CHE Boston University Superfund Research Program Partnership

The Superfund Research Program at Boston University (BU SRP) is an NIEHS-funded program that studies the effects of exposures to substances commonly encountered in hazardous waste disposal on reproduction and development in humans and wildlife. CHE has partnered since 2011 with their Research Translation Core, and together, our goal is to bring BU’s research on environmental exposures and disease endpoints into the public spotlight through a variety of ways. Learn more about this partnership

Research to Real Life: How Scientific Research Affects YOU

Boston University Superfund Research Project scientists and researchers are often asked questions by community partners, health professionals, health advocates, agency personnel and the public about what their research means in real life settings and the scientific methods they use to conduct the research.

See link to the FAQ webpage and pdf.

2019 Webinar Series: Climate Change and Toxic Hazards: Preparing for Before, During, and After the Storm

When storms from climate change flood and devastate communities, the dangers of hazardous waste sites and other sources of chemical pollution may not be foremost in the minds of residents. However, these chemical time bombs can render water undrinkable, expose people to toxic fumes, and send contaminated soils from basements to beaches. We’ve seen the stark images: North Carolina hog farm lagoons breached during hurricane Florence sending rivers of hog waste into waterways, the polluted Gowanus canal flooding New Yorker’s basements during hurricane Sandy, Superfund sites flooded by rains from hurricanes Katrina and Maria. 

More than half of the US population lives within three miles of a hazardous waste site or storage area. EPA’s inventory of Superfund sites shows that over 500 Superfund sites are within a 100-year floodplain or are less than six feet above mean sea level (American Society of Civil Engineers). However, more than half the flooding from hurricane Harvey that struck Texas happened outside of any flood zone—including FEMA’s so-called “500-year flood-zone” (The New Republic). Industrial facilities such as chemical production plants also pose risks to workers, residents, and responders when they are flooded, lose power, or catch fire. 

This series explored three time frames of preparedness and mitigation – before, during, and after a storm - to help individuals and communities prepare to face climate change calamities and prevent exposures to toxic chemicals in and around their homes and places of work.

First Webinar: Before the Storm

January 24, 2019 at 10am PT / 1pm ET

After 30 years of Superfund site cleanups, where are we? Where does the cleanup waste go? How are communities and businesses changing preparation processes based on lessons learned from prior storms/cleanups like Maria, Harvey, Irma, and Florence?

Featured Speakers:

  • Tiffany Skogstrom, MPH, Outreach and Chemical Policy Analyst for the Building Chemical Safety Into Climate Change Resiliency Project at the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance
  • Jennifer Horney, PhD, MPH, CPH, Professor and Founding Director of the Program in Epidemiology and Core Faculty at the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware

Find details 

Second Webinar: During the Storm

February 14, 2019 at 10am PT / 1pm ET

How can people best protect themselves from toxic exposures in air, water, soil during the storm? How can we best protect sites that have been cleaned up or are in the cleanup process? What forms of prevention are in place to act as barriers during storms and are they sufficient? Are evacuations effective? 

Featured Speakers:

  • Elena Craft, PhD, senior health scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
  • Catherine Kastleman, MPH, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Duke University Superfund Research Program,
  • David Coffey, training manager at the Emergency Response, Incident Command, and Emergency Management Department at the New England Consortium, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Find details

Third Webinar: After the Storm

March 28, 2019 at 10am PT / 1pm ET

What’s the best cleanup process and the best way to protect people during that process? How do people deal with home and business contamination? What are the roles of individuals, agencies, businesses, and governments in the process, and what about our aging infrastructure?

Featured Speakers:

  • Tom Estabrook, PhD, Project Director of The New England Consortium, an NIEHS-funded worker health and safety training project based at University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Richard Rabin, MS, Volunteer with MassCOSH (Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health) for over 30 years, former Director of the Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry at the Massachusetts Department of Labor 

Find details


Webinars and Calls from the CHE BU Superfund Research Program Partnership

March 30, 2021

Seeds of Health: Safer Soils for Growing Food

December 8, 2020

Improving Health Outcomes at the Community Level: Chemical Risk Assessment Methods in Light of Lessons Learned with COVID-19

March 28, 2019

Climate Change and Toxic Hazards: After the Storm

February 14, 2019

Climate Change and Toxic Hazards: During the Storm

January 24, 2019

Climate Change and Toxic Hazards: Before the Storm

May 1, 2018

Down the Drain with PFAS: The Latest on Testing, Measuring, and Mitigating Community Water Contamination

March 13, 2018

Superstorms and Superfund Sites: Preventing Toxic Exposures from Climate Change Disasters

December 4, 2017

Toxic Threats to Children and Teens: Preconception and Prenatal

May 25, 2017

Protecting Health in Latino Communities: Spanish Health Studies Guide

April 24, 2017

The Skinny on Gene Editing: Where Genomic Technologies Meet Environmental Health

December 20, 2016

Out of the Frying Pan, into the Drinking Water: Health Hazards and Community Responses to Water Contaminated with PFCs

July 26, 2016

Fatty Bones Make Bad Skeletons: Influence of Bone-disrupting Chemicals across the Lifespan

January 26, 2016

Is a Health Study the Answer for Your Community? A Guide for Making Informed Decisions

October 20, 2015

Responding to Communities: Communicating the Science of TCE and PCE

June 4, 2015

From Molecules to Business: Better Living Through Green Chemistry

May 7, 2015

A Fish Tale: A Review of the Science of Fish Contamination, Consumption, and Advisories

January 8, 2015

The State of the Water: Linking Ocean Health to Human Health

October 9, 2014

Home Invaders: Are flame retardants fattening us up and harming our bones?

September 9, 2014

PCBs in Schools — Still a Problem?

June 10, 2014

Catch of the Day: Healthy Fish, Healthy Humans

April 24, 2014

Healthy Urban Gardens: Your Soil Health and You

February 25, 2014

Chemical Trespassers In Your Indoor Air

October 24, 2013

Environmental Justice and the Superfund Research Program: Community Collaborations Making a Difference

May 23, 2013

25 Years of the Superfund Research Program: Highlights and Hopes