UA SRC Research Translation Co-hosts Inter-generational Soil Science Events

Jan. 17, 2024


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Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta

The University of Arizona Superfund Research Center (UA SRC) Research Translation Core is co-hosting events for the community in 2023 and 2024. These events aim to provide the towns of Hayden and Winkelman, Arizona, with environmental health education and resources.

The ASARCO Hayden Plant Superfund Alternative Site, including two smelters, a concentrator, and mine tailings facilities, is adjacent to the towns of Hayden and Winkelman. Almost 100 years of smelting activities has deposited lead, arsenic, and copper across residential and industrial areas.

Lead levels in the air in Hayden is frequently above federal standards. Currently, the U.S. EPA, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and ASARCO are working together to submit a State Implementation Plan to expedite the attainment of the Pb standards under the Clean Air Act.

Meanwhile, the new Hayden Librarian started a local gardening program. During this effort, it quickly became apparent that local families are aware of legacy pollution and have questions and concerns regarding soil safety. The librarian reached out to UA SRC requesting information and action.

UA SRC Research Translation director Dr. Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta responded, and now UA SRC, the Hayden Library, ATSDR, and the Arizona Department of Health Services are planning an ATSDR Soil Screening, Health, Outreach, and Partnership (soilSHOP) event for Spring 2024 to provide free community soil screenings and environmental health education and resources.

Additionally, the UA SRC and Hayden Library co-hosted a series of inter-generational informal soil science activities, with a kickoff event called “Watercoloring for Soil Appreciation” on November 17, 2023. Families made paint colors out of different Arizona soils and created a masterpiece, while also learning about soil composition, characteristics, and formation principles!

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