Superfund Research Program
Exposures, Health Impacts, and Risk for Mine Waste Contamination
Center Director: Raina M. Maier
Grant Number: P42ES004940
Funding Period: 1990-2025
News Items List
Building trust, sharing data: grantee promotes participatory research
Environmental Factor - March 2022
During her Feb. 14 NIEHS Keystone Science Lecture, Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., shared the numerous ways she works with communities to integrate their priorities into environmental health sciences research. The University of Arizona SRP Center researcher directs Gardenroots and Project Harvest, which are citizen science initiatives that engage community members about the health of their soil, water, and plants.
Engaging Communities to Improve Well-being
SRP News Page - February 2022
Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona SRP Center, shared her experience engaging communities in science and her journey from SRP trainee to SRP researcher.
New Technique Yields Promising Results for Uranium Removal in the Field
Research Brief - February 2022
A technology developed by NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers may remove uranium and other heavy metals from groundwater near abandoned mines. Small business GlycoSurf, LLC worked with partners at the University of Arizona SRP Center to determine the best environmental conditions for effectively removing uranium from contaminated water.
2021 Papers of the Year: Plant Leaves Work as Reliable Air Monitor in Citizen-Science Study
Paper of the Month - January 2022
Working with citizen-scientists, University of Arizona SRP Center researchers demonstrated that leaves can be used as a low-cost, reliable method to assess the level of metals in airborne dust.
Plant leaves work as reliable air monitor in citizen-science study
Paper of the Month - January 2022
Working with citizen-scientists, NIEHS-funded researchers demonstrated that leaves can be used as a low-cost, reliable method to assess the level of metals in airborne dust. The method can help assess exposure from former mine sites that emit heavy metals that can be distributed by wind to nearby communities.
Community-engaged research addresses health concerns on tribal lands
SRP News Page - November 2021
Approximately 500,000 Native Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site. The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) has long supported community-engaged research with Native American communities to identify strategies to reduce exposures and protect their health. To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, this article recognizes how some SRP researchers address community concerns in Tribal lands.
Karletta Chief named director of new Indigenous Resilience Center
Environmental Factor - November 2021
NIEHS grantee integrates environmental health science and social science in outreach programs with Native American communities.
Helping Communities Monitor Air Pollution Using Plants
Research Brief - October 2021
An NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded 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. The study was led by University of Arizona SRP Center researcher Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D.
Scientific art competition showcases trainees' research, imagination
Environmental Factor - September 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced university laboratories to shut down or go remote, the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) created an opportunity for trainees to celebrate their research efforts and the stories behind them. Led by SRP Health Scientist Administrator Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., SRP hosted a scientific art competition for trainees.
Better risk communication can reduce harmful exposures, experts say
Environmental Factor - July 2021
NIEHS grantees, partners, and colleagues came together to discuss how they have engaged with local groups and communicated potential health risks to reduce exposures and improve health. Hosted by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) June 21-22, the online workshop drew more than 200 participants.
Water contamination on tribal lands focus of webinar series
Environmental Factor - August 2020
NIEHS-funded researchers study how Native Americans' exposure to arsenic, uranium, and other substances affects their health and well-being.
SRP Welcomes New and Returning Multiproject Centers
SRP News Page - April 2020
The SRP welcomes 11 new and returning multiproject Centers. SRP Centers consist of several projects and cores, designed to address research questions that contribute to the Center's overall research focus. These NIEHS-funded grants are the mainstay of the program, where transdisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers working in different fields tackle complex but targeted problems in environmental health.
Oral histories shed light on exposures near Superfund sites
Environmental Factor - March 2020
A new collection of oral histories from people who work and live near two Arizona Superfund sites was posted online in January. The community-driven Voices Unheard project captures video accounts, photos, and descriptions from communities near the Tucson International Airport Area and the Iron King Mine-Humboldt Smelter Superfund sites.
Supplements Expand SRP's Capacity for Data Sharing
SRP News Page - October 2019
The Superfund Research Program (SRP) awarded administrative supplements to its Multiproject Center (P42) and Individual Research (R01) grantees to expand data integration, interoperability, and reuse. The SRP encourages data sharing among its grantees to accelerate new discoveries, stimulate new collaborations, and increase scientific transparency and rigor.
SRP Research Highlighted at Drought Summit
SRP News Page - July 2019
Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., program administrator with the Superfund Research Program (SRP), presented drought-related research from SRP Centers during the National Drought & Public Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, June 17.
Ramirez-Andreotta Receives 2019 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science
SRP News Page - February 2019
Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of soil, water, and environmental science at the University of Arizona (UA), is the winner of the 2019 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Ramirez-Andreotta is the leader of the UA Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center Research Translation Core and Training Core.
Improving Site Characterization to Assess Contaminant Removal
SRP News Page - February 2018
A computational model can be used to measure how different factors influence the removal of groundwater contaminants at hazardous waste sites, according to a study from the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program Center. Researchers led by Mark Brusseau, Ph.D., developed the predictive model and found that their contaminant estimates from the model compared well to measurements taken at a Superfund site.
SRP Grantee Featured in Science Friday Video
SRP News Page - January 2018
Karletta Chief, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center was recently interviewed on Science Friday. Her interview coincided with the release of the sixth and final installment of a short video anthology, 'Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science,' which follows women working at the forefront of their fields.
Risk e-Learning Web Seminar Series on Analytical Tools and Methods a Big Success
SRP News Page - July 2017
In a spring 2017 three-part Risk e-Learning Web seminar series titled 'Analytical Tools and Methods,' the Superfund Research Program (SRP) highlighted groundbreaking chemical detection, measurement, and fate and transport modeling techniques developed by grantees. In total, this series attracted 1,209 live participants, 6,543 online archive views, 1,419 audio podcast downloads, and 14,596 video podcast downloads.
Arizona Emerging Contaminants Report Informed by UA SRP Researchers
SRP News Page - July 2017
University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program researchers Leif Abrell, Ph.D., and Mark Brusseau, Ph.D., contributed to a report on contaminants of emerging concern in Arizona's water supplies as part of the Advisory Panel on Emerging Contaminants (APEC).
UA SRP Center Communicates Findings at Community Forum
SRP News Page - June 2017
University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) Center Community Engagement Core Leader Karletta Chief, Ph.D., recently updated the impacted community about the Center's work in the aftermath of the 2015 Gold King Mine spill. Chief, along with collaborators from the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, spoke at the Shiprock Chapter House about the Center's progress over the last two years.
UA SRP Researcher Visits ATSDR
SRP News Page - October 2016
Eric Betterton, Ph.D., a project leader at the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) Center, traveled to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in Atlanta to provide information about his research and to foster collaborations between UA SRP and ATSDR. During a seminar on September 22, Betterton discussed his work developing tools to predict contaminant transport by dust and aerosols from mining operations.
UA SRP Grantee Receives NSF Grant to Initiate Citizen Science Project
SRP News Page - September 2016
Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., was recently awarded more than two million dollars by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance informal environmental health learning through a citizen science program.
Six promising Superfund trainees receive K.C. Donnelly awards
Environmental Factor - September 2016
Six promising NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees were awarded K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplements to fund their research at other institutions. The annual award, now in its sixth year, honors the memory of longtime SRP grantee and environmental health researcher Kirby (K.C.) Donnelly, Ph.D.
Bioavailability Fact Sheet Now Available
SRP News Page - August 2016
An educational fact sheet on bioavailability of arsenic and lead in soils at Superfund sites is available for use, thanks to a partnership between the University of Arizona (UA) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers.
Phytostablization of Mine Tailings with Compost-Assisted Direct Planting
Research Brief - July 2016
Amending mine waste with compost is a viable and promising alternative to the expensive process of covering an entire site with a thick soil or rock cap followed by seeding, according to research from the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) Center. A recent field study at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund site showed that adding amendments and seeds led to establishment of native plants and sustained growth on mine tailings over 4 years.
UA SRP Talks Mining Reclamation on Capitol Hill
SRP News Page - June 2016
Raina Maier, Ph.D., University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) director, was invited to speak at the Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) session of the 2016 Capitol Hill Policy Briefing Series.
SRP researchers quickly inform communities near Colorado mine spill
Environmental Factor - October 2015
Following the Aug. 5 Gold King Mine spill of about three million gallons of mineral-polluted water into a tributary of the Animas River in Colorado, researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program (SRP) moved quickly to inform affected communities about potential health and environmental risks.
UA SRP Responds Quickly to Inform Communities near Colorado Mine Spill
SRP News Page - August 2015
Because of their expertise in human and environmental risks associated with mining of metals, University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers weighed in on the recent Gold King Mine Spill, which spilled approximately three million gallons of polluted mine waste water into a tributary of the Animas Rive in Colorado.
Using Lead Isotopes to Identify Sources of Metal and Metalloid Contaminants
Research Brief - May 2015
By sampling wind-blown dust and aerosol, researchers from the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) have measured airborne metal and metalloid contaminant dispersion patterns from mining operations.
Wetterhahn winner uses native plants to stabilize arsenic in mine waste
Environmental Factor - April 2015
University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program (SRP) graduate student Corin Hammond and an interdisciplinary group of scientists are experimenting with using native plants as an easy, cost effective, and sustainable method of stabilizing arsenic in mine waste.
UA SRP Forms Collaboration with Bolivian Mining Group
SRP News Page - March 2015
To establish a collaboration focused on best mining practices, a group from Summit Mining and the San Cristobal Mine in Potos , Bolivia, visited the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) in March 2015.
If Cells Could Talk, What Would They Tell Us About Environmental Exposures?
SRP News Page - September 2014
In a two-part web-based seminar, researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) and the University of California (UC) Davis Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers described how they use cell methods to study exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment, including dioxin-like compounds and nanoparticles.
Translating research into products to improve public health
Environmental Factor - June 2014
What do a new eco-friendly cleanup chemical, a mercury-sensing device, and pathogen-detection technology have in common? They are all products of small business startups spun out of NIEHS-funded basic research, recognized for innovation.
Workshop advances arsenic research and prevention
Environmental Factor - April 2014
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) hosted a meeting March 3-4 that gave scientists across a range of disciplines a venue for laying the foundation for the next generation of arsenic research.