As many of you know, Bill Suk was selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright award to increase environmental health capacity in South and Southeast Asia. In his absence, I am serving as the Chief of the Hazardous Substances Research Branch and Director of the Superfund Research Program (SRP) until his return in June. In my "full time" role at NIEHS as Chief of the Exposure, Response, and Technology Branch and program lead for NIEHS efforts on exposure biology and the exposome, my primary focus has been on shaping efforts to enable innovative approaches to improving exposure and risk assessment. As a result, my interests and focus overlap significantly with the SRP, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to strengthen the connection between the two branches and our programs.
Welcome to the Superfund Basic Research and Training Program (SRP) Science Digest!
Below you'll find a compilation of SRP research, which provides practical, scientific solutions to protect health, the environment, and communities. For more information about the program, visit the SRP website.
You also can view past issues of the Science Digest.
The combined effects of contaminants from air, water, and food, as well as chemicals produced by the body, complicate efforts to find links between chemical exposures and disease. Because of this complexity, environmental health researchers are investigating the exposome, or the totality of exposures of an individual from conception onward.
University of Arizona SRP Center researcher Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona (UA), received the 2019 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Ramirez-Andreotta, who studies soil and food quality, was recognized for involving communities most affected by pollution, poor water quality, and food insecurity in the scientific process.
Hot Off the Press
Researchers from the University of Iowa SRP Center have developed a method to measure the movement, or flux, of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from water to air using air and water passive sampling devices. Measuring the flux of PCBs is important for understanding their movement from the dissolved phase in water to a gaseous phase in the air, but this has been a challenge with traditional approaches. The team demonstrated that simple and cost-effective passive samplers could be used to overcome this challenge.
Damian Shea, Ph.D., has invented a novel, patent-pending concept for fabricating a mixed-phase polymer passive sampling device as part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center. The device, known as the Composite Integrative Passive Sampler (CIPS), measures chronic exposure to and bioavailability of chemicals and their metabolites. Shea also has created a new start-up company, Statera Environmental, Inc., to develop, market, and distribute this technology.