This July, I returned from a six-month fellowship in Thailand, where I focused on building capacity in children's environmental health (CEH). Through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, I was a lecturer in international and public health at Mahidol University and the Chulabhorn Research Institute in Bangkok. I also worked with faculty to develop CEH research and training programs and to set up a mentoring program connecting students with potential resources and experienced researchers.
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.
Children and infants are particularly vulnerable to pollution and other environmental factors that may cause serious health problems. The Superfund Research Program (SRP) funds a range of research grantees to determine how children are exposed to environmental contaminants and what makes them uniquely vulnerable to their effects. Examples summarized here show how the SRP has been at the forefront of children's environmental health research, which has led to new programs and initiatives to protect children's health.
SRP Health Scientist Administrator Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., helped organize and chaired a scientific session at the 16th International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects, held July 10 – 12 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She also moderated a roundtable session focused on translating research on combustion by-products and engaging communities. The meeting fostered interactions between diverse groups of scientists and policy makers focused on the formation, movement, health effects, and clean-up of combustion by-products.
Hot Off the Press
A sediment passive sampling model can be used to accurately predict the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in butter clams, according to an SRP study. In Puget Sound, PAHs are found in the sediment where butter clams are harvested. Butter clams are an important food source and component of cultural practices for local tribes, but PAHs can accumulate in the edible portion, posing a health risk to the communities who rely on them. The research team worked closely with tribal leaders to better predict PAH levels in butter clams while having a minimal impact on this important resource.
The Northeastern University Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) SRP Center and its partners at the Silent Spring Institute developed a mobile app to report individual research results back to study participants. The app was designed specifically for PROTECT and was adapted from the Silent Spring Institute's computer-based Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface (DERBI). App developers incorporated suggestions from PROTECT's Community Advisory Committee and Stakeholder Committee, which is composed of PROTECT participants. The DERBI app is available to study participants in both English and Spanish.