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
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.
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 ONE. This 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
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.
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.
Come out to celebrate water on May 16, 2015 for the 8th Annual Urban Pond Procession. Walk with the music from the Mashapaug Boat Center to the Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park to support the role of water in our lives and our communities.
The Urban Pond Procession, an SRP partner, is a growing, culminating event that takes place every year in late spring or early summer to celebrate and cultivate public and political interest in the health of the Pawtuxet River Watershed.
The Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology presented Kim Boekelheide, M.D., Ph.D. with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, in San Diego. Dr. Boekelheide was recognized for his “outstanding scientific and leadership contributions to the field of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology.”
Brown University Superfund Research Program in partnership with University of Rhode Island College of Nursing and the Narragansett Tribal government held their third workshop in a series on emergency planning and preparedness for Tribal Elders.
Dr. Marcella Thompson discussed the importance of taking precautions for health and safety during the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Most disaster victims are unprepared for the physical and emotional tolls of its impact and underestimate the time, effort and resources that it takes to return to (new) normal.
–Dr. Marcella Thompson
Dr. Thompson presenting at the Narragansett Tribal Elders Workshop on Emergency Preparedness
The Urban Pond Procession (UPP) held their 2015 Community Kickoff Event on February 28th at the Reservoir Avenue School in Providence, RI. The Extraordinary Rendition Band opened the festivities with Down by the Riverside. “We’re bringing up a whole new generation of pond lovers and music lovers,” said band member Shannon Kelley. (P.E.Parker, Providence Journal).
Meg Kerr, director of Clean Water Action, spoke about local environmental concerns and green infrastructure initiatives. Local artists Kate Schapira, Amy Walsh and UPP Director Holly Ewald talked about their work in arts-driven community building and environmental stewardship of Mashapaug Pond which is adjacent to the Gorham-Textron brownfields site. Children helped create a book to illustrate how water flow patterns change with different environmental contaminants. Brown University Superfund Research Program Community Engagement Core co-sponsored this event.
Learn more about the Urban Pond Procession.
— Dr. Marcella Thompson
It was a rough a winter, to say the least. We are ready for spring! Are you ready to get outside and enjoy your bike on the scenic Woonasquatucket River Greenway Bike Path? Help us prepare the path for season. Join us Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. as we join the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council and other local businesses to clean up and beautify the bike path. You can register and find more information here!