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Your Environment. Your Health.

News Items: University of Iowa

Superfund Research Program

Airborne PCBs: Sources, Exposures, Toxicities, Remediation

Center Director: Keri C. Hornbuckle
Grant Number: P42ES013661
Funding Period: 2006-2025
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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News Items List

  • Exposure to PCB Mixture Mimicking School Air Linked to Range of Health Effects
    Paper of the Month - April 2022
    Long-term exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixtures in school air may affect the nervous and immune systems, according to an NIEHS-funded study in rats. According to the authors, results indicate that this exposure level, 45.5 micrograms per cubic meter, may be close to the lowest dose in which airborne PCB exposure induces adverse health effects.
  • Leveraging Unused Samples to Predict Metal Exposures
    Paper of the Month - March 2022
    NIEHS-funded researchers at the University of Iowa SRP Center demonstrated a robust approach for predicting exposure to arsenic and manganese using a commonly stored but often unused biological sample. As an alternative to using whole blood, their method used only the clotted erythrocyte fraction to track metal exposures.
  • Exposure to Airborne PCBs an Ongoing Challenge, Expert Says
    Environmental Factor - March 2022
    Approaches for studying airborne exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, and helping communities reduce such exposure, were discussed by University of Iowa Superfund Research Program Director Keri Hornbuckle, Ph.D., during her February 4 Keystone Science Lecture.
  • Health Policy Changes in Germany Informed by Trainee Research
    Environmental Factor - November 2021
    Germany now requires stricter controls for manufacturers using a chemical called 2,4-dichlorobenzoyl peroxide after polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discovered in fumes from a sealant used on kitchen cabinets. This connection was reported by the University of Iowa SRP Center. Exposure to PCBs has been linked to a range of health problems, including metabolic and neurological diseases and cancer.
  • Trainees Get Creative During the Pandemic
    SRP News Page - July 2021
    When in-person events, classes, and research activities were put on hold due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded trainees got creative and identified unique opportunities to pursue safely during the pandemic. With support from their mentors, SRP trainees gained experience across multiple scientific fields, conducted research in a collaborative environment, and engaged with diverse stakeholders and community members.
  • New Approach Links Cell Studies to Human Health
    SRP News Page - September 2020
    A new NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded study demonstrated a strategy using data from cell studies to characterize how exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may harm human health, particularly the cardiovascular system. PCBs are a large and complex group of chemicals that often occur in mixtures and can contaminate soil, groundwater, and air.
  • 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.
  • Jerry Schnoor Receives 2019 ACS Award for Innovative Plant-Based Cleanup Advances
    SRP News Page - May 2019
    Jerry Schnoor, Ph.D., a University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center project leader, received the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology during the ACS Spring 2019 National Meeting, held March 31 - April 4 in Orlando, Florida.
  • Passive Samplers Tackle PCB Flux
    Research Brief - March 2019
    Researchers from the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center have developed a method to measure the movement, or flux, of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from water to air using passive sampling devices.
  • Kitchen cabinets emit potentially harmful PCBs
    Paper of the Month - June 2018
    NIEHS grantees discovered that finished cabinetry is a predominant and previously unknown source of airborne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in residential homes.
  • Iowa SRP Center Model Enables Accurate Air Pollutant Measurements
    SRP News Page - March 2018
    The University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (SRP) released a Web-based application to help researchers and regulators more accurately determine pollutant concentrations in air using passive air samplers. The application is designed to predict the sampling rates and volumes captured by passive air samplers equipped with polyurethane foam (PUF-PAS), which are frequently used to capture and measure airborne persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
  • Airborne PCBs in urban and rural U.S. schools
    Paper of the Month - August 2017
    An NIEHS-funded study showed that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are present in older schools and that the likely source is outdated building materials, including window caulking and light ballasts. The multi-year study is one of the largest to examine airborne PCBs in schools.
  • 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.
  • SRP Researchers Shine at American Chemical Society Meeting
    SRP News Page - May 2017
    Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees from all over the country gathered for the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San Francisco this April. Presentations and posters by SRP grantees highlighted innovative SRP-funded research including technologies to detect and remediate potentially harmful chemicals in the environment.
  • Switchgrass and Bacteria Work Together to Remove PCBs from Soil
    Research Brief - April 2015
    Researchers at the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (Iowa SRP) Center have found that switchgrass, a plant native to central North America, can effectively remove polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from contaminated soil.
  • Understanding the Movement of Inhaled PCBs in the Body
    Research Brief - April 2014
    Researchers at the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (Iowa SRP) have found that a form of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), known as PCB11, is completely absorbed and then rapidly eliminated from the body when inhaled.
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