Superfund Research Program
PAHs: New Technologies and Emerging Health Risks
Center Director: Robyn L. Tanguay
Grant Number: P42ES016465
Funding Period: 2009-2025
The Oregon State University Superfund Research Program (SRP), in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and other stakeholders and collaborators, seeks to develop new technologies to identify the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) mixtures found at many of the nation’s Superfund sites before and after remediation. The program will identify novel hazard and toxicity mechanisms for PAHs and real-world PAH mixtures. They will support three biomedical research projects and two environmental science and engineering projects. These research projects are aligned with the four SRP mandates to address pressing challenges at Superfund sites. The Administrative, Community Engagement, Chemical Mixtures, Research Experience and Training, and Data Management and Analysis Cores support the research projects. This program builds on their successes during the previous grant period. Over the next five years, they will pursue innovative, high-impact research goals. For example, the research team proposes to (1) develop the first generalizable technology to measure the movement of PAHs to and from Superfund sites, (2) measure external exposures to PAHs for individuals near Superfund sites and determine how their exposures vary as a function of location, (3) predict the secondary transformation products of PAHs that will form during biotic and abiotic remediation at Superfund sites, (4) predict the toxicity of complex PAH mixtures using zebrafish, (5) link PAH exposure to health outcomes with the aid of a powerful human in vitro respiratory model, and (6) elucidate metabolic and physicochemical control of PAH susceptibility in toxicity systems. The Cores will (1) direct the activities of the SRP and disseminate the findings to stakeholders (Administrative), (2) work with communities impacted by PAH exposure to address concerns and reduce risk (Community Engagement); (3) provide intensive multi-disciplinary training for the next generation of Environmental Health Scientists Research Experience and Training Coordination Core (RETCC), (4) provide Data Management and Analysis Support (DMAC), and (5) apply state-of- the-art chemistry instrumentation and approaches to measure PAHs and PAH mixtures found in environmental and biological matrices. By accomplishing these goals, the SRP at OSU will advance the frontiers of science and improve the quality of life for impacted communities.