UA SRP Center Begins 28th Year of Research

The University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) is pleased to announce that our Center has been renewed through March 31, 2020. The UA SRP has been continually funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) since 1989.

The UA SRP investigates the human and environmental risks associated with metal mining, also known as hardrock mining. We address two major knowledge gaps regarding contamination generated by mining activities. The first concerns mining waste behavior and containment and the impacts of airborne and waterborne spread of mine waste in arid environments. The second is the need to understand whether there are human health consequences associated with inhalation of mine dusts, specifically the development of chronic lung disease.

Our Center has three environmental projects and two biomedical projects. The environmental projects focus on developing new technologies for site cleanup and on characterizing surface (dust) and subsurface (water) transport and fate of metals associated with mining waste both before and after cleanup. The biomedical projects focus on defining the health impacts on lung disease and developing interventions for inhalation exposures to mine waste (smelter or mine tailings) particulates. Together, these research results will be used to build conceptual and quantitative models to describe mechanisms of metal toxicity and movement from waste sources into neighboring communities and/or ecosystems.

Project teams work with the Center’s Research Translation, Community Engagement, and Training Cores to support the translation of this research to communities adjacent to Superfund sites, federal and state stakeholders and the mining industry.

To learn more about the interdisciplinary projects and cores, please explore our website: www.superfund.arizona.edu.