Environmental health problems are complex, crossing boundaries among scientific disciplines.
These problems, and their solutions, are complicated further by changing environmental conditions, such as rising temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events. All these conditions can influence the movement, bioavailability, and toxicity of hazardous substances, as well as how people are exposed to them, and to how much.
As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health – especially for vulnerable communities disproportionately exposed to harmful contaminants in the places where they live, work, learn, and play – will grow, exacerbating existing health threats and creating new public health challenges.
Addressing multifaceted problems requires multidisciplinary collaboration, advances in data science, and community engagement, all hallmarks of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP).
SRP researchers from diverse fields work together and with state and local agencies, tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and vulnerable communities to address specific questions as part of a larger system. They integrate diverse fields of research to understand and prevent environmentally-influenced human disease and leverage existing research infrastructure and partner networks. As a result, SRP-funded scientists are better positioned to address the effects of climate change and other emerging challenges.
This edition’s feature highlights SRP solution-oriented research and development of tools for affected communities to make health-protective decisions and be more resilient in the face of climate change.
William A. Suk, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Superfund Research Program