Public Health Impacts
Superfund Research Program
One of the primary goals of SRP-funded research is to improve public health. Thus, the Program supports a wide range of research to address the broad public health concerns arising from the release of hazardous substances into the environment. The intent is to provide sound science to those making public policy, regulatory, and risk reduction decisions. SRP-funded research has been successful in this area as studies have improved our understanding of the health effects associated with exposures to environmental contaminants. The following stories provide information on public health impacts. They are merely highlights and represent the breadth of work SRP researchers undertake. To see older stories, visit our archives page.
Generations of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons appear to lead to adaptation in killifish, accompanied by higher mortality rates, according to a study out of Duke University. Published in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology, the findings from a Duke Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center study led by Richard Di Giulio, Ph.D. shed light on the evolution of resistance to environmental chemicals and the environmental effects and associated costs of chronic exposure in killifish.
Following the August 5 Gold King Mine spill of about three million gallons of mineral-polluted water into a tributary of the Animas River in Colorado, researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program (SRP) moved quickly to inform affected communities about potential health and environmental risks.
Caitlin Howe is a doctoral student under the guidance of Columbia University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center researcher Mary Gamble, Ph.D. She is working to understand better how one-carbon metabolism, a biochemical pathway with many nutritional influences, affects arsenic toxicity through two potential mechanisms: (1) facilitating arsenic metabolism and (2) protecting against arsenic-induced epigenetic dysregulation.