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Brown University

Superfund Research Program

Reuse in RI: A State-Based Approach To Complex Exposures

Center Director: Kim Boekelheide
Grant Number: P42ES013660
Funding Period: 2005-2021

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Summary (2005-2009)

This Superfund Basic Research and Training Program--Reuse in RI: A State-Based Approach To Complex Exposures--embodies three inter-related thematic components:

  1. land reuse in Rhode Island,
  2. a state-based approach, and
  3. complex exposures.

Rhode Island is small, densely populated, and burdened by a long history of industrial activity. In this setting, there are relatively few barriers to academics, government leaders, and community members working together in an effective fashion to develop a unique state-oriented, interdisciplinary approach to land rehabilitation and reuse. This cooperative academic-government-community effort will address basic and translational research issues, management decisions, and communication barriers associated with the complex mixtures and co-exposures inherent to hazardous waste sites. The research effort addresses theoretical and practical aspects of disease mechanisms and potential biomarkers associated with co-exposures (4 Biomedical Projects) and the identification, characterization, separation, and remediation of complex mixtures (3 Engineering Projects). These Projects are supported by an Analytical Core, a Molecular Pathology Core, and a Training Core. The Research Translation Core, in cooperation with a Community Outreach Core, will facilitate the flow of knowledge and information among the participating academics, government leaders, and community members in a true university-state-community partnership. The Administrative Core provides the infrastructure to promote communication, critical self-evaluation, and resource management. This program provides Rhode Islanders with a responsive center of technical excellence that takes a research-oriented approach to resolving the complex scientific, engineering, and societal issues that arise when considering the reuse of hazardous waste sites, by focusing on the following specific objectives:

  • Identify and resolve key scientific and technological issues related to chemical and physical interactions of complex mixtures at reuse sites
  • Understand basic mechanisms of toxicant-induced disease involving co-exposures
  • Effectively communicate the potential health hazards and guide the development of plans for the appropriate remediation and reuse of contaminated sites
  • Provide expertise about complex mixtures and the health consequences of co-exposures
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