December 2019 eBulletin.

Below are a few snapshots of recent University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) accomplishments. 

UW SRP hosts the 2019 annual Superfund Research Program meeting in Seattle

Recently, the UW SRP hosted the 2019 annual SRP meeting in Seattle on the theme of "Data to Knowledge to Action." From November 18th-20th, 408 attendees convened at the downtown Hyatt Regency to hear talks, peruse posters, attend special sessions, and interact face-to-face with colleagues from across the country.

Twenty SRP centers funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) were represented by 24 directors, 24 administrators, 72 research translation and community engagement (RT/CE) staff, and 167 trainees, among others. Nineteen government representatives also attended the meeting as well as two industry representatives and two local science writers.

The meeting's main session kicked off with a welcome from UW SRP Director Evan Gallagher followed by a blessing from Ken Workman, a member of the Duwamish Tribe and direct descendant of the man we know as "Chief Seattle." Keynote addresses were delivered by Julia Cui of UW and Andrew Whitehead of University of California-Davis. Other presentations were given by trainees. The 2019 Wetterhahn Award went to Elana Elkin of the PROTECT SRP.

After all the talks had been given, posters presented, and meals enjoyed together, poster award announcement and closing remarks were made by William Suk, Director of NIEHS. We look forward to getting together again next year hosted by the Texas A & M SRP.
Photos of the event can be seen on twitter under the hashtag #NIEHS19.

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Boat tour of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site

Thirty-two attendees of the 2019 SRP annual meeting signed up for a boat tour of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site organized by the UW SRP and hosted by James Rasmussen of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and Shawn Blocker of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency Region 10. For two hours, participants cruised the polluted waterway, taking in native habitat, areas of industrial use, and sites of ecological restoration. More here.

Changes to local water quality standards could impact health

UW SRP manager of community engagement, BJ Cummings, attended a September 25th meeting hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10. EPA gave a short presentation about their proposed withdrawal of human health criteria for Washington State waters established in 2016. New standards would allow for a fourfold increase in the acceptable amount of dioxin and nearly 20 times the amount of PCBs in state waters. More here

Webinar on the Proposed Rayonier Pulp Mill Cleanup

On November 22nd, the UW SRP co-hosted a webinar on the proposed clean-up of the former Rayonier Pulp Mill site in Port Angeles. Located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Mill ranked as one of the state's worst air, water and soil polluters. Technical Advisor to the Olympic Environmental Council, Dr. Peter L. deFur spoke about the site, the proposed plan for cleanup and how to provide public comment. See a recording of the webinar here.

Samantha Fung wins best poster award

Samantha Fung, a PhD student on Project Four, recently won best poster award at the 2019 conference of the Washington State Lake Protection Association. The conference was held October 30-November 1 in Chelan, Washington. Because the conference was held on Halloween, the evening session included a costume contest. Fung dressed as an aquatic snail in a food web. Recently, Fung published a newsletter story about her work. 

UW SRP volunteers to maintain Green Wall

On October 19, UW SRP trainee Megumi Matsushita volunteered to pull weeds and spread mulch at the Georgetown Green Wall in South Seattle's Duwamish Valley. Green Walls like this can reduce airborne particulates by up to sixty-percent- important for a neighborhood with disproportionately high diesel particulate concentrations and Seattle's highest rates of childhood asthma hospitalizations
Read more.

Zhengui Xia in the news for work on cadmium

While the toxin cadmium is well-known to cause kidney, bone and lung disease and cancer in humans, new evidence from the lab of Zhengui Xia, PI on UW SRP Project Two, suggests that exposure to cadmium at relatively low levels also leads to accelerated cognitive impairment, particularly in those who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's disease. More information about the study can be found here

Project Four profiled by UW News

UW SRP's Project Four was recently profiled in a long-form news story by the University of Washington Department of Civil Engineering. The story features the work of graduate student, Samantha Fung and her colleagues and advisors, to better understand the cycling of arsenic in lakes contaminated by the former ASARCO smelter near Tacoma, Washington. As Fung points out, studies of lakes as small as her study site are rare.

We want to hear from you!

We would love to hear from you! If you have feedback related to our work or are interested in a potential partnership don't hesitate to contact UW SRP Director, Dr. Evan Gallagher; Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores, Dr. Tom Burbacher; Research Translation Manager, Lisa Hayward Watts; or Community Engagement Manager, BJ Cummings.

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Superfund Research Program
Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
University of Washington
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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences · University of Washington · Box 357234 · Seattle, WA 98195 · USA

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