February Seminar Series: Subsurface Fate and Transport of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances

Join us Friday, February 12, 2016 at noon in Barus and Holley room 190 for this month’s seminar series presented by Dr. Jennifer Guelfo. Dr. Guelfo joined the Brown Superfund Research Program Center this past December, as a State Agency Liaison Postdoctoral Fellow. She will share with us her research on “Subsurface Fate and Transport of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances.”

Abstract:
In recent years, poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have faced increased regulatory scrutiny by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several State environmental agencies.  These agencies are issuing water quality guidelines for some PFAS of less than 1 μg/L, yet there is still a need for a complete understanding of areas such as fate and transport that will allow agencies and responsible parties to achieve these standards.  PFAS are fluorinated surfactants with unique properties that have led to their use in a variety of consumer and industrial products including non-stick cookware, food paper packaging products, stain repellant sprays, and firefighting foams.  Because of this there is global low-level PFAS distribution, but elevated (e.g. mg/L) concentrations in groundwater have been measured near PFAS manufacturing facilities as well as fire training areas that have a history of repeat use of PFAS based firefighting foams.  PFAS based foams are typically applied to hydrocarbon fuel fires leading to mixed contaminant plumes at some training areas.  This study is a multi-scale investigation of PFAS fate and transport.  Batch sorption studies were used to understand equilibrium fate and transport potential in both PFAS only and mixed contaminant systems. Results were extended to 1-D column experiments to begin looking at PFAS transport in an advective scenario. Lastly, a field study of PFAS occurrence in soil and groundwater at a former fire training facility provided an opportunity to understand how lab results apply to the field and to gain initial insight into the biggest challenges still faced in understanding fate and transport of this unique class of compounds.

 

Seminar Series December: Next-Generation Nanomaterials

Join us Thursday, December 3, for a lecture from University of Wisconsin-Madison, professor Dr. Robert Hamers. The lecture will be in Barus and Holley room 190 at noon! Abstract:In recent years there has been an explosive growth in the use of nanomaterials in consumer products and commercial processes.  For example, electric vehicles use complex oxides such as LiNiMnCoO2  (“NMC”) in their cathodes, in amounts approaching 100 pounds per vehicle, raising potential for exposure during manufacture, use, and disposal.  Yet there is relatively little understanding of the behavior of these complex oxides materials in the environment. We have been investigating the interaction of complex oxides with Shewanella oneidensis (a soil bacterium) and Daphnia magna (water flea) as model systems for understanding the environmental impact of these materials. Our studies reveal that transformation of the nanoparticles occurs and plays an important role in subsequent biological response, but with significant differences between organisms.

Vapor Intrusion Workshop at AEHS Foundation

Dr. Eric Suuberg, leader of the Project 3 and the RTC, presented at the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation‘s 31st Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy. His specific workshop on  “Vapor Intrusion Assessment: Developments and Advances” focused on exposure limits, VOC transport, pathways, advances in sampling, transport modeling related to risk, and mitigation design.

 

October Seminar: Dr. John Richburg,

Join us Friday, October 2, 2015 at noon for Dr. Richburg’s lecture “Anatomy of a Murder: The central role of the Sertoli cell in regulating the life/death balance of germ cells.” Dr. Richburg is the associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas, Austin. He is a former postdoctoral fellow in the Brown University Environmental Pathology Training Grant. We are delighted to have him back on campus to share his current research.

The seminar will be held at Brown University, Barus and Holley room 190.

Abstract:

The mechanism by which noninfectious testicular inflammation results in infertility is poorly understood. In this presentation the infiltration of CD11b+ immunoreactive testicular interstitial cells (neutrophil, macrophages, dendritic cells) in immature (postnatal day [PND] 21, 28, and 35) and adult (PND 56) Fischer rats is described at after exposure to mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), a well-described testicular Sertoli cell toxicant. Taken together, the findings described in this presentation implicate that the peritubular myoid cells of the testis release the chemokine MCP-1 and instigate the migration of CD11b+ cells into the immature rat testis early after MEHP exposure. These findings to be presented further indicate that the influx of CD11b+ cells may account for the underlying mechanism of the observed age- and species-dependent sensitivity of animals to phthalate-induced testicular injury.

SRP at the Narragansett Indian Tribe Powwow

Brown University’s SRP launched The Namaus (All Things Fish) Project at the Narragansett Tribe’s Annual Powwow in Charlestown, R.I., August 9-10, 2015. The SRP Community Engagement Core is working with the Tribe to assess the impacts of environmental contamination on the Narragansett Tribe, and to facilitate informed decision-making regarding fish consumption and fish contamination. The exhibit included an aquarium with “fish” from Tribal Ponds to engage youth. Adults were recruited for Talking Circles.

Marcella R Thompson, PhD, MS, CSP, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN
Co-Leader of Community Engagement, Superfund Research Program of Brown University

.1 Small Poster Addressing the Tribal Community powwow 2015  Information Tent Rachael and Barry Powwow 2015 Posters Powwow 2015

SRP Seminar Series: September 11, Dr. Bryan Choi

Dr. Bryan Choi, Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine, Brown University, will kick off the 2015-2016 Superfund Seminar Series with the lecture “Detection and Measurement of Unhealthy, Environment Derived Aerosol Materials in an Emergency Department”. This lecture will be based on his research published in the Health and Environments Research and Design Journal.

The seminar will be held in room 190 at Barus and Holley, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. The lecture is open to everyone, please join us!

Abstract of lecture: Abstract Objective: To measure unhealthy aerosol materials in an Emergency Department (ED) and identify their sources for mitigation efforts. Background: Based on pilot findings of elevated ED particulate matter (PM) levels, investigators hypothesized that unhealthy aerosol materials derive from exogenous (vehicular) sources at ambulance receiving entrances. Methods: The Aerosol Environmental Toxicity in Healthcare-related Exposure and Risk program was conducted as an observational study. Calibrated sensors monitored PM and toxic gases at Ambulance Triage Exterior (ATE), Ambulance Triage Desk (ATD), and control Public Triage Desk (PTD) on a 3/3/3-day cycle. Cassette sampling characterized PM; meteorological and ambulance traffic data were logged. Descriptive and multiple linear regression analyses assessed for interactions between aerosol material levels, location, temporal variables, ambulance activity, and meteorological factors. Results: Sensors acquired 93,682 PM0.3, 90,250 PM2.5, and 93,768 PM5 measurements over 366 days to generate a data set representing at least 85.6% of planned measurements. PM0.3, PM2.5, and PM5 mean counts were lowest in PTD; 56%, 224%, and 223% higher in ATD; and 996%, 200%, and 63% higher in ATE, respectively (all p < .001). Qualitative analyses showed similar PM compositions in ATD and ATE. On multiple linear regression analysis, PM0.3 counts correlated primarily with location; PM2.5 and PM5 counts correlated most strongly with location and ambulance presence. PM < 2.5 and toxic gas concentrations at ATD and PTD patient care areas did not exceed hazard levels; PM0.3 counts did not have formal safety thresholds for comparison. Conclusions: Higher levels of PM were linked with ED ambulance areas, although their health impact is unclear.

Recent Article on Potential Applications in Bioremediation

Former post-doctoral researcher James Rice has co-authored the recently published article Degradation of Bunker C Fuel Oil by White-Rot Fungi in Sawdust Cultures Suggests Potential Applications in Bioremediation in PLoS ONEThis article is the result of work that was co-funded through grants from the Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy, Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise, and NIEHS Superfund.

Fig 1. Hydrocarbon degradation by Trichaptum biforme. GC-MS chromatograms of (a) alkane and (b) phenanthrene degradation by T. biforme measured after 180 days of growth in pine media with Bunker C oil. Black lines = T. biforme profiles; blue lines = Bunker C oil profiles. From: Degradation of Bunker C Fuel Oil by White-Rot Fungi in Sawdust Cultures Suggests Potential Applications in Bioremediation. Young D, Rice J, Martin R, Lindquist E, Lipzen A, et al. (2015) Degradation of Bunker C Fuel Oil by White-Rot Fungi in Sawdust Cultures Suggests Potential Applications in Bioremediation. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0130381. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130381

Fig 1. Hydrocarbon degradation by Trichaptum biforme. GC-MS chromatograms of (a) alkane and (b) phenanthrene degradation by T. biforme measured after 180 days of growth in pine media with Bunker C oil. Black lines = T. biforme profiles; blue lines = Bunker C oil profiles. From: Degradation of Bunker C Fuel Oil by White-Rot Fungi in Sawdust Cultures Suggests Potential Applications in Bioremediation. Young D, Rice J, Martin R, Lindquist E, Lipzen A, et al. (2015) Degradation of Bunker C Fuel Oil by White-Rot Fungi in Sawdust Cultures Suggests Potential Applications in Bioremediation. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0130381. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130381

Trainees meet with Dr. Paul Carmichael, Senior Scientist Unilever

Dr. Paul Carmichael, Science Leader and Senior Toxicologist at the Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre at Unilever in the U.K., was a visiting scientist to Brown University, SRP on June 23, 2015. He met with SRP trainees and Brown University undergraduates and postdoctoral researchers to discuss his perspectives on toxicology careers in academia, industry, and the public sector. He is also Professor at the Lancaster University and Honorary Visiting Professor at Peking University and provided our trainees and students with an international perspective on toxicology and regulatory issues.

Successful Clean Days on the Greenway 2015

Thanks to all the volunteers and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council who spruced up the Woonasquatucket River Greenway just in time for the warm weather. Brown SRP is honored to have supported your work in keeping this community asset clean and beautiful for everyone to enjoy. The Greenway connects parks and open spaces from Waterplace Park in Provdience to Lyman Avenue in Johnston along the Woonasquatucket River.

On Saturday, April 25, 170 volunteers and businesses collected 26 tires and 59 bags of debris; removed graffiti from a bridge; painted 12 new signs for the path; and tidied up Cricket Field in Johnston. The Greenway hopes to expand to connect to the Cricket Field.

In the News: “Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council holds ‘Clean Days on the Greenway’ kickoff” Johnston Sunrise 

Learn more about: Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council

Learn more about Brown SRP community partners.