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Your Environment. Your Health.

Analytical Advances

Superfund Research Program

The SRP was created as a multidisciplinary research program to address the broad, complex health and environmental issues that arise from the multimedia nature of hazardous waste sites. In meeting these objectives, SRP-funded research has led to analytical advances that have been used in risk assessments and to improve the understanding of toxicity and disease etiology. For example:

  • Bioassay for Dioxin and Dioxin-like Chemicals : SRP-funded researchers have developed, validated, and patented a cell bioassay system (CALUX®) for dioxins and dioxin-like chemicals in a wide variety of matrices that is sensitive, specific, quick, and inexpensive.
  • Development and Application of the "Gellyfish" : Dr. James Shine at the Harvard School of Public Health SRP has developed and tested the "Gellyfish" - a passive sampling device that can simultaneously determine the free metal ion concentration of multiple metals. This will greatly enhance our ability to estimate the potential fate and effects of heavy metals in the environment, allowing for assessment of their bioavailability and subsequent risks to human health.
  • Superfund researchers propose exposome paradigm: University of California-Berkeley SRP researchers Stephen Rappaport, Ph.D., and Martyn Smith, Ph.D., offer a fundamental proposal for changing the way epidemiologists measure environmental exposure.
  • Zebrafish developmental assays test the safety of new chemicals: A group of molecules developed to break down pollutants in water is one step closer to commercial use, thanks to developmental tests led by Robert Tanguay, Ph.D., of the Oregon State University (OSU) Superfund Research Program. Tanguay's study, using developing zebrafish embryos, showed that the molecules designed to remove hazardous substances from water, called TAML activators, are not harmful themselves.
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