yanna lambrinidou

YL2Yanna Lambrinidou, PhD is a medical ethnographer, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Science and Technology Studies (STS) program at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) Falls Church campus, and founder of the non-profit children’s environmental health organization Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives. Yanna’s work focuses on intersections in our cultural fabric where engineers, scientists, and members of affected publics meet and negotiate questions of knowledge, power, and representation, as well as appropriate applications of officially-sanctioned technical expertise.

Since 2007, Yanna has conducted investigative, ethnographic, and public policy research on lead in drinking water in Washington, DC and nationally, including lead in water in US schools. This work has highlighted holes in existing mechanisms for public health protection, and helped expose wrongdoing on the part of engineers and scientists in local and federal government agencies. Yanna’s educational blog about the DC lead-in-water crisis of 2001-2004 played a catalytic role in triggering the systemic changes that eventually took place in the leadership and culture of DC Water, Washington, DC’s public water utility.

As a member of the Education and Communication workgroup of the CDC/ATSDR National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures, Yanna spearheaded the recommendation for multi-directional learning between government, industry, and affected communities, as well as civic empowerment and capacity building surrounding matters of environmental health. Through work she conducted under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant, she brought community voices into national policy deliberations about deficiencies in the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) — the law that aims to protect consumers from lead and copper in drinking water. Her participation in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) LCR workgroup, which was convened in 2014-2015 to issue recommendations for revisions to the LCR, resulted in the group’s sole dissenting opinion.

Yanna co-founded “Engineering Ethics and the Public” with Marc Edwards. She is co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) on this grant.

Yanna can be reached at yanna@vt.edu or pnalternatives@yahoo.com.

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