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+ Water Quality & Human Health: From Arsenic Exposure to Biological Response Understanding how contaminants move through the environment UNC Superfund.

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Presentation on theme: "+ Water Quality & Human Health: From Arsenic Exposure to Biological Response Understanding how contaminants move through the environment UNC Superfund."— Presentation transcript:

1 + Water Quality & Human Health: From Arsenic Exposure to Biological Response Understanding how contaminants move through the environment UNC Superfund Research Program Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

2 + UNC Superfund Research Program Advances the scientific knowledge required to understand and reduce risks to human health associated with several of the highest priority chemicals regulated under the Superfund program, namely polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and chlorinated hydrocarbons (TCE and PCB).

3 + UNC Superfund Research Program Faculty Research Projects: Biomedical Research Projects Toxicity caused by Oxidative Stress (e.g., DNA Damage) Toxicity of Trichloroethylene (TCE) Cadmium Induced Toxicity Environmental Sciences & Engineering Research Projects Bioremediation of PAH contaminated soil Bioavailability of toxic compounds in water and sediment

4 + Research Translation Getting Science into Application

5 + Investigating a Superfund Site of Interest Superfund Sites, EPA Region 4 /superfund/sites/sites.html

6 + Investigating a Superfund Site of Interest

7 + According to the EPA… One in four Americans lives within 4 miles of a hazardous waste site, yet many US citizens are unaware of these sites and their implications for human health. To search for EPA clean-up sites in your community:

8 + Cleanups in My Community a mapping and listing tool that shows where pollution is being or has been cleaned up under EPA's Superfund, RCRA and/or Brownfields cleanup programs.

9 + What is Superfund? Also known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Established by Congress in 1980 to clean up the country’s worst hazardous waste sites; Locates, investigates, cleans up and monitors hazardous waste sites throughout the US; Works with communities to return hazardous waste sites to safe and productive sites; Administered through the Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with state and tribal governments. Source: EPA,

10 + What is a Superfund Site? “A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment.” - US Environmental Protection Agency

11 + The ATSDR 2013 Substance Priority List 1. ARSENIC 2. LEAD 3. MERCURY 4. VINYL CHLORIDE 5. POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS 6. BENZENE 7. CADMIUM 8. BENZO(A)PYRENE 9. POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS These substances are most commonly found at facilities on the National Priorities List (NPL) and are determined to pose the most significant potential threat to human health due to their known or suspected toxicity and potential for human exposure at these NPL sites.

12 + National Priority List (NPL) Superfund Sites Site Status as of March sites proposed for the NPL 1321 NPL sites 1166 NPL sites with physical cleanup construction completed 386 deleted sites

13 North Carolina National Priority List of Superfund sites (March 2015) 42 sites: 39 final; 3 deleted

14 + Superfund Clean Up Timeline Discovery of Contaminated Site Preliminary Assessment/Inspection NPL Site Listing Process Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Records of Decision Remedial Design & Action Construction Completion NPL Deletion Site Reuse/Redevelopment =Clean-Up

15 + Remediation of contaminated soil Remediation Use a detergent to clean contaminated soil Thermal desorption Isolate contaminated area Concrete dikes Cap with impervious layers of plastic/clay Bioremediation Allow natural processes to breakdown contaminant Biostimulation

16 + Soil Remediation Challenges Underground Ground water moves 1 meter/yr Many complex interactions with soil constituents Expensive!

17 + Remediation of contaminated water Pump and treat and return to ground Containment Allow natural processes to breakdown contaminant Groundwater

18 + Who pays for Superfund cleanup? Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) are first in line, if they can be identified Until 1995, Superfund Trust Fund was funded by a tax on petroleum and chemical industries ($1.6 billion collected) Trust fund was exhausted by the end of FY 2003 If no PRPs identified, funds can be appropriated by Congress out of general revenues

19 + Making Superfund Relevant to Students Superfund in NC offers an opportunity to share relevant scientific concepts and societal issues with students Connecting industrial hazardous waste to information on household hazardous waste can help empower students to improve their immediate environment Ample resources and curricula to support your teaching

20 + Contact Information Superfund Research Program University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Sarah Yelton (919)


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