painting. It's carried through the air and can settle on surfaces. Ingestion can increase the risk of cancer and cause organ damage in the kidneys, lungs, and eyes. For more information: https://www.osha.gov/hexavalent-chromium

Timeline of Our Project