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Your Environment. Your Health.

Research Briefs by Year: 2019

Superfund Research Program

  • 299 - Modeling Approaches Estimate Exposure and Simulate Impacts on Health -- Levy
    Release Date: 11/06/2019

    Researchers from the Boston University (BU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed and applied novel statistical models to cost-effectively predict chemical exposures and their associated harm to human health in large populations. These statistically powerful approaches can address the challenges of measuring exposures for large populations and quantifying the health benefits of exposure reduction.

  • 298 - Collaborative Cross Mice Can Fill Data Gaps in Risk Assessment -- Rusyn
    Release Date: 10/02/2019

    NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees showed how the Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse model, which uses genetically diverse mice to capture over 90% of known mouse genetic variations, can account for individual differences in susceptibility to environmental chemicals. Led by Ivan Rusyn, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M University SRP Center, researchers measured variability in kidney toxicity and metabolism in CC mice after exposing them to tetrachloroethylene (PERC).

  • 297 - Identifying Key Characteristics of Chemicals that Harm Male and Female Reproduction -- Smith
    Release Date: 09/04/2019

    Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed and applied a “key characteristics” framework to help risk assessors better identify, organize, and summarize the potential reproductive health risks of different chemicals.

  • 296 - PCBs Alter Glucose Regulation Differently in Males and Females -- Cassis
    Release Date: 08/07/2019

    Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) affects glucose regulation during weight loss differently in male and female mice, according to a new Superfund Research Program (SRP) study. The researchers discovered that differences were related to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a protein involved in the regulation of various biological responses and cell maintenance in the body.

  • 295 - Model Predicts PAH Levels in Important Tribal Food Source -- Anderson
    Release Date: 07/10/2019

    A sediment passive sampling model can be used to accurately predict the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in butter clams, according to a recent Superfund Research Program (SRP) study. Led by Kim Anderson, Ph.D., of the Oregon State University (OSU) SRP Center, the research team worked closely with tribal leaders to better predict PAH levels in butter clams while having a minimal impact on this important resource.

  • 294 - New Method Quickly Screens Chemicals for Cancer Risk -- Monti
    Release Date: 06/05/2019

    Boston University (BU) researchers, in collaboration with researchers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the Broad Institute, have developed and evaluated a new approach to assess whether exposure to a chemical increases a person’s long-term cancer risk. The fast, cost-effective method uses gene expression profiling, which measures the activity of a thousand or more genes to capture what is happening in a cell. Based on gene expression profiling data, the researchers were able to infer specific biological changes at the cellular level and predict potential carcinogenicity of chemicals, or the ability of chemicals to cause cancer.

  • 293 - Study Sheds Light on Breakdown of PCBs to Potentially Harmful Metabolites in Humans -- Lehmler
    Release Date: 05/01/2019

    New research out of the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center identified specific cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and underlying mechanisms involved in the breakdown, or metabolism, of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into compounds that may be more toxic.

  • 292 - Nitrous Oxide Halts Breakdown of Chlorinated Compounds -- Loeffler
    Release Date: 04/03/2019

    A new Superfund Research Program (SRP) study showed that nitrous oxide (N2O), a groundwater contaminant commonly generated from agricultural runoff, inhibits bacterial degradation of certain chlorinated contaminants, including tetrachloroethene (PCE). The study may explain why bioremediation, or the use of bacteria to break down compounds, can stall at some hazardous waste sites.

  • 291 - Passive Samplers Tackle PCB Flux -- Hornbuckle
    Release Date: 03/06/2019

    Researchers from the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center have developed a method to measure the movement, or flux, of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from water to air using passive sampling devices.

  • 290 - Promising Membrane Technology Reduces Chlorobenzene in Groundwater -- Alshawabkeh, Bhattacharyya
    Release Date: 02/13/2019

    A new Superfund Research Program collaboration has developed a promising groundwater cleanup technology that provides an efficient, low-maintenance method of removing chlorobenzene and other compounds from water. The method integrates electrochemical oxidation, which uses electricity to transform contaminants into non-toxic substances, and membranes containing palladium (Pd), a metal used as a catalyst in many industrial chemical synthesis applications and groundwater treatment.

  • 289 - Study Sheds Light on Respiratory Toxicity of EPFRs -- Dugas, Cormier
    Release Date: 01/30/2019

    A new SRP study explains how particulate matter (PM) containing environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). AhR is known to play an important role in detecting and responding to a variety of pollutants. These findings could prove useful in understanding the underlying mechanism of diseases known to be associated with inhalation of PM, such as cardiovascular disease.

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