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University of California-Berkeley

Superfund Research Program

Translating Scientific Knowledge for Action to Protect Health and the Environment

Project Leader: Martyn T. Smith
Grant Number: P42ES004705
Funding Period: 2006-2022
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2011-2017)

The Research Translation Core (RTC) uses effective methods to translate scientific findings and knowledge to those who can take actions to improve public health and protect the environment. The RTC incorporates partnerships with government agencies and communication strategies for broad audiences.

Addressing the greater susceptibilities of infants and children to environmental exposures -Research by Berkeley SRP investigators and others demonstrates greater significance of exposures in early life to the development of disease. Incorporating consideration of critical life stages and susceptibilities into public policy is a critical need. The Core collaborates with other researchers, US EPA, Cal EPA, and stakeholders to identify critical interventions that arise from the research to date, to translate findings for risk assessment, and to contribute to stable links between groups to amplify impact.

Improving chemical testing and assessment methods - EPA Administrator Jackson has made chemical safety one of her priority areas. New findings and technologies could contribute to better methods to characterize hazards of chemicals at less cost, which would be valuable for assessment of existing Superfund sites and prevention of new ones. The RTC plans to partner with US EPA and Cal EPA to translate new findings in this context and inform our broad audiences through existing networks.

Reducing cumulative impacts of multiple stressors on communities - This is a key priority for US EPA and the Superfund program. Most policy interventions for environmental factors focus on single pollutants. The Core collaborates with individuals at US EPA Region 9, the Office of Research and Development and the Office of Environmental Justice to contribute to translation of research for methods to consider cumulative impacts of multiple stressors in decisions at the regional and national level.

Improving remediation for mercury - Mercury is a pervasive contaminant ranked third highest among those present at National Priority List sites. Remediation of mercury at Superfund sites is thus a high priority but has had limited successes due to some of the unique properties and technological challenges of mercury. The Core identifies ways to overcome these challenges.

The research strategy incorporates paths for technology transfer for each research project. Investigators from Projects also continue to participate in scientific advisory committees and expert panels and symposia organized by US EPA and other government agencies to transfer and translate scientific results.

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