The Penn Superfund Research and Training Program (SRP) Center has been established due to a $10 million grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
This grant will be used over the next four years to study:
- asbestos exposure pathways that lead to mesothelioma;
- the bioremediation of this hazardous material; and,
- mechanisms that lead to asbestos-related diseases.
In more detail, from this June 9, 2014 press release, “Penn receives $10 million award to study asbestos adverse health effects, remediation”:
This award is the first NIEHS Superfund grant driven by problems identified in a community-academic partnership…. The communities of West and South Ambler have long been active in studying the ramifications of their town’s long-closed asbestos factory. Residents in these communities remain at risk for environmental exposure and a potentially increased risk of developing mesothelioma….
From the late 1880s through the present day, Ambler residents have had either occupational or environmental exposure to asbestos. As a result, both current and former residents of the area face potentially serious long-term health consequences….
The new [SRP] Center will tackle two inter-related environmental science studies and four biomedical science studies. The six projects were designed to address a community-based question or concern that been previously identified by the [Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC), which is part of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET), at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania]:
•Can we remediate asbestos without moving it from the original disposal site?
•What do we know about the fate and transport of asbestos in the environment by water and air?
•What do we know about the exposure pathways that were responsible for the mesothelioma cluster in Ambler? And why is the incidence higher in women?
•Is susceptibility to mesothelioma genetic?
•Can asbestos-related disease be prevented?
This sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile study regarding the various facets of the asbestos-mesothelioma public health issue.
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