Iowa Superfund Research Program Overall The Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP) is a center of research excellence focused on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs were widely produced in the mid-20th century and used in thousands of products, from common household items to construction materials, until the chemicals were banned 40 years ago. Today, people are still exposed to PCBs indoors and in communities surrounding Superfund sites. Recent ISRP research demonstrated that airborne PCBs present an especially urgent problem: Inhalation of airborne PCBs may be the most significant route for human exposure to these important toxic chemicals. The ISRP?s long- term goal is to develop recommendations to prevent and/or limit human exposure to airborne PCBs and to improve the health and well-being of the population. The ISRP renewal will focus on PCBs in air, particularly in buildings (especially schools) and those emitted from contaminated waters (including Superfund sites). We will examine the health impacts of inhaled PCBs, particularly on adolescents, with a focus on neurodevelopmental and metabolic effects. The ISRP will accomplish its long-term goal through the following integrated Specific Aims: 1) Clarify the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity of lower-chlorinated PCBs in adolescence. Two projects will address how PCBs and their metabolites are risk factors for altered neurodevelopment during adolescence and the mechanisms by which these compounds interfere with lipid metabolism. 2) Define susceptible populations, assess exposure and accumulation of these compounds (particularly in schools), and evaluate the relative importance of airborne vs. dietary exposure. Three cohorts of mothers and adolescents will help us evaluate individuals? exposure to airborne PCBs, the specific environments that contribute to inhalation exposure, and its importance compared to exposure through diet. 3) Reduce emissions of airborne PCBs from building materials, products, and contaminated sediments. We will investigate sources of airborne PCBs in indoor environments, determine the magnitude of emissions from contaminated waters, and identify cost-effective strategies to remove or reduce emissions. This includes development of a new approach using novel materials to sequester lower chlorinated PCBs in sediments and break down PCBs through microbial processes to reduce PCB emissions from contaminated waters. 4) Train and attract new scientists to the environmental health sciences. Our training program will enhance research skills in data science, chemical analysis, community engagement, and research translation. 5) Engage the scientific community and stakeholders in bi-directional communication on ISRP research priorities, findings, and recommendations. We will communicate the ISRP?s research approaches and findings to a wide range of researchers, agencies, and community stakeholders to maximize impact and enable communities to make timely, informed decisions to reduce local PCB exposure.

Public Health Relevance

Iowa Superfund Research Program Overall The Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP) will expand our understanding of the sources, avenues of exposure, toxic effects, and remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a large family of environmental pollutants that cause neurodevelopmental impairment, metabolic syndrome, and cancer in humans. ISRP research will focus on airborne PCBs, in buildings (especially schools) and emitted from contaminated waters (often near Superfund sites), and the potential health impacts of inhaled PCBs, particularly in adolescents. ISRP research will produce important data and innovative tools to support the development of effective detection, risk assessment, management, and remediation strategies for federal, state, and community stakeholders impacted by these contaminants and concerned with protecting human health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Hazardous Substances Basic Research Grants Program (NIEHS) (P42)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
Program Officer
Henry, Heather F
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University of Iowa
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
Iowa City
United States
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Hou, Xingwang; Yu, Miao; Liu, Aifeng et al. (2018) Biotransformation of tetrabromobisphenol A dimethyl ether back to tetrabromobisphenol A in whole pumpkin plants. Environ Pollut 241:331-338
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Uwimana, Eric; Li, Xueshu; Lehmler, Hans-Joachim (2018) Human Liver Microsomes Atropselectively Metabolize 2,2',3,4',6-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 91) to a 1,2-Shift Product as the Major Metabolite. Environ Sci Technol 52:6000-6008
Herkert, Nicholas J; Hornbuckle, Keri C (2018) Effects of room airflow on accurate determination of PUF-PAS sampling rates in the indoor environment. Environ Sci Process Impacts 20:757-766

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