2012

December

Grassroots Well Water Testing Initiative Reveals High Levels of Arsenic and Radon

A recent push to test well water revealed high levels of arsenic and radon in homes throughout Tuftonboro, New Hampshire. Following a presentation in June by the Dartmouth College Superfund Research Program (SRP) Community Engagement Core (CEC) to the Tuftonboro Town Selectboard about the importance of regular well testing, the Tuftonboro Conservation Commission led an effort to increase well testing rates in the region.

Superfund Research Program Article

C-MERC Report Released

In new research published in a special issue of the journal Environmental Research and in Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment— a companion report by the Dartmouth-led Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative (C-MERC), scientists report that mercury released into the air and then deposited into oceans, contaminates seafood commonly eaten by people in the U.S. and globally.
Superfund Research Program Article, Grist.org Article

New Reports Highlight Studies on Mercury Contamination in Seafood

BRI has developed a Global Biotic Mercury Synthesis (GBMS) project, the first of its kind, that is a compilation and synthesis of existing fish/seafood mercury data collected from all over the world. From this synthesis, BRI researchers are able to determine the impact of mercury on a global scale in relation to wildlife and human health. The results gathered to date are presented in this new BRI report.

Mercury in the Global Environment: Patterns of Global Seafood Mercury Concentrations and their Relationship with Human Health

Groundwater near Auburn Road Landfill Still Contaminated with Arsenic

EPA completed its Fifth Five-Year Review Report on the remedy implemented at the Auburn Road Landfill Superfund Site in Londonderry, N.H in 1996. Though the selected cleanup remedy for the Site predicted a cleanup time for arsenic in groundwater of five years, that five year period expired eleven years ago and arsenic concentrations still have not attained 50 parts per billion or the new revised interim cleanup level (ICL) for arsenic of 10 parts per billion.

Derry News: EPA Completes Review
EPA Waste Cleanup Site: Auburn Road Landfill
Read the 5th Five-Year Review
U.S.G.S.: Hydrogeologic Framework and Arsenic Mobility at the Auburn Road Landfill

Grassroots Well Testing Initiative in Tuftonboro, NH Reveals Arsenic is Common in Private Wells

Thirty-four percent of the 123 samples of well water collected by the Tuftonboro Conservation Committee exceeded 10 part per billion, which is the maximum contaminant level for arsenic in public drinking water supplies.

NH DES Holds Forum for Well Owners
Learn About Your Well Online

November

Superfund Researcher, Josh Hamilton, Presented

Risk e Learning Webinar Series:
Arsenic – Health and Remediation Applications

November 5, 2012, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST
Session II - Emerging Issues in Arsenic Exposure and Disease
Dr. Hamilton will present "Mouse Models of Human In Utero and Adult Exposures to Low-Dose Arsenic in Drinking Water"

Visit the Clu-in Training & Events web page for Dr. Hamilton's webinar and the webinar given by Margaret Karagas and Joe Graziano on 10/19/12.

"What I'm Telling my Patients About Arsenic and Rice"

One Pediatrician's Take on Arsenic in Rice

Boston pediatrician, Dr. Claire McCarthy, explains what she feels the recommendations for rice consumption for infants and children should be in this Boston.com editorial.

October

Media Coverage for Mercury: From Source to Seafood

Celia Chen, Ph.D., research professor in Dartmouth's Department of Biological Sciences, and featured in the film, talks with NHPR All Things Considered host Brady Carlson (interview) and Arnie Arnesen (interview) at Political Chowder about the new short film which explains how mercury gets into the food chain and helps consumers understand the benefits and risks of eating seafood. The film received additional coverage in the NIEHS Environmental Factor newsletter.

Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting

The Superfund Research Program held its 25th Annual Meeting from October 21-24, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dartmouth Researcher,Mary Lou Guerinot, Spoke at NIEHS in fall 2012

Mary Lou Guerinot spoke about her project at NIEHS on October 25th as part of their Keystone Seminar series. Dr. Guerinot presented and then spent the day at NIEHS in meetings.

Superfund Researcher, Margaret Karagas, Presented as a Part of the Risk e Learning Webinar Series: Arsenic – Health and Remediation Applications

This three part series coincides with the Superfund Research Program's 25th Anniversary and the 10th Anniversary of the Superfund Research Program (SRP) Risk e-Learning webinars! The SRP chose this opportunity to highlight the Program's accomplishments in the area of arsenic research.

Session I – Emerging Issues – Arsenic Exposures was held on October 19, 2012. Joseph Graziano (Columbia), Margaret Karagas (Dartmouth), and A. Eduardo Sáez (UA) spoke on topics related to the exposure, health effects, and remediation related to arsenic. To learn more about the webinar please see the Clu-in Training & Events Web page.

Arsenic In Agriculture Enjoys Comeback In Poultry Feed, Pesticides

Dartmouth researcher, Joshua Hamilton, quoted in a recent Huffington Post article about the prevalence of arsenic use in agriculture.

Prenatal mercury exposure linked with ADHD

A new study suggests exposure to even low levels of mercury while pregnant can increase the risk of ADHD symptoms in children.

But, conversely, children of mothers who ate more fish– which is considered to be the main source of mercury exposure for many people –during pregnancy appeared to have a lower risk of exhibiting ADHD symptoms, highlighting the confusion many mothers-to-be face in planning their diets.

Dartmouth Superfund Program teamed up with MDIBL to offer a class in Bioinformatics at MDIBL this Fall

The goal of the Applied Bioinformatics Course was to provide hands-on training on major bioinformatics resources through the analysis of an RNA-Seq data set to find differentially expressed genes and investigate previously described functions of those genes and the pathways they are involved in.

September

Dartmouth Researcher, Celia Chen, interviewed by NHPR

The new short film “Mercury: From Source to Seafood” produced by Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program is trying to aid consumers in understand the benefits and risks of eating seafood.

Celia Chen is a research professor at Dartmouth's Department of Biological Sciences, is featured in the film. She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about how mercury gets into the food chain and whether it can be removed entirely from fish.

Interview

Dartmouth Superfund Research Program Director, Bruce Stanton, hosts a Science Cafe Discussing Arsenic in Food and Water in Northeast Harbor, ME

Dr. Stanton shared some information about arsenic in food and water with community members at a Science Cafe at the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor, ME on September 10th, 2012.

August

FDA Lands in Court Over Mercury in Fish

Environmental and consumer organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's failure to implement stricter standards to protect the public from mercury in seafood.

Full article

July

EPA will re-examine mercury rule's impact on new power plants

U.S. EPA announced on July 20, 2012 that it will reconsider the way its newly finalized mercury rule would affect future power plants. The rule was finalized in December and has been panned by Republicans and industry advocates as an assault on the coal industry. But EPA said in its announcement that it's willing to take a second look at the way the rule affects new power plants to reflect its "ongoing commitment to work with industry and other stakeholders to ensure that all of EPA's standards protect public health while being achievable and cost-effective."

Full article

June

Superfund Researcher, Brian Jackson, was part of a Panel of Scientists at a Science Cafe Discussing Arsenic in Food and Water in Concord, NH

Jackson was one of three arsenic experts on hand to answer questions about arsenic in food and water at The Barley House in Concord on Wednesday, June 20th for an audience of about 50 people.

NPR Follow-up story
NIEHS Story Nashua Telegraph Article

Flyer

C-MERC Papers Published in EHP

The June issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), includes two Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative (C-MERC), papers synthesizing research on mercury effects and exposure from fish consumption: Karagas et al. examines the emerging research on health effects of low level exposures to methylmercury, Oken et al. looks at the complexities of providing clear, unified fish consumption advice to reduce methylmercury exposure while simultaneously balancing nutrient intake, ecologic concerns, and economic issues. The issue also includes Celia Chen's editorial, Methylmercury Effects and Exposures: Who Is at Risk?

Press Release

Superfund Researchers Publish Arsenic Paper in PLoS One

Dartmouth researchers, Joshua Hamilton of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Courtney Kozul-Horvath at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, have published a paper entitled "Effects of low-dose drinking water arsenic on mouse fetal and postnatal growth and development" linking exposure to arsenic in drinking water to adverse health outcomes in pregnant and lactating mice and their offspring.

Press Release

May

Methylmercury is pressing health issue in Pacific bluefin tuna found with traces of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Researchers have discovered traces of radioactive cesium in Pacific Bluefin tuna, according to Nicholas Fisher and Zofia Baumann at Stony Brook University, and Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who co-wrote the article. As alarming as these findings are the prevalence of mercury in tuna is a more pressing human health risk.

Read more...

FAQ Responses Regarding Arsenic in Food Containing Organic Brown Rice Syrup

We have received hundreds of inquiries from concerned parents and consumers about the EHP paper reporting that arsenic has been found in two toddler formulas and some cereal/energy bars and energy shots. Our response to frequently asked questions is below.

Arsenic in Food FAQs

Consumer Reports Article Addresses Arsenic in Food

A Consumer Reports article on arsenic in food highlights concerns about the presence of arsenic in many food staples. Article
FDA Response

Dartmouth Researchers Publish Paper on Arsenic in Organic Brown Rice Syrup

Dartmouth Superfund researcher, Brian Jackson, is the lead author on a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives on the presence of arsenic in organic brown rice syrup. Organic brown rice syrup is used in many products including infant formula, cereal/energy bars, and high-energy foods used by endurance athletes. Jackson and his colleagues conclude that in the face of the increasing prevalence of hidden arsenic in food, and the absence of U. S. regulations in this area, “there is an urgent need for regulatory limits on arsenic in food.”

Read more...

Link to EHP Article

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.

Read more...

Dartmouth Superfund trainee, Emily Notch, elected post-doc representative for the executive committee for the Northeast chapter of the Society of Toxicology

Emily's duties will be to be a part of the executive committee and help to plan various New England Society of Toxicology events as well as some other duties such as website maintenance.

Dartmouth Superfund Researcher, Joshua Hamilton, was a Speaker at the Largest Drinking Water Protection Workshop in New England

On May 2nd Joshua Hamilton was the keynote speaker at the DES 2012 Drinking Water Source Protection Workshop in Concord, NH. This year marks a milestone (25 years) since DES was created to protect environmental resources in New Hampshire. The event featured policymakers, scientists, water supply managers and local officials, who presented their work and views on a range of topics. These topics included emerging contaminants, shoreland protection law changes, permitting of private wells, examples of low-impact development (LID) and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPS), and results of studies on chloride contamination, leak detection surveys, and low dose arsenic exposure.

5th Integrative Biology Symposium "Human Microbiome in Health and Disease" was held on May 1st and 2nd

This year's Integrative Biology Symposium took place at Alumni Hall starting in the evening of May 1st. This was a very exciting symposium on a topic with huge implications for human health. A variety of invited speakers presented in addition to an outstanding group of Dartmouth Investigators. Over 200 people attended the event.

Symposium Flyer

April

Dartmouth Superfund Researcher Margaret Karagas, Ph.D., and Research Translation Coordinator, Laurie Rardin, presented a webinar entitled "Examining and Communicating the Health Implications of Arsenic in our Food System" on April 3, 2012

Several recent studies have revealed unexpected sources of exposure to arsenic through consumption of food. This webinar will feature two presentations that highlight the science of the recent findings and discuss the challenges and approaches to communicating an important public health message.

Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and Boston University Superfund Research Program co-hosted a Conference on Complex Mixtures and Exposures

On April 23-24 2012 the Dartmouth College and Boston University Superfund Programs co-hosted a conference on "Complex Mixtures and Exposures: Analyzing, Modeling and Predicting Fate and Effects at Multiple Levels of Environmental and Biological Systems". The conference was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Approximately 50 people attended and heard talks given by Superfund and non-Superfund scientists.

March

National Ground Water Awareness Week

In support of National Ground Water Awareness Week (March 11 through 17) the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program issued a joint press release with the NH Department of Environmental Services encouraging private well owners to TEST THEIR WELLS for potential contaminants including arsenic.

Press Release

Learn More

February

FAQ Responses Regarding Arsenic in Food Containing Organic Brown Rice Syrup

We have received hundreds of inquiries from concerned parents and consumers about the EHP paper reporting that arsenic has been found in two toddler formulas and some cereal/energy bars and energy shots. Our response to frequently asked questions is below.

Arsenic in Food FAQs

Dartmouth Researchers Publish Paper on Arsenic in Organic Brown Rice Syrup

Dartmouth Superfund researcher, Brian Jackson, is the lead author on a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives on the presence of arsenic in organic brown rice syrup. Organic brown rice syrup is used in many products including infant formula, cereal/energy bars, and high-energy foods used by endurance athletes. Jackson and his colleagues conclude that in the face of the increasing prevalence of hidden arsenic in food, and the absence of U. S. regulations in this area, “there is an urgent need for regulatory limits on arsenic in food.”

Read more...

Link to EHP Article

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...