Archived Announcements

May 10 2013

Arsenic, Methylation, and Cardiovascular Risk-- Online Publication in EHP

On May 10th Environmental Health Perspectives provided an advance publication of the paper, "A Prospective Study of Arsenic Exposure, Arsenic Methylation Capacity, and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Bangladesh" by Dr. Yu Chen, Associate Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center and her Columbia SRP colleagues. They carried out "a case-cohort study of 369 incident fatal and non-fatal cases of CVD, including 148 stroke cases and 211 cases of heart disease, and a subcohort of 1,109 subjects randomly selected from the 11,224 participants in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study." Their overall conclusion is that exposure to arsenic in drinking water together with reduced arsenic methylation capacity is associated with increased heart disease risk.

Suggested citation:

Chen Y, Wu F, Liu M, Parvez F, Slavkovich V, Eunus M, Ahmed A, Segers S, Argos M, Islam T, Rakibuz-Zaman M, Hasan R, Sarwar G, Levy D, Graziano J, Ahsan H. A Prospective Study of Arsenic Exposure, Arsenic Methylation Capacity, and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Bangladesh. Environmental Health Perspectives (tba). doi:10.1289/ehp.1205797 Online publication: May 10, 2013.


Related link(s):
Announcement type: CU SRP Publications

April 19 2013

NYS DEC looking for Student Volunteers

Community-Based Bioremediation ProjectVolunteer scope of work, Spring/Summer 2013

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Division of Environmental Remediation, is interested in how we can help community groups to address environmental contamination in their neighborhoods through community-based bioremediation projects.  The term “bioremediation” is used here to describe any low-intensity, natural method to remove, stabilize, prevent exposure to, or stimulate breakdown of contaminants. 

To advance this effort, we are seeking a Volunteer to help 1) develop resources for interested groups; and 2) work with one or two community groups to plan, implement, and document results of a pilot project.

Potential tasks would include:

  • Create survey for community groups and other relevant stakeholders to gain understanding of interest in community-based bioremediation, and identify goals, feasibility, challenges, etc.
  • Develop webpage of FAQs for community-based bioremediation, with answers and resources, for DEC website.  FAQs should incorporate questions/challenges identified in survey.  Development would require research on a range of topics, including technical aspects of bioremediation methods, bioavailability of various contaminants, resources for soil sampling and analysis, and urban gardening concerns.
  • Volunteer will work with community group(s) to:
    •  Develop a plan for soil sampling that considers the previous use of the property, potential contaminants, budget, etc.
    • Review analytical results and compare to available guidance values
    • Research, analyze, and make recommendations on potential bioremediation strategies based on identified contamination, desired future use of the property, budget, and health/safety factors
    • Develop plan for implementing, maintaining, and monitoring effectiveness of selected bioremediation strategy
    • Throughout project, document process, lessons learned, challenges, etc.

Preferred Qualifications of Volunteer:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Background in environmental science, engineering or policy. Volunteer will ideally have some technical understanding of environmental assessment and remediation, although a technical degree is not required.
  • Website development a plus

Please note there is no compensation for this work. It is for 1-2 days per week, but with a flexible schedule. Volunteers would be working out of the DEC office in Long Island City, 47-40 21st Street. If you have any questions or would like to apply, please contact Dana Kaplan, <>, NYSDEC Environmental Engineer.



Announcement type: General Announcements

April 19 2013

GSA Northeastern Meeting

The 48th Annual Geological Society of America Northeastern section meeting took place on March 17-19, 2013 at the Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire (link)

The session on Naturally Occurring Contaminants in Groundwater Used for Water Supply in the Northeastern United States was organized by Yan Zheng, Queens College, CUNY and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisade, NY and Joe Ayotte, United States Geological Survey, Pembroke, NH. Yan Zheng chaired the session. Two papers from the Columbia SRP project were presented, and the session was attended by five current and former members of Columbia’s SRP team: Yan Zheng and Sara Flanagan from the Community Engagement Core, Stuart Braman from the Research Translation Core and Qiang Yang and Beth O’Shea reporting on work done on the former Project 5 – Mobilization of Natural Arsenic in Groundwater.

Qiang Yang began the session with his presentation on Hydrogeochemical Control of Arsenic, Uranium and Radon in Domestic Wells from Bedrock Aquifers in Central Maine.  The next four papers extended the theme with a look at arsenic occurrence in metamorphosed bedrock units in Maine by Beth O’Shea, in gold-bearing quartz veins in western Ireland by Martin Gilligan, in the Newark and Gettysburg basins in Pennsylvania by Johanna M.T.Blake and in pyrite in Taconic slates in southwestern Vermont  by Helen Mango.

A paper on water quality in Unity Maine wells by Lois K. Ongley served as the transition to a presentation on Arsenic in Nova Scotia’s Private Drinking Water Wells: Reducing Risk Exposure through Community-based Knowledge-To-Action Interventions by Heather Chappells. The final presentation, Mitigating Arsenic Exposure from Maine’s Private Drinking Water Wells By Targeting Behavioral Factors Through Community Engagement by Sara Flanagan focused on the Columbia Community Engagement Core survey of households in Maine with the goal of understanding psychological conditions necessary for adopting testing and treatment behaviors.  The improved understanding will then guide the design of community level interventions.  Because the Columbia CEC and Nova Scotia projects are addressing the same issues RTC is working with in New Jersey, the meeting provided a great opportunity to exchange ideas and lay the groundwork for possible future collaboration.

An informal evening gathering hosted by Yan Zheng provided an opportunity for discussions with the USGS scientist who were prevented from participating in the morning session due to the sequestration. In addition to session presenters, Columbia CEC collaborators Dr. Robert Marvinney and Mr. R. Johnston from Maine Geological Survey joined the evening conversation. A special issue is planned for Science of the Total Environment to highlight the risks arsenic poses to communities in Northeastern United States and Canada.

Announcement type: General Announcements

March 26 2013

Goldschmidt 2013 Conference

You are cordially invited to submit abstracts for the Goldschmidt conference August 25-30, 2013 in Florence, Italy.

Columbia University Superfund Research Program scientists are organizing two sessions for the Goldschmidt 2013:
Dr. Yan Zheng is the co-organizer of the Hydrogeochemistry session "Sustainable Groundwater Development and the Millennium Development Goals: What Can Hydrogeochemists do?".

Dr. Alexander van Geen is co-hosting the Anthropogenic Impacts on Pollutant Dynamics session, "Impacts of Soil, Air, and Water Geochemistry on Human Health".  For more information on both sessions please see below or go to conference web site section on Themes (

If you are interested in submitting abstracts for these or other sessions, please go to the conference website's pages on Abstracts ( Note that the abstract submission deadline is April 12th.

If you have any questions regarding these two sessions, please contact Dr. Zheng and Dr. van Geen directly.

Related link(s):
Announcement type: General Announcements

March 1 2013

Broad Scope of Health Effects from Chronic Arsenic Exposure: Update on a Worldwide Public Health Problem

CU SRP Director Joseph Graziano and PI Habibul Ahsan collaborated with NIEHS staff, Marisa Naujokas, Beth Anderson, Claudia Thompson, and SRP Director Bill Suk along with UA SRP scientist H. Vasken Aposhian to synthesize the large body of current research pertaining to arsenic exposure and health outcomes worldwide. Following their review, the authors conclude that the data indicate “arsenic-related pathologies exist in broader contexts than previously perceived”. Pregnant women and children are particularly susceptible, leading to potentially life-long developmental impacts from arsenic exposure: “Most remarkably, early-life exposure may be related to increased risks for several types of cancer and other diseases during adulthood.” The authors such as a top priority foods and drinking water for arsenic, including individual private wells, must be tested in order to reduce exposure and improve health for those populations most at risk.

Suggested Citation:

Naujokas MF, B Anderson, H Ahsan,, HV Aposhian, JH Graziano, C Thompson, and WA Suk. (2013) The Broad Scope of Health Effects from Chronic Arsenic Exposure: Update on a Worldwide Public Health Problem. Environ Health Perspect 121:295–302 (2013). [Online 3 January 2013]

PDF icon Full paper1.06 MB
Announcement type: CU SRP Publications

February 15 2013

Internship Opportunities for Students at NCEH and ATSDR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) offer paid 10-week summer internship programs for students who are passionate about the environment, interested in human health, and curious about how they are linked. During the course of the internship, students are introduced to environmental health at the federal level through collaborative projects, experiential learning opportunities, environmental health presentations, journal clubs, field trips, brown bag lunches, and mentoring relationships at NCEH/ATSDR.  Interns will be based at NCEH/ATSDR’s Chamblee, GA Campus.

For more information, please visit the programs web site:

Summer Program in Environmental Health (

-Open to students who are enrolled fulltime in EHAC-accredited Environmental Health programs as a rising junior, senior, or graduate student.

-Application deadline: February 15th, 2013


Graduate Environmental Health program (

-Open to graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree granting program. Students graduating in Spring 2013 are eligible for this opportunity.

 -Application deadline: February 27th, 2013


Sponsored by: CDC NCEH/ATSDR
Announcement type: General Announcements

January 31 2013 to February 28 2013

KC Donnelly Externship Supplement Awards

This is an exciting opportunity to provide interdisciplinary experiences for SRP graduate students and post-docs either directly supported or conducting research supported by an SRP P42 or R01 grant.In honor of KC Donnelly, this supplemental award provides current SRP-funded graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with funding to pursue translational/transdisciplinary opportunities and experiences within other SRP-funded centers, government laboratories (EPA, ATSDR, NIEHS), or other agencies (state, local,Tribal).For more information, please review the KC Donnelly Externship Guidelines.

Sponsored by: NIEHS Superfund Research Program
Announcement type: General Announcements

November 1 2012

Study suggests large investment in Bangladesh water supply infrastructure would be justified

Two of Columbia's SRP Community Engagement Core scientists Sara Flanagan and Yan Zheng along with their colleague Richard Johnston published a paper in the November 2012 WHO Bulletin examining the health and economic impacts and implications for the mitigation of arsenic in tube well water in Bangladesh. A recent survey in Bangladesh estimates that 35 to 77 million people have been chronically exposed to arsenic in their drinking water. The health implications of chronic arsenic exposure in such a large population are substantial. Interventions in areas with the highest proportion of unsafe wells are likely to reach the population exposed to the highest arsenic concentrations and therefore at highest risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes. This paper provides evidence that large investments in the water supply infrastructure to reduce levels of arsenic in drinking water is economically justified when the health and economic burdens of unabated arsenic exposure are considered.


Flanagan, S.V., R.B. Johnston,and Y. Zheng. 2012. Arsenic in tube well water in Bangladesh: health and economic impacts and implications for arsenic mitigation.Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2012;90:839-846. doi: 10.2471/BLT.11.101253

Related link(s):
Announcement type: CU SRP Publications

October 24 2012

NIEHS celebrates SRP Silver Jubilee

The Superfund Research Program celebrated its 25th anniversary at the 2012  Annual Meeting in Raleigh, NC, 21-24 October .  To learn more about the history of the program and its research successes, download the new SRP commemorative booklet (link below). Look closely on the cover and you will see Columbia SRP Director Dr. Joseph Graziano. You may also access pdfs of the Annual Meeting's scientific sessions and presentations.

Related link(s):
Announcement type: General Announcements

October 19 2012

NIEHS SRP Risk e Learning Webinar Series

This seminar was the first in a three part series that coincides with the Superfund Research Program(SRP) 25th Anniversary and the 10th Anniversary of the SRP Risk e-Learning webinars. The SRP chose this opportunity to highlight the Program's accomplishments in the area of arsenic research. Since its inception, the SRP has funded work to understand the consequences of exposure to arsenic at the molecular and population levels.

Dr.  Joseph Graziano, presents a historical overview of the global human health issues related to drinking water. His presentation focuses on the sources and prevalence of arsenic exposures and the evolution of our understanding of the spectrum of human health impacts and how arsenic imparts negative effects. Dr. Margaret Karagas gives a brief overview of her epidemiology work that focuses on etiologic mechanisms and prevention of human cancers and other adverse health outcomes. She discusses recent findings from studies to develop biomarkers of arsenic exposure and susceptibility in a U.S. population that relies heavily on private drinking water systems where over 10% of the wells contain low to moderate levels of arsenic. She also presents information from her research, from her early studies investigating cancer risk to her more recent investigation into sources of arsenic exposure among pregnant women, e.g., via their consumption of rice and tap water, and the research translation activities that help raise awareness of the presence of arsenic in the drinking water supply.  Dr. A. Eduardo Saezwill focuses on his and Co-PI’s (Eric Betterton, Ph.D.) latest research that involves the characterization of windblown dust from mine tailings and will also touch on the University of Arizona SRP’s phytostabilization field study in the southwestern United States that uses native plants to successfully reduce the amount of dust coming off the tailings, thereby reducing potential aerial exposures.

Invitees: All interested in the topics
Sponsored by: NIEHS Superfund Research Program
Location: EPA Clu-in Training & Events Webinar
Related link(s):
Announcement type: CU SRP Announcements


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer