Superfund Research Program

November 2023

Wang and PhillipsPrincipal investigator Tim Phillips, Ph.D., left, and postdoctoral fellow Meichen Wang, Ph.D., right, of the Texas A&M SRP Center, have researched a variety of sorbents to learn which may offer the best protection. (Photo courtesy of Tim Phillips)

Texas A&M University scientists developed a skin cream that may protect people from contaminants in floodwaters, such as benzene, toluene, and xylene. The cream, which forms a barrier between human skin and contaminants, is the culmination of several studies, partially funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), which have explored materials that can adsorb and immobilize toxicants to reduce human exposures.

A mixture of benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) is used in oil refining and gasoline formulation. Exposure to these chemicals can harm the nervous system and has been linked to some cancers, including childhood leukemia.

To learn more, see the NIEHS Environmental Factor Newsletter.