Applied Bioinformatics & Environmental Genomics Classes in July 2018

Applied Bioinformatics and Environmental Genomics Classes, offered by MDI Biological Laboratory in collaboration with the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program, will be held in July 2018. More information.

2018 Recent News


Utilities Urge EPA to Keep Mercury Rules

Several utility industry groups recently sent a letter to the US EPA asking the agency to keep the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)largely intact. This is a reversal of utilities' previous legal challenges to the standards. More information.


Awareness Campaign Launched in ME on Arsenic's Dangers and Prevention

CARE Partnership, a community group at the University of Southern Maine's Nursing School, has launched an awareness campaign focused on the health dangers of arsenic and ways to prevent contamination and encourage testing of drinking water. More information.


Dr. Margaret Karagas May 29 PPTOX VI Conference Talk

Dartmouth Superfund Program Researcher Dr. Margaret Karagas gave a symposium on "Prenatal mercury exposure in relation to immune outcomes in the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study" on May 29 at the May 27-30 PPTOX VI Conference on the Faroe Islands.

Dr. Brian Jackson May 24 Lecture

Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher Dr. Brian Jackson presented 'Environmental and Biological Applications of LA-ICP-MS" for the lecture programme of the First Workshop on Laser Bioimaging Mass Spectrometry - BI(MS)2 2018 in Münster, Germany.

Dr. Tracy Punshon Quoted on Need to Test Private Wells in NH

Dartmouth Superfund Program Researcher Dr. Tracy Punshon was quoted in the Valley News on the importance of testing private wells in NH for arsenic due to the serious health effects of arsenic exposure for adults and children.

May 17 NHDES Source Water Protection Conference Plenary Talk

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program researcher Tracy Punshon gave a plenary talk on our SRP research on the health effects of low-dose arsenic on the maternal child population at the May 17 NHDES (Department of Environmental Services) Source Water Protection Conference. SRP Community Engagement Coordinator Kathrin Lawlor also ran a session, "Arsenic, Health and Addressing Community Concern", with partner Karen Craver, Chronic Disease Epidemiologist at NHDHHS (NH Department of Health and Human Services. For conference information.

May 10 NH Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spring Conference Keynote Address

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program researcher Tracy Punshon gave the keynote address on arsenic in food and water to a large group who attended the May 10 NH Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spring Conference.

Margaret Karagas Quoted on Importance of Testing Private Wells

Dr. Margaret Karagas, Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher, is quoted in information from NH DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) and NH DES (Department of Environmental Services) on bladder cancer and other health risks due to exposure to arsenic in private drinking water wells. Dr. Karagas stressed how important it is for people to test their private wells "to ensure their drinking water does not contain elevated concentrations and to continue efforts to understand the health impacts of low level exposures." WMUR coverage of bladder cancer and exposure to arsenic in private drinking water wells.


April 26 Science Pub at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon, NH

Dartmouth Superfund Program Trainee and molecular and cellular biologist Todd Warczak was a discussion leader at the April 26 Science Pub on "Agriculture Research at Dartmouth: From Local to Global Solutions". Todd's research investigates how to reduce arsenic in rice. For additional information on the Science Pub.

Mary Lou Guerinot Receives Stephen Hales Prize

Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher Mary Lou Guerinot has been awarded the 2018 Stephen Hales Prize from the American Society of Plant Biologists. The society cites Guerinot as “a world leader in plant nutrition who has provided outstanding service to the plant biology community and as a dedicated educator, providing undergraduate, postgraduate, and postdoctoral training.” For additional information.

April 17 Talk at Plymouth State University Sidore Lecture Series

Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher Celia Chen gave an invited talk on April 17 to a full house for the Plymouth State University Sidore Lecture Series. Her presentation, "Does Science Bring Balance to Environmental Policy? A View from the Inside," focused on her experience bringing mercury science to policy on a local to global scale.

GAO Releases Report on Arsenic in Food

On April 16, the GAO (US General Accountability Office) released the report “FOOD SAFETY: Federal Efforts to Manage the Risk of Arsenic in Rice”. In the report, the GAO examines the risk to human health from ingesting arsenic in rice and makes several recommendations for the US FDA and USDA related to managing this risk.

Kathryn Cottingham of Dartmouth College Presented on Dangers of Arsenic in Water and Food on April 9

Dr. Cottingham, Professor of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College, presented on “Arsenic in Water and Food: What Might it Mean for You and Your Family?” at Georgia Southern University. Her lecture highlighted her recent collaborative work on the study of arsenic, including her cohort studies that recruit pregnant women who drink water from private wells. For additional information.

Arsenic and Health Workgroup Receives Recognition

Kathrin Lawlor, Community Engagement Core Coordinator, and the Arsenic and Health Workgroup she founded and facilitates, received recognition for the development of an Emerging Issues Brief on Arsenic in Water and Food and the inclusion of two arsenic objectives in the NH Cancer Plan at the Annual Meeting of the NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NHCCC). The brief was distributed at the meeting and is available on the NHCCC website and will be sent to the NHCCC mailing list of 850 as well as to the NH Medical Society.


March 29 - Science Pub at Salt Hill Pub, Lebanon, NH

At the Science Pub on "From Science to Policy and Back Again", which was attended by 40 people, Dartmouth Superfund Research Program researcher Celia Chen and other Dartmouth investigators spoke about their work in this area including, What does it take to be an effective advocate for science-informed policy? What is the difference between policy that impacts science and science that impacts policy? What are the roles of scientist, advocate, and policy-maker? For more information on the Science Pub.

March 26-29 NE Regional SRP Meeting in Woods Hole, MA

The March 26-27 NE Regional SRP Meeting in Woods Hole, MA brought together the eight Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers in the northeast for scientific sessions and a special focus on trainee development. The meeting, which was a great success, was attended by faculty and trainees from the NE SRPs from BU, Northeastern, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn, MIT, Columbia, and URI. Dartmouth SRP trainee Heng-Hsuan Chu won second place in the poster contest. For additional information.

NHDES and USGS Partners Featured on NHPR's The Exchange

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program partners Paul Susca of NHDES (Department of Environmental Services) and Joe Ayotte of USGS (US Geological Survey) were featured on NHPR's The Exchange with Laura Knoy on March 20. During their conversation on drinking "raw" water from springs, they also discussed arsenic in private well water and the importance of testing well water. To listen to the recording.

March 18-20 Session on Private Wells at US Geological Society of America Meeting

A presentation by Kathrin Lawlor and Laurie Rardin, Arsenic in Private Wells In New Hampshire – An Overview of Past, Current and Future Private Well Owner Engagement Efforts, was attended by 60 people during the session on private wells. For more information on the meeting visit the The Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Annual Meeting website.

Celia Chen Quoted in NIEHS Environmental Factor Newsletter on NIEHS-Funded Papers

Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher Celia Chen is quoted in an NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) Environmental Factor newsletter story on NIEHS-funded papers on the global mercury problem. Dr. Chen co-chaired the ICMGP 2017 mercury conference which commissioned the papers. The papers are published online in a special issue of Ambio.

Revised NH Arsenic Bill May Require N.H. DES to Propose Standard for Arsenic Level in Drinking Water

A NH House subcommittee may rewrite a bill requiring NHDES(Department of Environmental Services) to propose a limit on the amount of arsenic in drinking water by January 1. If the subcommittee doesn't like what DES proposes the subcommittee would impose their own standard. Additional information .

EPA Proposes Major Changes to Safeguards on Coal Ash Waste Disposal

The US EPA has proposed major changes to Obama-era rules on the disposal of coal ash waste, providing states and utilities with more latitude in how they dispose of the toxic substance. More information.


Britton Goodale Featured in NIEHS Story on "Training the Next Generation of Environmental Professionals"

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program Trainee and postdoc Britton Goodale is featured on NIEHS' web site page "Training the Next Generation of Environmental Professionals". The story focuses on Dr. Goodale's research on how low-dose arsenic exposure affects the ability of human airway cells to respond to bacterial infections. She has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from NIEHS to investigate effects of low-dose arsenic exposure on the innate immune response in human lung cells.

Melting Permafrost Could Release Mercury into Environment

According to an article in National Geographic online, a recent study shows that mercury contained in the Artic permafrost may be released into the environment as the permafrost melts. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that can be harmful to children and adults.

Arsenic Found in Gluten-Free Foods

According to a posting on The OzBlog, eating gluten-free foods may be exposing people to elevated levels of arsenic because of the presence of arsenic in rice. Exposure to arsenic can lead to health problems, including certain cancers and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. It can also affect development in children, according to an ongoing study by Dartmouth Superfund Program researchers who have been following children since birth.


Celia Chen Interviewed on Minamata Convention

Dartmouth Superfund Program researcher Celia Chen was interviewed for the Dartmouth show, The Brief, about mercury and the Minamata Convention. The segment aired on January 27 on SiriusXM Channel 121. A clip can be found here.

Bruce Stanton and Kathrin Lawlor Interviewed on Arsenic and Private Wells

Dartmouth Superfund Program Director Bruce Stanton and Community Engagement Core Coordinator Kathrin Lawlor were interviewed for a story in The Dartmouth on arsenic in private wells.

NH Arsenic Consortium Communicates Risk of Arsenic in Food and Water

A major goal of the NH Arsenic Consortium, which includes Dartmouth researchers, is to communicate the health risks of arsenic in food and water. The Consortium meets annually to share research findings and outreach efforts. An article in NH Business Review highlights these health risks and quotes Dartmouth Superfund Program Director Bruce Stanton on the dangers.

Importance of Promoting Testing of Wells for Arsenic in Maine

An editorial in the Portland Press Herald describes the importance of promoting increased testing of private wells for arsenic, as well as helping low-income Mainers pay for items such as filters for their water systems. The editorial also explains the success of a legislative change that lowered the threshold for notification on children's exposure to lead.

First Lego League Robotics Team Stresses Testing Wells for Arsenic

A Letter to the Editor in by the Lego League Robotics Team of Kennebuck, ME focuses on the need for more people in Maine to test their wells for arsenic. The Robotics Team researched the problem of arsenic-contaminated well water as part of their robotics project.

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