Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
Project Summary (2017-2021)
This Research Translation Core (RTC) provides the means for the Columbia University Superfund Research Program (CU SRP) Center to maximize the impact of the Center’s activities and foster innovation while conducting cutting-edge research on the health effects and geochemistry of arsenic.
To address exposure to arsenic from natural and man-made sources, the RTC builds upon the bi-directional interactions between the CU SRP Center and several governmental agencies responsible for minimizing public exposure to toxic substances via drinking water, primarily from groundwater sources, and dietary sources such as rice.
The RTC reports on and facilitates the Center’s investigator-initiated research translation activities in Bangladesh and the United States, including:
- Its work on Superfund sites to develop enhanced remediation approaches
- Translating findings of low-dose arsenic health effects and nutrition and arsenic interactions
- Working with government and non-governmental organizations to promote the use of deep community wells in Bangladesh that are low in arsenic
The RTC engages their Center’s trainees in RTC activities including outreach to medical providers serving pregnant women and young children to promote testing and treatment of private wells. The Center’s monthly seminars/webinars are broadcast online, extending their impact to participants who are unable to attend the events in person.
The RTC partners with the Community Engagement Core and with state and local government agencies in New Jersey, Maine, and Minnesota to develop and share toolkits to promote private well testing and arsenic treatment. They focus on areas with high proportions of private wells and high arsenic incidence. Furthermore, the RTC reaches out to other state and local government agencies where there are significant arsenic issues to share toolkits developed via previous CU SRP Center partnerships.
The RTC maintains bi-directional communication with staff at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and other government agencies focused on developing and sharing geospatial tools and data. The RTC also updates its unique tool, the "NPL Superfund Footprint: Site, Population, and Environmental Characteristics Mapper."