The Superfund Research Program at the University of Iowa (isrp) has received a 5-year renewal of funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health. Based at the UI College of Public Health since 2005, the isrp is a joint endeavor involving basic, mechanistic, and applied research projects in biomedical and environmental research areas addressing semivolatile polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The program is a multidisciplinary collaboration of 17 researchers representing several departments and colleges on the UI campus. Researchers from the College of Public Health include occupational and environmental health faculty Drs. Larry Robertson, Gabriele Ludewig, Hans-Joachim Lehmler, David Osterberg, Peter Thorne, and biostatistics faculty Kai Wang and Michael Jones.
The overall goal of the isrp is to identify atmospheric sources, exposures, and potential consequences to human health of semi-volatile PCBs. To achieve this goal, the isrp addresses volatilization, transport and resultant exposure of lower halogenated PCBs, especially those PCBs that are associated with contaminated waters, former industrial sites, and buildings (especially school buildings). We identify routes of exposure with an eye to preventing or limiting exposure and ameliorating the effects.
Proposed studies include a community-based participatory research project-an assessment of exposures to citizens who live or work in the vicinity of sources of lower chlorinated PCBs in the Chicago Metropolitan area.
The isrp works closely with citizen groups in Chicago, IL and East Chicago, IN where many ethnic-minority citizens are living below the poverty line near deindustrialized sites. A Training Core and the research projects provide for the training of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars each year (70 have been trained in the previous funding period). Overall this multidisciplinary program brings a broad range of experience and expertise, and institutional resources, to bear on problems associated with Superfund chemicals that are critical to the Midwest and the nation.