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Your Environment. Your Health.

Research Briefs by Year: 2013

Superfund Research Program

  • 217 - Majority of Women Exposed to Multiple Pollutants -- Thompson
    Release Date: 01/02/2013

    According to a new analysis of thousands of U.S. women of child bearing age, most exceeded the median blood level for two or more environmental pollutants - lead, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - that are known to harm brain development of fetuses and infants.

  • 218 - Marine Mercury: From Sources to Seafood -- Chen, Rardin
    Release Date: 02/06/2013

    Mercury released into the air and then deposited into oceans contaminates seafood commonly eaten by people in the U.S. and globally, according to findings from the Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative (C-MERC).

  • 219 - Arsenic Uptake in Homegrown Vegetables from Mining-Affected Soils -- Maier, Ramirez-Andreotta
    Release Date: 03/06/2013

    Arsenic uptake from soil into some plants presents a potential health hazard that may affect home gardeners near contaminated sites. When combining results from a greenhouse and a home garden study, the amount of arsenic accumulated in the edible portion of the plant in certain vegetable families was associated with the arsenic soil concentration.

  • 220 - Commonly Manufactured Nanomaterial Induces Neurovascular Toxicity -- Toborek
    Release Date: 04/03/2013

    Nanoalumina, a widely manufactured nanomaterial, was shown to accumulate in brain cells, inducing nerve and blood vessel damage and protein degradation in the brain. Study results also suggest that exposure to nanoalumina disrupts the blood-brain barrier and may worsen the outcomes of neurological disorders such as stroke.

  • 221 - Novel Method Identifies Potential Key Pathway in Arsenic-Induced Birth Defects -- Fry
    Release Date: 05/01/2013

    Blocking the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) pathway in a chick embryo model prevents structural birth defects induced by arsenic, according to a 2013 NIEHS-funded study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP). The laboratory study was performed after computationally predicting the association between the GR pathway and metal-induced birth defects with a novel approach to identify targeted biological pathways.

  • 222 - Remediation of PCB Contaminated Sediment by Bioaugmentation -- Sowers, May
    Release Date: 06/05/2013

    A new way to reduce hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by bioaugmentation, the addition of microorganisms to degrade contaminants, could be an effective and environmentally sustainable strategy to decrease the amount of PCBs in polluted sediment.

  • 223 - Nicotine in Peppers and Other Vegetables May Reduce Parkinson Disease Risk -- Checkoway, Searles Nielsen
    Release Date: 07/03/2013

    Eating nicotine-containing vegetables, mainly peppers, may provide a protective effect against Parkinson disease (PD). Based on studies consistently suggesting that smokers are less likely than non-smokers to develop PD, Susan Searles Nielsen, Ph.D., led a study to explore other sources of nicotine that might have effects similar to active smoking, such as vegetables from the same plant family as tobacco.

  • 224 - Effects of Cadmium and Copper on the Fish Olfactory System -- Gallagher
    Release Date: 08/07/2013

    A series of studies from a research group led by University of Washington (UW) grantee Evan Gallagher, Ph.D., provide insight into the mechanisms underlying injury to the olfactory system of fish exposed to cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) including concentrations seen in the environment.

  • 225 - Commercial Paper and Rubber Products Contain Activators of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor -- Denison, Di Giulio
    Release Date: 09/04/2013

    Common commercial and consumer products, including newspapers and rubber bands, contain chemicals that are recognized by the body as toxins, according to a collaborative study by researchers at the Duke University and University of California, Davis Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers.

  • 226 - Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals and Their Lifetime in Ambient Fine Particulate Matter -- Dellinger, Gehling
    Release Date: 10/21/2013

    For the first time, an expansive study into the concentration and extended decay behaviors of environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) in ambient fine particulate matter revealed the ways in which EPFRs decompose in the environment. EPFRs can cause cell damage and induce an inflammatory response which can lead to a wide range of biological damage.

  • 227 - Lead Discovered at Higher Levels Below the Soil Surface -- Thompson, Boekelheide
    Release Date: 11/06/2013

    Measuring lead soil contamination at the surface may miss higher concentrations just below the ground, according to a new study from the Brown University Superfund Research Program (SRP). Researchers analyzed hundreds of soil samples from residential properties around six water tower sites in southern Rhode Island and found that even when lead levels on the surface are low, concentrations can be greater at depths down to a foot.

  • 228 - Arsenic in Drinking Water and Cancer in Uniquely Exposed Northern Chile -- Steinmaus
    Release Date: 12/04/2013

    For the first time, findings by the University of California (UC) Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) provide strong evidence in humans that ingested arsenic causes cancer in specific kidney and ureter cells, called transitional cells. Other recent findings from the group suggest that people exposed to both arsenic and other known or suspected carcinogens have very high risks of lung or bladder cancer.

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