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.
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.
As the climate continues to change, existing health threats may worsen while new public health challenges emerge. A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists reported that more than 800 hazardous Superfund sites near the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of flooding in the next 20 years, even with low rates of sea level rise. According to the study, these sites often exist near communities of color and those with lower incomes, who are likely to be disproportionately affected as climate change puts Superfund sites at risk.
SRP Health Specialist Sara Amolegbe, M.S.P.H., hosted the SRP Risk Communication Strategies to Reduce Exposures and Improve Health Risk E-Learning Webinar Series. NIEHS grantees, partners, and colleagues shared how they have engaged with local groups and communicated potential health risks to reduce exposures and improve health. There were hundreds of participants at each session and online archives are now available for viewing.
Hot Off the Press
A University of Arizona SRP study revealed that certain plants can be used to effectively monitor metals and other pollutants in air. Community members collected environmental data used in the study as part of the Gardenroots project, which involves residents in research activities to evaluate human and environmental health effects near former and operating mining sites in Arizona.
Researchers at the University of California (UC), Riverside and UC Los Angeles are exploring how nanomaterials powered by solar electricity can accelerate the activity of bacteria used to clean up halogenated contaminants such as chlorinated solvents, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and 1,4-dioxane in groundwater.