UNC Superfund Research Program

A recent paper from Dr. Rebecca Fry's lab was named Article of the Month by The Children’s Environmental Health Network. The study, Maternal Arsenic Exposure, Arsenic Methylation Efficiency, & Birth Outcomes in the Biomarkers of Exposure to Arsenic (BEAR) Pregnancy Cohort in Mexico examined the association of inorganic arsenic exposure during pregnancy and corresponding birth outcomes in a pregnancy cohort in Mexico.
Message from the Director
"We conduct cutting-edge research to advance methods for detecting toxic chemicals in the environment, cleaning up contaminated sites, and minimizing human and environmental risks due to exposure."
Rebecca Fry, PhD

The UNC Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP)/NC Center for Environmental Risk Analysis (NC-CERA) seeks to understand the human health and environmental risks associated with exposure to toxic chemicals found at hazardous waste sites. Learn more.

Our research interests include:

  • Improving our ability to evaluate risk from low-dose exposures;
  • Developing biological markers that indicate when a person has been exposed to a chemical;
  • Using a systems biology framework to understand the pathways of environmental disease and how chemicals can cause changes to our DNA;
  • Understanding how individuals differ in their susceptibility and risk, and how our genes play a role in the development of disease
  • Improving methods to measure chronic exposure and bioavailability of toxic chemicals in the environment
  • Evaluating factors that influence toxicity of soil during and after bioremediation
Upcoming Webinar

Webinar to feature Shea research

NIEHS Risk e-Learning Series
Session III – Water Detection Technologies
June 27, 2016
1:00 – 3:00 ET

The session will feature SRP-funded researchers who are developing innovative technologies for the monitoring of hazardous substances in water. The presentations will highlight potential non-targeted testing, passive sampling, and bioanalytical approaches to detect a wide variety of contaminants in water, with applicability to drinking water.

Project 4 PI Damian Shea will present Combining Target and Non-target Analysis with Passive Sampling Devices to Measure the External Organic Chemical Exposome in Water during the session.

Resource Highlight

New bioavailability fact sheet available

In 2015, the UNC SRP was one of two SRPs, along with the University of Arizona (UA), invited to participate in the USEPA Partnerships in Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) to develop innovative educational materials on the bioavailability of arsenic and lead in soils at NPL sites.

Working collaboratively, the two SRPs developed a fact sheet, slide set and hands-on activity designed to help residents of impacted communities understand the concept of bioavailability and how the bioavailable concentration of a contaminant can influence cleanup levels at hazardous waste sites. The fact sheet is now available for use.

Download the Bioavailablity Fact Sheet

This fact sheet was developed by the NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Programs at UNC-Chapel Hill (grant: P42ES005948) and the University of Arizona (grant: P42ES04940) as part of a pilot project of the US EPA Partners in Technical Assistance Program.

Resource Highlight

Eat Fish, Choose Wisely

Check out the new family guide to eating locally caught fish in the Triangle, created by UNC SRP with partners Sound Rivers and Lake Crabtree County Park. At the website, www.eatfishwisely.org, you can find info on local fish consumption advisories, learn about harmful chemicals that may be in your catch, and find out how to reduce your risk.

Creation of the guide began in 2014 in response to community members’ concerns about people eating fish from local waters with fish consumption advisories.