Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., program administrator with the Superfund Research Program (SRP), presented drought-related research from SRP Centers during the National Drought & Public Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, June 17.
She highlighted the drought focused work from SRP Centers, including:
- The University of Arizona SRP Center studies phytostabilization, a method that uses drought-resistant plants to capture and store wind-blown toxic dust. The researchers found that compost enhances plant growth, stabilizing arsenic and lead in dust.
- At the University of New Mexico SRP Center, researchers study how uranium and vanadium combine with dust at abandoned mining sites and travels through the environment to neighboring communities.
- A new technology developed by researchers at University of California at Berkeley SRP Center uses manganese-coated sand to remove pollutants from stormwater before it enters groundwater.
- A collaboration between Darmouth College SRP Center and University of California at San Diego SRP Center identified protein transporters that help plants resist toxic metals and increase drought tolerance.
- University of California at Davis SRP Center researchers analyzed ash samples in the aftermath of the 2017 Northern California Firestorm to identify compounds that may pose risk to human health.
- Texas A&M University SRP Center researchers test for contaminants in water, air, and soil following natural or man-made water disasters, including hurricanes and floods.
The summit sought to bring attention to droughts and their effects on public health among government, tribal, non-profit, and academic participants. By learning about these projects, meeting participants may be better able to deal with health hazards associated with droughts.
Carlin also explained the SRP mission and how SRP-funded Centers work with communities of semi-arid and arid regions to improve long-term health outcomes.