Press coverage

April 2017

Northeast SRP Researchers Meet in Boston on April 4 & 5

Dartmouth SRP PhD Candidate Kevin Hsu (left) & CU SRP Postdoctoral Research Scientist Tiffany Sanchez (right). Photo credit: A. Navas-Acien

Columbia SRP researchers participated in the 2017 Northeast Superfund Research Program (NE SRP) Meeting held April 4th and 5th in Boston, Massachusetts. This year the annual NE SRP Meeting was hosted by the PROTECT SRP Center at Northeastern University and co-sponsored by the NE SRP Centers at Boston University, Brown University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Scientific and technical sessions addressed regionally important topics, including reducing exposure to arsenic in drinking water, SRP-community interactions, the use of big data in environmental science research, and perspectives on the health risks of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances. Columbia SRP director Joseph Graziano and Columbia SRP scientist Ana Navas-Acien co-chaired the session on Reducing Water-Borne Arsenic Exposure in the Northeast. Nick Procopio, a Columbia SRP government partner at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), gave a talk titled "New Jersey’s Private Well Testing Act: A geographic summary of a decade of data." Dr. Graziano presented "Columbia University SRP’s ongoing research translation activities to raise awareness and reduce arsenic exposure in pregnant women in Hunterdon County, NJ." During the session on How to Leverage Big Data for Environmental Science Research, Dr. Navas-Acien gave a talk titled "Consortia of epidemiologic studies for environmental health: An urgent need." SRP scientists and trainees had the opportunity to share their research during a poster session. Columbia SRP postdoctoral research scientist Tiffany Sanchez presented a poster co-authored with Martha Powers, Matthew Perzanowksi, Joseph Graziano, and Ana Navas-Acien titled "A meta-analysis of arsenic exposure and lung function: Is there evidence of restrictive lung disease?" Columbia SRP PhD student Anne Nigra presented two posters: 1) co-authored with Keeve Nachman, David Love, Maria Grau Perez, and Ana Navas-Acien titled "Poultry consumption and arsenic exposure in the U.S. population" and 2) co-authored with Tiffany Sanchez, David Harvey, Joseph Graziano, and Ana Navas-Acien titled "Decline in arsenic exposure in the United States from 2003-2014: The impact of the Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant level and the need to protect private well users." Columbia SRP scientist Mary Gamble presented a poster co-authored with Caitlin Howe, postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Southern California, titled "Sex-specific associations between arsenic exposure and DNA methylation and mRNA expression in Bangladeshi adults with arsenicosis."

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February 2017

Kickoff of Free Arsenic and Lead Testing Outreach to Obstetric and Pediatric Patients through Health Care Providers in Hunterdon County, New Jersey

Left to right: Drs. Joe Graziano, W. Jesse Kayal, Debra Curry, Stuart Braman, Dario Lecusay, and Carla Jardim

Columbia SRP director Joe Graziano, Columbia SRP scientists Steve Chillrud, Sara Flanagan, and Stuart Braman, and New Jersey Department of Health partner Jessie Gleason began the Hunterdon County Health Care Provider Outreach project with a presentation at the Delaware Valley Family Health Center (DVFHC) in Milford, New Jersey on February 3. Dr. Graziano gave a presentation and led a discussion with DVFHC Medical Director Dr. Carla Jardim, Drs. Jennifer Creager, W. Jesse Kayal, Debra Curry, Dario Lecusay, Jigger Patel, and Mary Raulf, LPN. The project is focused on providing free arsenic and lead testing of drinking water to all pediatric and obstetric patients with private wells. Hunterdon County was chosen for the project based on New Jersey Private Well Testing Act results showing a significant percentage of wells in the county with arsenic higher than permitted by New Jersey in public water supplies. Fifty prepaid FedEx boxes with sample bottles and instructions were delivered for the first two weeks along with brochures, tabletop posters, wall posters, and a handout on Key Facts about Arsenic Exposure for Health Care Providers for the 14 doctors at the clinic.

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December 2016

NIEHS EHS FEST and SRP Annual Meeting

Sara Flanagan (top left), Tiffany Sanchez (top right), Steve Chillrud and Jeff Blair (bottom left), and Sandra Baptista (bottom right)















As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) held the Environmental Health Science Facilities, Engagement, Science, and Training (EHS FEST) event at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, North Carolina, December 5–8. EHS FEST convened more than 1,200 attendees, including NIEHS grantees, trainees, investigators, community partners, and government collaborators. During the SRP Annual Meeting held on Monday, December 5, Sara Flanagan, doctoral student at the City University of New York and Columbia SRP CEC research associate, presented a poster co-authored with Steven Spayd, Nicholas Procopio, Steven Chillrud, Stuart Braman, James Ross, Robert Marvinney, Andrew Smith, and Yan Zheng titled “Reducing exposure to arsenic from private well water: Who benefits most from traditional testing promotion?” Madhi Saranadasa, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, presented a poster co-authored with Maria Argos, Farzana Jasmine, Faruque Parvez, Mahfuzar Rahman, Tariqul Islam, Rakib Zaman, Mohammad Yunus, Muhammad Kibriya, and Habibul Ahsan titled “Differential gene expression and chronic arsenic exposure in a transcriptome-wide association study of adults in Bangladesh.” Joe Graziano and Nancy LoIacono represented the Columbia SRP at the Administrator’s Meeting.

Columbia SRP researchers presented four posters during the EHS FEST poster sessions held on December 6 and 7. Steven Chillrud presented a poster co-authored with Stuart Braman, Sara Flanagan, Yan Zheng, and Joseph Graziano titled “Private well arsenic-testing outreach pilot targets children, unborn babies through health care providers.” Beizhan Yan presented a poster co-authored with Martin Stute, Reynold Panettieri, James Ross, Brian Mailloux, Matthew Neidell, Lissa Soares, Marilyn Howarth, Xinhua Liu, Pouné Saberi, and Steven Chillrud titled “Association of groundwater constituents with distance to unconventional gas wells and topography in NE Pennsylvania.” Sara Flanagan presented a poster co-authored with Yan Zheng titled “The case for universal screening of private well water quality in the U.S.: Evidence from arsenic.” Tiffany Sanchez presented a poster co-authored with Faruque Parvez, Tariqul Islam, Jagoda Balac, Vesna Slavkovich, Alauddin Ahmed, Rabiul Hasan, Victoria Benoit, Xinhua Liu, Habibul Ahsan, and Joseph Graziano titled “Inorganic arsenic levels in rice are correlated with urinary arsenic: A pilot study quantifying aggregate arsenic exposure in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS).” The Columbia SRP video “Arsenic in Well Water: Treatment Options” was shown at the Film Festival on Wednesday, December 7. Sandra Baptista, Columbia SRP RTC Co-PI, presented the "National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Footprint: Site, Population, and Environmental Characteristics Mapper" at the Sensors and Technologies Fair on December 6. Steven Chillrud, Columbia SRP RTC Co-PI, and Jeff Blair of AethLabs presented “Modular Monitors for Particulates, Black Carbon, PAHs/VOCs and Bioaerosols for Public Health Studies” at the Sensors and Technologies Fair on December 7. Chillrud also participated in the Workshop on Commercializing Sensor Technologies on Thursday, December 8.

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