November 12, 2020

Author: Lyndsi Lewis

In the beginning, before the “Two-Leggeds” walked the Earth, creator came and asked who would help take care of them. The first to come forward were the Salmon. The relationship between salmon and Native People in the Pacific Northwest goes back to the beginning of time.  People take care of the land and the water so that the animals and the fish can live and remain healthy, and the animals and the fish then take care of the people by feeding them and providing nourishment. Have we come to a point where we have polluted the land so much that the fish are now polluting us?

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Author(s): Christine Ghetu, Diana Rohlman, Kim Anderson

When a wildfire breaks out public health recommendations are to stay indoors and close all windows, but is that the best advice? Toxicology researchers at Oregon State University are very interested in understanding the effect of wildfires on indoor and outdoor air quality. Dr. Kim Anderson and her team have been collecting samples before, during and after wildfires in the Pacific Northwest using community-engaged research for the last three years to help improve public health recommendations.

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March 13, 2019

This past week, 18 Science and Technology Liaisons (STL) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came to a 2-hour training offered by our Superfund Program. Dr. Stacey Harper (Co-coordinator, Research Translation) welcomed the participants to Oregon State University. She and Michael Barton (Research Translation) previewed the new visualization tool being developed in our Superfund; a network analysis tool that can visualize connectivity between SRP projects. Continue reading

OSU Disaster Research Highlighted at Upcoming NIEHS Community-Based Participatory Research Workshop in India | February 26-28, 2019. New Delhi, India

Workshop Agenda available here: https://www.pria.org/event_details.php?id=26&evtid=465

The National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences recently released their new strategic plan. Three dominant themes emerged:

  1. Advancing Environmental Health Sciences
  2. Promoting Translation – Data to Knowledge to Action
  3. Enhancing Environmental Health Sciences through stewardship and support.

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Scientific research is designed to build knowledge and explore. Sometimes, that means changing previous ideas. In the US, we have a system that reviews and updates toxic chemicals. In 2017, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) was updated. BaP is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) (https://superfund.oregonstate.edu/all-about-pahs). It is also a carcinogen. Exposure to a carcinogen may increase cancer risk.

The review of BaP found it to be 7 times less toxic than previously thought. However, it is still a carcinogen. This change may impact Superfund sites that have PAHs as pollutants. Why? Because BaP is used as a standard of toxicity for 6 other carcinogenic PAHs. When the toxicity of BaP changes, it changes these other PAHs. This means that BaP and 6 other PAHs will be considered 7 times less carcinogenic. We developed a one-page infographic describing this change (https://superfund.oregonstate.edu/sites/superfund.oregonstate.edu/files/image-album/infographics/infographics_0.jpg). The Portland Harbor Superfund site has BaP and other PAHs. Only BaP and 6 PAHs will be affected by the change in toxicity. Other PAHs will not be changed.

Want to learn more about PAHs? Check out our newest research:  https://www.researchgate.net/project/Superfund-Research-Program-at-Oregon-State-University