Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research Speaker - Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso

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April 20, 2023
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Event category: Seminar
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Please join us for our CLEAR series of webinars.  The Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) is funded by the National Institutes of Health's Superfund Research Program (SRP) to detect and mitigate volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) on human and environmental health. VOCs are commonly found in communities with legacy contamination and in Superfund sites and may cause preterm births and other adverse human developmental and environmental outcomes.

The seminar will take place via Zoom on Thursday April 20th, 2023, at 12:30pm. A Zoom meeting link will be emailed upon webinar registration.

The presenter on April 20th, 2023, will be Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso, Professor Emerita, University of Michigan, Toxicology and Program in the Environment, on "New exposure concerns for 1,4-dioxane from the legacy Gelman Sciences groundwater contamination."

Synopsis: Groundwater became contaminated with 1,4-dioxane by onsite industrial wastewater disposal at the Gelman Sciences site just west of the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The contaminated groundwater has continued to spread, prompting closure of private wells and one municipal well. A court-ordered Prohibition Zone, which bars most groundwater uses in a large section of the city of Ann Arbor, was based on the assumption that the contaminated groundwater would remain below ground until it flowed into the Huron River. However, recent findings show that 1,4-dioxane is approaching the land surface in the middle of the city of Ann Arbor, 0.3 km before it reaches the river. Because damp basements are common in Ann Arbor and 1,4-dioxane is highly miscible with water, we examined potential exposure and health risks from basement intrusion of contaminated groundwater with subsequent indoor volatilization. This represents a novel exposure route distinct from vapor intrusion. Our analysis suggests that liquid intrusion with indoor volatilization could increase risk to 1 in a 1,000,000 for excess cancer if 1,4-dioxane in shallow groundwater is greater than 150 μg/L and certain conditions are met.

Recent publications relevant to the talk:

Loch-Caruso R, Rayle R, Caruso VP, Bailey RE, Collins E, Knol KP. Michigan's Gelman Site 1,4-Dioxane Groundwater Contamination: Still Spreading Decades after Detection. Curr Opin Environ Sci Health. 2022 Dec;30:100405. doi: 10.1016/j.coesh.2022.100405. Epub 2022 Oct 28. PMID: 36643949; PMCID: PMC9835328.

Bailey RE, Loch-Caruso R. Atmosphere of Wet Basements as a Novel Route for Potential Residential Exposure to 1,4-Dioxane Vapor. Curr Opin Environ Sci Health. 2022 Dec;30:100406. doi: 10.1016/j.coesh.2022.100406. Epub 2022 Oct 28. PMID: 36643950; PMCID: PMC9838188.

April 2023