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Your Environment. Your Health.

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 webpage.

Key Characteristics Inform Risk Assessment 

Key Characteristics of Human Carcinogens

 NIEHS-funded University of California, Berkeley Superfund Research Program Center (UC Berkeley SRP Center) researchers and collaborators developed a new approach to help risk assessors predict the toxicity of chemicals based on shared characteristics. The approach allows for identification of the events, or key characteristics, that are shared by chemicals with similar toxic effects.


Low Cost Technology Cleans Up Contaminated Sites 

River

An innovative technology, developed with funding from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), successfully delivers amendments that immobilize and degrade polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic environments. The technology has proven effective in the field and resulted in millions of dollars in estimated cost savings at cleanup sites.

Killifish Hint at Genetic Basis for Human Toxicant Susceptibility

Killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus)

Killifish populations have adapted to survive and reproduce in polluted waters. Researchers have studied the evolutionary and genetic basis for this adaptation, discovering that it comes with a cost. For more than two decades, the Duke University and Boston University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers have used these 2-3 inch long fish to understand the toxicity, mechanisms, and health effects of two groups of hazardous contaminants.

From Water Treatment Research to Edible Clays that Reduce Harmful Exposures in People and Animals

Sara Hearon, Timothy Phillips, and Meichen Wang

Researchers at the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed a therapeutic sorbent technology that can bind to hazardous chemicals in the body after exposure, reducing their uptake and bioavailability. Built on decades of research, these broad-acting enterosorbent materials can be added to food or water and ingested by humans and animals to reduce harmful contaminant exposures following natural disasters, chemical spills, and other emergencies.

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