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Your Environment. Your Health.

Research Briefs by Year: 2014

Superfund Research Program

  • 229 - Comparing Black Carbon Types to Sequester PBDEs in Sediments -- Gan
    Release Date: 01/08/2014

    Researchers from the University of California (UC), Riverside, found that the addition of black carbon reduces the bioavailability, or the fraction of chemicals that can be taken up by organisms, of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sediment. They developed a method to measure PBDE bioavailability in sediment and found that reduction in bioavailability varied greatly depending on the type of black carbon; activated carbon showed the best efficiency compared to biochar or charcoal.

  • 230 - Combined Exposure to Glucocorticoids and Chlorpyrifos Influences Neurobehavioral Development -- Levin, Slotkin
    Release Date: 02/05/2014

    Prenatal glucocorticoid treatment, used to speed up the development of a preterm infant's lungs, has the potential to worsen the outcome of later exposures to toxins, according to findings by the Duke University Superfund Research Program (SRP). The study in rats, led by Ed Levin, Ph.D., and Ted Slotkin, Ph.D., explored how exposure to glucocorticoids, a type of steroid, before birth changes the effect of the insecticide chlorpyrifos on behavioral development.

  • 231 - Novel Pathway Involved in Neurodevelopmental Toxicity of PCBs -- Lein
    Release Date: 03/05/2014

    Non-dioxin-like (NDL) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are widespread environmental contaminants previously associated with neurological disorders in children. In a new study funded in part by the University of California Davis Superfund Research Program, UC Davis investigators working in collaboration with colleagues at Washington State University demonstrated a novel mechanism of PCB developmental neurotoxicity.

  • 232 - Understanding the Movement of Inhaled PCBs in the Body -- Thorne
    Release Date: 04/02/2014

    Researchers at the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (Iowa SRP) have found that a form of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), known as PCB11, is completely absorbed and then rapidly eliminated from the body when inhaled. They also identified the PCB11 metabolites that would best serve as markers of exposure to the chemical in urine.

  • 233 - Investigating the Newborn Proteome: Prenatal Arsenic Exposure and Altered Protein Expression -- Fry
    Release Date: 05/07/2014

    Scientists have identified changes in biological pathways that are associated with prenatal arsenic exposure. This research, led by Rebecca Fry, Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP), is the largest protein-based study of an arsenic pregnancy cohort to date. The NIEHS-funded work provides mechanistic insights into the links between early life exposure to arsenic and disease susceptibility and also identifies proteins and pathways that may later be used to identify markers of arsenic exposure and disease risk in humans.

  • 234 - Gold Nanoparticles Offer a Simple and Inexpensive Way to Detect Mercury -- Koshland
    Release Date: 06/04/2014

    Researchers led by Catherine Koshland, Ph.D., from the University of California, Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) have developed an inexpensive, easy to use, and highly sensitive sensor to measure how much mercury is in liquid or aqueous samples. The sensor uses a film of gold nanoparticles to measure mercury concentrations down to 1.5 nanograms per liter.

  • 235 - Reducing the Risk of PCB-associated Type 2 Diabetes with Fruit and Vegetable Consumption -- Gaetke
    Release Date: 07/02/2014

    Adults with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their bodies, which may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, can reduce that risk by eating more fruits and vegetables, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program (UK SRP).

  • 236 - Developments toward Low-Cost, Unattended Vapor Intrusion Monitoring -- Patel
    Release Date: 08/06/2014

    NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded scientists from the chemical sensor company Seacoast Science are developing an inexpensive vapor intrusion monitoring system. The system can operate repeatedly without user intervention and detect typical vapor intrusion chemicals at low detection limits, allowing many more sites to be monitored over longer periods.

  • 237 - The Flame Retardant Firemaster 550, Fat Cells, and Bone Health -- Schlezinger
    Release Date: 09/03/2014

    Researchers from the Boston University (BU) and Duke University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers found that components of the flame-retardant mixture Firemaster® 550 (FM550) may stimulate growth of fat cells and reduce bone health. The results of the collaborative study suggest that triphenyl phosphate (TPP), a component of FM550 that is widespread in household products and house dust, interacts with a protein that regulates fat cell differentiation and lipid storage.

  • 238 - Measuring Vapor Intrusion to Estimate Underground Contamination -- Suuberg
    Release Date: 10/01/2014

    Scientists from the Brown University Superfund Research Program (Brown SRP) have taken a step toward providing a simpler, accurate screening method to determine whether chemicals in underground sources are seeping into buildings and contaminating indoor air. Led by Eric Suuberg, Sc.D., P.E., the researchers developed process models, basically numerical equations, to predict the concentrations of vapors that enter indoor environments. Published in a series of three papers, results from the process models were consistent with advanced computer modeling techniques.

  • 239 - Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater by Persulfate -- Sedlak
    Release Date: 11/05/2014

    Researchers at the University of California (UC) Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) are one step closer to developing more efficient and effective treatment systems to remove organic contaminants from groundwater and soil. Findings from a new study, led by David Sedlak, Ph.D., provide insight into adding persulfate to groundwater to break down organic contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls,1,4-dioxane, and components of petroleum, that may be difficult to treat with other methods and potentially harmful to human health.

  • 240 - Linking Phthalate Exposure and Oxidative Stress in Pregnancy -- Meeker
    Release Date: 12/03/2014

    In a recent study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), scientists reported that in pregnant women, exposure to phthalates, found in plastics and personal care products, was associated with increased levels of oxidative stress, which damages the body's proteins, lipids, and DNA. The findings may help scientists better understand the mechanisms involved in pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, which are associated with exposure to phthalates.

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