Superfund Research Program

This SRP Progress in Research webinar series highlighted promising research from SRP Centers awarded grants in 2017. These awards were made as part of the Multiproject Center Grant (P42) solicitation - RFA-ES-15-019. In each session, awardees will describe their research projects, accomplishments, and next steps.

Session I – Duke University and University of Arizona
August 23, 2018 • 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT
To view the archive, visit EPA's CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

The Duke University SRP Center focused on early, low-dose exposures to toxicants and developmental impacts, which are usually evident only later in life. They conducted research to characterize these outcomes following exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organophosphate pesticides and flame retardants, halogenated phenolic compounds, and some metals. They also investigated mechanisms and approaches to remove these chemicals from the environment.

The University of Arizona SRP Center explored the human and environmental risks associated with arsenic and mine waste in the U.S. Southwest. Center scientists collaborated to explore how mine waste spreads in air and water, understand the human health consequences of mine dust inhalation, and develop remediation strategies related to metal mining contaminants in arid environments.

Session II – University of Louisville, University of New Mexico, and University of Washington
September 4, 2018 • 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT
To view the archive, visit EPA's CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

The University of Louisville SRP Center studied the cardiometabolic effects of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that are of high relevance to human health. Center researchers conducted studies to unravel critical pathways of toxicity of VOCs found at Superfund and related sites. Center researchers also were creating new technologies to detect VOCs at low levels in air to enable future exposure assessment activities.

The University of New Mexico's Metals Exposure and Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands in the Southwest SRP Center (UNM METALS) focused on risk reduction for Native Americans exposed to hazardous metals mixtures from abandoned uranium mine waste. UNM METALS emphasized site-specific physical, mineralogic, and biogeochemical properties of the waste that alter immune function and DNA repair in tribal populations. They also were developing and testing novel cost-effective metals immobilization and removal strategies to reduce exposure risks in ways compatible with tribal culture.

The University of Washington SRP Center was investigating the mechanisms and ramifications of metal neurotoxicity in humans and aquatic species. They were developing biological markers predictive of exposure, neurotoxic injury, and genetic determinants that underlie susceptibility to cadmium and manganese. They also were exploring the biogeochemical factors that govern the fate of metals, such as arsenic, in the environment.

Session III – Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Rhode Island
September 10, 2018 • 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT
To view the archive, visit EPA's CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

The Columbia University SRP Center conducted research that aims to understand and reduce arsenic exposure and toxicity in humans exposed to arsenic in the U.S. and Bangladesh. The projects focused on exposure to arsenic, including from private well water, potential health effects of exposure, and ways to optimize and implement remediation methods to remove arsenic from groundwater.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology SRP Center brought engineering and scientific innovation to bear on issues related to hazardous substances relevant to people in Maine and Massachusetts. Their research focused on two pervasive contaminants, N-nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and centers on development and application of novel technologies to detect and map contaminants and to reveal their biological effects.

The University of Rhode Island Sources, Transport, Exposure, and Effects of PFASs (STEEP) SRP Center was addressing the emerging and expanding problem of poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substance (PFAS) contamination. STEEP aimed to better understand the pathways of PFAS contamination in groundwater and the effects and exposure pathways to vulnerable human populations and rodent models during early development. They also were supporting the development and deployment of passive sampling techniques for PFAS and their precursors in water and air.

Session IV – Boston University, Texas A&M University, and University of California, Davis
October 1, 2018 • 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT
To view the archive, visit EPA's CLU-IN Training & Events webpage.

The Boston University SRP Center explored the long-term impacts of early life exposure to Superfund chemicals in humans and wildlife. Their work focused on contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls and tetrachloroethylene, found in and around the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site and in the drinking water of nearby communities.

The Texas A&M University SRP Center focused on developing comprehensive tools and models for addressing exposure to mixtures during emergency-related environmental contamination events. Through projects derived from a case study of the Galveston Bay area, the researchers were evaluating the complexities of hazardous chemical exposures, potential adverse health impacts, and potential hazards of exposures to complex mixtures.

The University of California, Davis SRP Center used integrated chromatographic, biosensor, and cell-based technologies to detect and identify contaminants and develop innovative approaches for bioremediation. The Center was expanding the use of transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and integrated bioinformatics technologies to discover new mechanisms of action of hazardous materials and biological markers for their action and to connect hazardous substance exposures to organism-level effects.