2015

Events

2015 NIEHS SRP Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico

The Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting is being hosted by Northeastern University in San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 18-20. Participants will share information and learn about PROTECT, the Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats.

Director Bruce Stanton to Speak on Arsenic at MIT Speaker Series

Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum, Director of the Knight Science Journalism (KSJ) Fellowship Program at MIT, has invited Director Bruce Stanton to speak as part of the KSJ Seminar Series. He will speak on December 1 at MIT on Arsenic in ground water in New England and related health issues.

Bruce Stanton to Present at the 2016 SOT Annual Meeting

Bruce Stanton, Ph.D., will be speaking at the SOT (Society of Toxicology)2016 Annual Meeting March 13-17 as part of a workshop entitled Moving beyond cancer: current state of the science of noncancer health effects of arsenic. His talk will focus on arsenic and pulmonary infections.

Recent News

August

Dartmouth Children's Center Collaborates on Digital Story on Arsenic in Food

The Community Outreach and Translation Core of the Dartmouth Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center has created a digital web page that explains how arsenic gets into our food supply and provides simple tips for reducing arsenic exposure. The project, which was done in collaboration with Dartmouth's Computer Science Department, was created in response to growing concern about the health effects of low-level arsenic exposure in food.

Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment & Health 2015

Dr. Celia Chen attended the conference in Indonesia August 10-13 and presented the talk, Connecting Mercury Science to Policy: From Sources to Seafood.

July

U.S. EPA Environmental Education Grant Award Addresses Arsenic in Private Wells

Our Community Engagement Core serves as the NH Partner for an EPA Environmental Education grant led by the Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Maine which will focus on helping to eliminate arsenic from drinking water in ME and NH. The partners will create and pilot a national model of environmental education that facilitates schools and community organizations working together to address the public health risks of exposure to toxic contaminants in drinking water, while offering teachers and students opportunities to participate in authentic research.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center Water Matters Speaker Series

On July 28, Laurie Rardin gave a talk on arsenic in private well water in NH as part of the Squam Lakes Science Center Water Matters Speaker Series. Rardin partnered with Andrew Stone, the Executive Director of the American Groundwater Trust, who spoke about the ways in which NH geology, well construction and human activity can result in groundwater contamination.

Researchers Discover Cooking Method for Removing Arsenic from Rice

Researchers have found a method for cooking rice that can remove much of the stored arsenic. This is important because rice is one of the world's most popular foods. The story in Nature includes a quote from Margaret Karagas, a Dartmouth epidemiologist and Superfund Program researcher, that the method gives "...people an opportunity to reduce the arsenic burden of their rice".

Failure to Reapply Spells End to Federal Funding for Well Tests in Maine

The State of Maine's decision not to reapply for a grant means that a federally funded program aimed at increasing well water testing in rural Maine will end in August, according to an article in the Portland Press Hearld: Failure to reapply spells end to federal funding for well tests.

Dartmouth Scientists Track Mercury Pollution

The recent Dartmouth Now story highlights work done by Sam Beal, former Trainee of the Dartmouth SRP under the mentorship of Brian Jackson, Ph.D. who was his co-advisor. The analysis of a 600-year-old ice core shows that global mercury pollution increased dramatically during the 20th century, but that mercury concentrations in the atmosphere decreased faster than previously thought beginning in the late 1970s.

Private Well Outreach Events Underway

Our Community Engagement Team has begun a series of events to reach out to private well owners in six communities in Southeastern NH to tell them about the potential for arsenic in their drinking water and make it easier for them to test their water for arsenic and other contaminants. Union Leader Story

June

Three Simple Rules for Eating Seafood from NY Times Opinion Column -

Eat American; different kinds; mostly farmed filter feeders, like oysters. Read more...

Researchers Travel to Artic to Search for Missing Mercury

Researchers will be travelling to the Artic this summer to investigate mercury changes in that region because of concern about the toxic effects of mercury.

NAC-SETAC Meeting Focuses on Risk Communication

The North Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry held its annual meeting June 10-12 in Freeport, ME. A short course on communicating environmental risk was led by David Ropeik, a consultant in risk communication. Day 1 of the meeting featured a session on risk communication and outreach organized and led by Celia Chen, Ph.D., with a presentation by Laurie Rardin on the challenges of communicating arsenic risk to private well owners in NH.

NIEHS-Funded Research Focuses on Arsenic's Impact on Public Health

Science Pub at Oregon State University discusses research on health risks of water contamination by arsenic.

HB 498 - Radon and Arsenic Legislation Becomes Law in NH

This legislation requires notification by the seller to the buyer before a contract for the purchase and sale of a property occurs that “arsenic is a common groundwater contaminant in New Hampshire that occurs at unhealthy levels in well water in many areas of the state. Tests are available to determine whether arsenic is present at unsafe levels, and equipment is available to remove it from water. The buyer is encouraged to consult the New Hampshire department of environmental services private well testing recommendations (www.des.nh.gov) to ensure a safe water supply if the subject property is served by a private well.”

May

Valley News Column on Importance of Testing Private Wells for Arsenic

In a recent ,Valley News column, Dr. Carolyn Murray stressed the importance of homeowners having their private wells tested for arsenic levels. Dr. Murray is the Director of Community Outreach for Dartmouth's Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center and a professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Legislation to Limit Inorganic Arsenic in Rice Introduced in Congress

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT) has introduced the R.I.C.E. Act which sets federal limits on the amount of inorganic arsenic in rice and rice-based foods. Inorganic arsenic is the most toxic form of arsenic found in foods.

Consumer Reports Calls for Stricter Federal Guidelines on Consumption of Tuna

In its June issue, Consumer Reports calls for stricter federal guidelines on the consumption of tuna due to a concern about the health risks of increased mercury levels in tuna and other fish.

Arsenic Poses Risks for Private Wells

An article in the Perham Focus (Minnesota) describes risks of water contamination in private wells by arsenic.

Celia Chen Participated in "A Fish Tale: A Review of the Science of Fish Contamination, Consumption, and Advisories"

As part of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment national partnership call series, Celia Chen, Ph.D. presented her work on Factors Controlling Mercury Fate in Aquatic Food Webs.

April

FDA Expects to Withdraw Approval for Last Food-Animal Drug Containing Arsenic

Read More

Superfund Research Brief - Switchgrass & Bacteria Remove PCBs from Soil

Read More

March

Washington Post Reports on Hidden Benefits of Cutting Coal Pollution

Washington Post article. Click here for additional information on mercury.

Director Stanton Quoted in Huffington Post on Arsenic Levels in Wine

The Huffington Post reports on California winemakers sued over arsenic levels in wine. Huffington Post article

Why Is There Arsenic in Wine Anyway?

Fox News story discusses research led by Kathryn Cottingham, professor of biological sciences, which found that white wine and beer significantly raised people's arsenic levels.

Researcher Brian Jackson in NYT on Arsenic in Rice Crackers

Brian Jackson, Ph.D. speaks to Deborah Blum for the NYT Column Ask Well; Dartmouth Now Coverage

Trainee Kate Buckman Leads New Paper on Berlin, NH Superfund Site

Coverage includes:
Environmental Monitor
Science Daily
Phys Org
and online in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

February

Record Number Attend Science Pub on Metals in Food

Eighty people attended the Pub on a cold, snowy evening. Questions and conversation focused on arsenic in food particularly rice, with additional questions on mercury in fish. The panelists conveyed the importance of limiting exposure to arsenic and mercury (which includes testing private well water) while continuing to eat a healthy diet including rice and fish. But is it Safe to Eat? What to Make of Those Food Studies

Superfund Researchers Present to NH Farm Bureau February 19

Celia Chen, RTC Leader and Kathrin Lawlor, CEC Coordinator, presented an overview of our SRP Center research and discussed NH Farm Bureau needs and questions relative to our studies of arsenic and mercury.

CBS News Story on Arsenic in Rice

CBS news coverage discusses FDA studies and health implications of eating rice over long term. CBS Coverage

January

Dragonfly Project at Gorham High School

Gorham High School science teacher Sarah Clemmitt received a Tillotson grant which allowed her class to continue their work with the Dartmouth SRP and the dragon fly citizen science project to measure mercury levels near the Berlin Superfund site. Berlin Daily Sun Article

Valley News Coverage of the Dragon Fly Citizen Scientist Project

The Dartmouth Superfund Program has been working with local high schools and the Schoodic Institute to study dragon fly larvae as an indicator of mercury levels in the environment. Valley News Article

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