2011 News

December

EPA Issues First National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to protect American families from power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. The standards will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls that are already in use at more than half of the nation's coal-fired power plants.

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EPA To Unveil Stricter Rules For Power Plants

More than 20 years ago, Congress ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate toxic air pollution. It's done that for most industries, but not the biggest polluters — coal and oil-burning power plants.

The EPA now plans to change that later this week, by setting new rules to limit mercury and other harmful pollution from power plants.

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Dartmouth Researchers Evaluate Rice as a Source of Fetal Arsenic Exposure

Several Dartmouth Superfund Research Program scientists contributed to a recently published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) which advances our understanding of the sources of human exposure to arsenic and focuses attention on the potential for consuming harmful levels of arsenic via rice.

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Superfund Researcher, Jason Moore, among Dartmouth Scientists named as fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Five Dartmouth faculty members have been selected as 2011 fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. Professors Duane Compton, Russell Hughes, Lee Lynd, Jason Moore, and George O'Toole are among 539 new fellows recognized by AAAS this year for their distinguished efforts to advance science.

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November

Consumer Reports article on arsenic in juice features two Dartmouth Superfund Program researchers

Joshua Hamilton and Brian Jackson were interviewed for an investigative report by Consumer Reports on arsenic in juice. The report found that roughly 10 percent of the juice sampled, from five brands, had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards. The Consumer Reports article has received extensive coverage in the national media.

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Dartmouth Superfund Program researchers featured in video introducing the new Dartmouth Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center

Investigators Celia Chen and Mary Lou Guerinot, Department of Biological Sciences, highlight their research in this promotional video .

Celia Chen, Ph.D., invited to serve on EPA Science Advisory Board Panel

Dr. Celia Chen will be serving as a member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board Sub-Committee on Ecological Processes and Effects after accepting an invitation from Administrator Lisa Jackson. She was nominated to serve on the Committee by NIEHS, SRP Director, Bill Suk and will fulfill a three-year term, utilizing her expertise in aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology. The EPA organizes these committees in order to pursue resolutions to urgent environmental issues and members are leaders in their fields in terms of expertise, innovation and experience.

Dartmouth Researcher, Nancy Serrell, led a panel at the APHA Annual Conference

Nancy Serrell along with Beth Anderson from NIEHS, SPR led a panel on risk communication at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC from October 29- November 2, 2011.

The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, attracting more than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists.

Meeting website

October 2011

Missouri University of Science and Technology graduate student, Eric Farrow, looks to reduce arsenic levels in rice

Missouri S&T announced Tuesday a graduate student in environmental engineering is working with Dr. Jianmin Wang, an associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, to find ways to reduce the arsenic content in rice.

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Maine Well testing grant rejected by state panel

A new state review panel rejected a $70,000 grant request that would have funded a public information campaign to promote testing of private wells. Nearly half of all Mainers get their drinking water from private wells -- the highest proportion in the country.

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Former Superfund Trainee wins a Presidential Early Career Award

Dr. David Reif has won a Presidential Early Career Award from President Obama for his environmental work at the EPA. Dr. Reif was previously a Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Jason Moore a Superfund investigator.

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September 2011

Debate grows over arsenic in apple juice

Dartmouth Superfund researcher, Joshua Hamilton, is quoted in a recent Consumer Reports article about arsenic in apple juice.

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Dr. Oz reports on arsenic in apple juice

American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60% of which is imported from China. Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer. After testing dozens of samples from three different cities in America, Dr. Oz discovered that some of the nation's best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic. In the spirit of full disclosure, below you'll find all the test results, statements and information you need to keep your family safe.

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DMS lands grant for regional biomedical research center

Under an $11-million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) will lead a network of northern New England institutions in recruiting, training, and supporting young quantitative biologists to teach and conduct research into the ways that genes and the environment work together to trigger and prevent disease.

With computational geneticist Jason Moore as principal investigator, DMS will establish an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). Dr. Moore is also a member of the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program.

To Read more...

Dartmouth researcher, Bruce Stanton, quoted in Parents magazine

Like many moms these days, Michele Haiken-Fink found herself wary of the ingredients in seemingly everything from crackers to baby shampoo. So she decided to shop for more "natural" products whenever she could. Inspired by her preschooler and the fact that she had a baby on the way, Haiken-Fink, who lives in Stamford, Connecticut, started buying organic milk, stocked up on "green" household cleaners, and even joined a community-supported agriculture group that would supply her with locally grown produce throughout the year.

Then one spring afternoon in 2008, an official from the state branch of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knocked on her door and asked permission to test her well water. The EPA was responding to a concern that area soil samples had tested positive for dangerous toxins.

To read more...

Two articles in the Kennebec Journal highlight the issue of arsenic in Maine wells

To read the articles click on the links below.
Toxic Taps Part 1: High amounts of arsenic in local wells

Private well? Experts urge testing for toxics

Bandit Industries receives EPA award for mercury reduction

Wood chipper manufacturer Bandit Industries has received a National Partnership for Environmental Priorities achievement award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The award was given to the company for efforts in reducing hazardous chemicals in the workplace, specifically the reduction of mercury. Bandit was one of only three organizations in Michigan to receive the award.

To read more...

Arsenic, Uranium and Other Trace Elements, a Potential Concern in Private Drinking Wells

About 20% of untreated water samples from public, private, and monitoring wells across the nation contain concentrations of at least one trace element, such as arsenic, manganese and uranium, at levels of potential health concern, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

To learn more: USGS Release

August 2011

NH Public Radio highlights the environmental impacts of the Berlin Superfund site

Dartmouth researchers, along with the EPA, are exploring the impacts of the mercury contamination from the Chlor-alkali plant in Berlin, NH.

To Read more...

Callahan Mine Superfund Site Update

Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program scientists presented their preliminary findings on the Callahan Mine Superfund site's effects on the local ecosystem at a public meeting in Brooksville, Maine on August 2. Dartmouth is collaborating with the U.S. EPA, Mt. Desert Island Biological Lab and Indiana University on the ways in which metals from the site may be affecting local fish populations and potentially human health.

To read more...

"In Small Doses: Arsenic" is on WGBH's educational website as part of the Environmental Public Health collection.

This movie which was produced by Dartmouth College Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program has been edited from it's original ten minute format to a shorter version for use on the WGBH educational website. The Environmental Public Health (EPH) resources are targeted at students in grades 6 through 12. Teachers' Domain is a free online resource center featuring more than 4,000 media assets from public broadcasting and its partners.

To view the movie click here: "In Small Doses: Arsenic"

July 2011

International Mercury Meeting

In July the CMERC group convened in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the 10th Annual International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant. The conference began on July 24th and ran through the 29th.

For more information on the international conference, visit the website, www.mercury2011.org.
For more information on C-MERC, visit www.c-merc.org

Concord Market Days

In July, our researchers, arsenic stakeholders and the research translation team will be traveling to Market Days in Concord, NH, to staff a booth and provide information about arsenic in well water.

For more information visit: Concord Market Days.

Welcome to Michael Paul, our New Community Engagement Coordinator

Michael joins us from Portland, Oregon where he has been working to develop policy recommendations for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on their natural resource damage assessment process. He brings to the position a Master's in public health and a law degree from the University of Oregon with a focus on public health and environmental law.

To view Michael's Bio click here: Michael Paul Bio

June 2011

River Day Festival

Dartmouth researchers and the research translation core worked with the EPA and NH DES to set up and staff a booth at Androscoggin River Day and provided displays with information and updates on the former Chlor-Alkali facility Superfund site in Berlin, NH.

The festival took place on June 18, 2011 from 10am to 4pm.

For more information visit the Northern Forest Heritage Park website.

Celia Chen, Ph.D., served on EPA Science Advisory Board Panel for Mercury

Celia Chen, Ph.D., Dartmouth Superfund leader of the research project on aquatic mercury fate and the Research Translation Core, was selected to serve as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board Mercury Panel which met in June 2011. The Panel performed an independent review of the EPA's “Draft Technical Support Document: National-Scale Mercury Assessment Supporting the Appropriate and Necessary Finding for Coal and Oil-Fired Electric Generating Units.” The purpose of SAB's and their appointed panels is to advise the Agency on the scientific and technical aspects of environmental problems and issues.

PEPH Webinar: ECO Youth: Education and Community Advocacy by Providence High School Students

The PEPH presented a webinar about the ECO Youth program on June 2nd. "ECO Youth: Environmental Community Organizers" is a new youth program of the partnership of the Brown University Superfund Research Program Community Engagement Core and the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island. ECO Youth is a youth-led program that works for justice in RI communities and promotes healthy lifestyles that everyone can access and benefit from.

Please contact Justin Crane if you would like to see the slide set.

May 2011

Program Director, Dr. Bruce Stanton, quoted in Kennebec Journal Article

An article posted in the online edition of the Kennebec Journal entitled, "You Get What Your Vegetables Drink" discusses the science behind the uptake of toxins by crops grown by homeowners. Many homeowners test for bacteria, but may be surprised by what they might find in the water they use for irrigating their gardens.

In elevated levels, arsenic has been linked to certain types of cancers, childhood learning disabilities, heart disease and low birth rates. Uranium can affect the kidneys, according to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just how much of those contaminants are absorbed by plants we eat? And how much plant-based uranium and arsenic is safe to consume?

Read more...

April 2011

Fourth Annual Dartmouth Integrative Biology Symposium

Theme: RNA and Disease: Beyond the Central Dogma
The Symposium took place on April 26 & 27, 2011 and was attended by 140 participants. A Student POSTER SESSION was also held.

Risk-e-Learning: Community Engagement: New Approaches and Success Stories

The spring Risk-e-Learning series is underway, and the second session, "Community Engagement Activities for Safe Drinking Water", was presented on April 14, 2011; by Laurie Rardin (Dartmouth College SRP) and Radomir Schmidt (UC-Davis SRP). Laurie discussed Dartmouth's recently produced film, "In Small Doses: Arsenic", and the impact multimedia has had on their community engagement efforts. Radomir discussed an MTBE bioremediation project in Glenville, CA. The presentations are available at the EPA CLU-In webpage.

SUPERFUN Day

The Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program's Annual SuperFun Day for Trainees, Students, and others interested in Dartmouth's Superfund Program was held on April 5th, 2011 at the Top of the Hop, Dartmouth College. The theme was Tools for the Development of Expert Investigators. Speakers were Cynthia E. Tobery, PhD, Associate Director for Professional Development for Future Faculty, and Christopher Dant, a faculty instructor at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Department of Immunology and Microbiology.

March 2011

Seminar: Arsenic in Small Doses: How Safe is our Water And Food?

On March 15, 2011, Dr. Bruce Stanton was the key-note speaker as part of a collaborative event to highlight the partnership between the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. The two programs are working together on research to study the effects of toxic metals on the biota at the Callahan Mine Superfund site, in Brooksville, Maine. The studies will be conducted before, during and after the US EPA's remediation work at the site.

Flyer

Callahan Mine article

Former Dartmouth Superfund Research Program Trainee and Wetterhahn Award Winner Receives Science Communication Fellowship

Roxanne Karimi Ph.D., who is a former Dartmouth SRP trainee, and who won the NIEHS SRP Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award in 2007, has received a Science Communication Fellowship from Environmental Health Sciences.

Article

February 2011

Bruce Stanton Recieves Distinguished Honors Graduate Award

Bruce

On February 23, Dr. Bruce Stanton received the Distinguished Honors Graduate Award from the University of Maine and presented a seminar entitled "Arsenic: A Global Public Health Crisis, How Safe is Our Water and Food?" as part of the Distinguished Honors Graduate Lecture Series.

Dartmouth Now Article

Interview with Dr. Stanton

Twin State Mercury Project

On February 23rd science students from Stevens High School and Woodstock Union High School shared the results of their research on mercury in the watersheds of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Celia Chen, Ecotoxicologist, Research Associate Professor, Dartmouth College, Department of Biological Sciences

Article

Arsenic Consortium

On February 16, 2011 Dartmouth researchers and stakeholders in the field of arsenic study gathered in Hanover for a day-long meeting to discuss the issue of arsenic in well-water and other health-related impacts of arsenic in the environment.

For more information click here

Dartmouth Superfund Researchers Contribute to Daphnia Genome Discoveries

Dartmouth was one of the original groups that helped to form the Daphnia Genomics Consortium and identify the means to have the Daphnia genome sequenced. An interdisciplinary group of Dartmouth scientists, which included Josh Hamilton (now a senior scientist and chief academic and scientific officer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.); Celia Chen, research associate professor of biological sciences; Joseph Shaw (now on the faculty of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs), and Carol Folt, provost and the Dartmouth professor of biological sciences, led a team that conducted some of the earliest experiments examining the genetic responses of Daphnia to critical environmental stressors.

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The Dartmouth Article

Mercury in Fish - Consumer Reports

A helpful resource for the public with frequently asked questions about mercury in fish.

Article

January 2011

Kathy Cottingham Ph.D. presented "Arsenic Exposure via Water and Food in New Hampshire Populations"

Kathy Cottingham, a Superfund researcher affiliated with the Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center, presented "Arsenic Exposure via Water and Food in New Hampshire Populations" on January 20, 2011. For more information visit the Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center website.

December 2010

Dartmouth Receives $2 Million Grant for Children's Health Research Center

Dartmouth recently received a $2 million pilot grant to fund the new Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center at Dartmouth. The grant is jointly funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Dartmouth's is one of six emerging centers nationally that are undertaking interdisciplinary research to assist public health professionals and policy makers in combating children's diseases caused by environmental pollutants.

To read more click here

Dartmouth Researchers Collaborate with MDIBL to Study Callahan Mine Superfund Site

"The study involves both staff and visiting scientists to the MDIBL [Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory] including researchers from College of the Atlantic, Dartmouth College and Indiana University. It is being conducted under the Dartmouth College Superfund Program, which has conducted studies at other Superfund sites, funded through grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences."

To read more click here