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Oregon State University

Superfund Research Program

PAHs: New Technologies and Emerging Health Risks

Center Director: David E. Williams
Grant Number: P42ES016465
Funding Period: 2009-2025

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Summary (2009-2013)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), re-emerging environmental pollutants of concern, found at Superfund sites and urban settings, are formed in the burning of carbon-based energy sources, e.g., diesel, gasoline, coal, petroleum and in cooking or tobacco smoke. Increasing energy needs world-wide contribute to PAH production, resulting in human exposures. The Oregon State University SBRP brings together a multi-disciplinary team with years of experience in PAHs and environmental health issues. The program consists of six innovative and exciting projects that explore new mechanisms of PAHs and their impact on human health. The projects focus on:

  1. PAHs in skin and transplacental cancer and prevention approaches
  2. construction of the first PAH physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model using both mice and humans
  3. adverse effects on development in a versatile model (zebrafish)
  4. development of passive sampling devices, deployed at Superfund sites, testable in the zebrafish model
  5. development of analytical methods for tracking another emerging potential health threat, nanomaterials; and
  6. determining PAH composition, atmospheric deposition, and the effects of PAHs "aging" in transport to the U.S. The focus will be on highly exposed populations (Chinese and Native Americans in the U.S.).
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