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Program Overview: Projects and Cores

Joseph H. Graziano, Mailman School of Public Health, Director
Alexander van Geen, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Associate Director

The contamination of groundwater and soils with arsenic (As) and manganese (Mn) is associated with major public health, remedial, and environmental policy problems. Both arsenic and manganese are found at numerous Superfund sites. This Superfund Research Program (SRP) seeks to obtain new knowledge, facilitate the translation of these findings into policy applications, and train multidisciplinary pre- and post-doctoral students concerning the health effects, geochemistry, and remediation of As and Mn, with a particular focus on groundwater. The program has involved substantial work at the single most seriously As-affected Superfund site in Vineland, New Jersey. It also encompasses epidemiologic studies of As- and Mn-exposed adults and children residing in Bangladesh, New Hampshire and Maine. As in the past, the Columbia University SRP includes a unique balance of highly integrated  biomedical and non-biomedical research.

As indicated in the list on below, the program includes three biomedical research projects, intimately intertwined with three non-biomedical projects; these projects are supported by research support cores. An Administrative Core is responsible for the supervision, coordination, and financial accountability of the entire SRP. The Research Translation Core "Collaborating with Government & the Public: As & Mn Exposure via Groundwater" provides additional mechanisms for sustained communications among the SRP research projects, cores, government agencies, and interested parties. The RTC also helps government agencies and the public evaluate and address local groundwater contamination by providing geospatial data integration, mapping, and field assistance. Finally, the newly created SRP Community Engagement Core aims to reduce health risks of residents in Maine who rely on domestic wells for water supply and who are exposed to arsenic, and other contaminants including radon (Rn), uranium (U) and manganese (Mn).


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