Industry News: National Swimming Pool Foundation Awards Six Research Grants Totaling $415,282 — March 24, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, March 24. RECENTLY, despite difficult economic times, the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) board of directors awarded six grants totaling $415,282 to continue efforts to study the health benefits unique to aquatic exercise and immersion in hot/warm water, and to reduce injury and disease in and around the water. Research results will be reported by grant recipients at the 2009 World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) October 28-30 in Atlanta, Georgia. “Research helps spur long-term growth. Providing these grants is our version of an economic stimulus package – without taking on debt,” remarks Bill Kent, Chairman NSPF Grant Review Committee.
Four health benefit grants worth $350,282 were awarded to Utah State University, University of South Carolina, West Virginia University, and Washington State University – National Aquatic and Sports Medicine Institute. Two injury prevention grants worth $65,000 were awarded to Purdue University and University of North Carolina – Charlotte. These grants will help to sustain ongoing research supported by NSPF in recent years.
Bruce Becker, M.D., Washington State University, National Aquatic and Sports Medicine Institute (NASMI), was awarded a grant of $200,000 based on the NSPF 5-year commitment to help establish a world-renowned health benefit research center. This grant will support efforts to continue to understand hot water immersion, and also study the aquatic exercise effects on subjects with asthma. Dr. Becker reported on his second year hot tub immersion study findings at the 2008 WAHC, which can be viewed online at http://www.eProAcademy.org.
Stephen N. Blair, P.E.D., University of South Carolina, was awarded a grant of $91,323. Dr. Blair reported on the first year results of the health benefits of swimming and mortality at the 2008 WAHC with compelling findings relative to men and lower all-cause mortality risk. This new grant will continue the research and study effects of swimming on disease and injury. Dr. Blair’s research analyzes data from over 75,000 individuals completed from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, following them over a span of more than 32 years.
William Hornsby, Ph.D., West Virginia University, was awarded a grant of $38,824 to continue his study of the psychological and physiological effects of land versus water-based exercise with patients who have Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus. Exercise and diet are the key recommendations on the control and prevention of Type-2 Diabetes. Almost all studies focus on land-based exercise programs. Since most diabetes patients are obese, water exercise is ideal to reduce joint stress. Dr. Hornsby’s report of first year results was given at the 2008 WAHC and the video is available at http://www.eproacademy.org.
Dennis Dolny, Ph.D. and Eadric Bressel, Ph.D., Utah State University, were awarded a grant of $36,458 to examine the acute biomechanical, physiological, and psychological responses of people with osteoarthritis (OA). The study will use matched controls while walking on land, compared to walking in chest deep water on an underwater treadmill. This is the first study to compare subjects with and without OA walking at various speeds on land and on an underwater treadmill. With the fundamental solutions, the desire is to establish guidelines for creating a template for OA individuals to use when they participate in water walking programs. This study is an extension of Dr. Dolny’s work previously presented at the 2008 WAHC which can be viewed at http://www.eproacademy.org.
James Amburgey, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC), was awarded a grant of $45,000 to continue his work on filtration research to remove crypto from pool water and reduce the risk of disease transmission. In addition, NSPF will manage and administer an industrial research grant, which may exceed $200,000, raised through industry donations to pursue this next phase. The goal of the research is to give manufacturers, regulators, operators, and pool designers a better understanding of the capabilities of multiple types of filters to remove oocysts in the swimming pool environment with or without clarifier addition. They will be able to develop better product label instructions, standard operating procedures, and remediation strategies to reduce the risk of waterborne disease outbreaks, thereby protecting public health and increasing participation in aquatic activities. Interested parties may still make donations to NSPF to fund this research.
Ernest Blatchley III, Ph.D., Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, was awarded a grant of $20,000 to extend his research on the treatment methods for removal of volatile disinfection by-products from swimming pool water. Researchers look to address some of the important knowledge gaps that exist relative to UV and chlorine applications in recreational water. The research focuses on chemical and photochemical reactions that form and destroy disinfection by-products. NSPF contributed matching funding in 2006 so that a portable device (mass spectrometer) could be purchased. In 2007/2008, the NSPF grant funded the testing of air in indoor aquatic facilities to verify the laboratory experiments. Work continues to help reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals and to improve indoor air quality
Over the past 5 years, the board of directors of the National Swimming Pool Foundation has given back over 3.5 million dollars to fund research. “Our investment is creating growth opportunities to the watchful industry members,” says Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO of NSPF. “Organizations who find ways to reduce illness, injury, chemical exposure and drowning are prospering in these difficult times.” Lachocki observes, “They are also creating a safer industry that will be positioned to prosper as our economy rebounds. Research results are revealing the path forward to those who are paying attention.”
The National Swimming Pool Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public health worldwide and is the leading educator of aquatic facility operators and the chief philanthropic research sponsor in the aquatics field. NSPF works towards its mission to encourage healthier living through aquatic education and research with its collection of multi-lingual educational products and training, and sponsors the annual World Aquatic Health Conference. Visit http://www.nspf.org and http://www.eproacademy.org.