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University of Arizona Superfund Research Program receives $14 million
Date:4/13/2010

Tucson, AZ-- Metal-laden dust and contaminated water, and their health effects, will be the focus of multiple projects for the University of Arizona's Superfund Research Program during the next five years. The National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences recently notified UA that the Superfund Research Program, funded since 1989, will receive an additional $14 million in grant funding through 2015 to conduct the research.

Four environmental projects will assess the nature of the dust generated from mine tailings and other sources, determine how to best minimize mine dust and water leachate, evaluate how to stabilize arsenic residuals generated during water treatment, and continue to monitor how TCE (trichloroethylene) contaminants move in the subsurface and groundwater. Models to predict pollutant distribution in both air and water also will be developed.

Five biomedical projects will examine the health effects of arsenic exposure on the development of the lung and heart in newborns, the production of cancer in the bladder and other tissues, and the genetic susceptibility of individuals to these toxicities.

The UA Superfund Research Program includes more than 75 scientists from five colleges. Expertise in atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, environmental engineering, environmental toxicology, and biomedical sciences is needed to address the complex environmental pollution problems in the arid Southwest, according to A. Jay Gandolfi, PhD, director of the program and a professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the College of Pharmacy.

"We have assembled a focused team of investigators to address environmental problems unique to our desert environment. We are all aware of the constant exposure to dust that we have in Arizona, but little has been done to characterize dust as a means of exposure to metal pollutants, the resulting health effects, and approaches to mediate the problem," he says.

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Contact: A. Jay Gandolfi
gandolfi@pharmacy.arizona.edu
520-626-6696
University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy
Source:Eurekalert  

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