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Texas A&M University

Superfund Research Program

Procedures to Assess the Hazards of a Superfund Site

Center Director: Stephen H. Safe
Grant Number: P42ES004917
Funding Period: 1989-2008

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Summary (2005-2008)

The proposed Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP) at Texas A&M University utilizes an integrated research model to investigate the potential adverse ecological and human health effects of Superfund chemicals and mixtures to improve the risk assessment paradigm. The major objective of the program is to conduct fundamental research to reduce the uncertainty associated with risk assessment of complex mixtures, and to improve scientific and public confidence in the overall risk assessment process. Program investigators hypothesize that adverse environmental and human health effects resulting from exposure to Superfund-related chemical mixtures are multi-factorial and associated with interactions of individual chemicals and their disposition, as well as exposure of target biological receptors and their genetic sensitivities. The studies include three mechanism-based research projects focused on Superfund toxicants that act through endocrine disruption, genotoxicity and cellular injury. Project 4 investigates genetic susceptibility and predisposition to chemical-induced birth defects. The development of novel methods for remediation of contaminated media is being carried out in Project 5. Human and ecosystem exposure and risk assessment studies are being investigated in Project 6. Project 7 investigates gene-environment interactions affecting the risk of birth defects. Research in the seven individual projects is supported by the Image Analysis, Analytical, Field Studies, Administrative, and Training Cores. The program also includes a Research Translation Core that expands ongoing collaborations with Regional Site Managers at the United States Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate incorporation of biological test protocols into risk assessment at Superfund sites. An Outreach Core communicates research results to community groups and students

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