Prof. Keri Hornbuckle, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Iowa, was the featured speaker of the Climate / Atmospheric Science & Engineering (CASE) Colloquium speaker series on April 22. The presentation was titled “The impact of coordinated sampling, analytical, and data management methods with identification and remediation of legacy and modern sources of airborne PCBs.”
Watch the replay and find more details about the presentation below.
ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls are both legacy and emerging pollutants of concern. Because the Aroclor mixtures sold by Monsanto were banned from production and sale in 1979, many people assumed the PCB problem had been solved. And truly, the declining environmental exposure after the ban is a great success of the Toxics Substances Control Act. Unfortunately, the legislation did not ban production of individual congeners or airborne emissions from non-point sources. Nor did it require current stocks in use be removed. As a result, there are still major releases of PCBs from in-use building material, electrical equipment, and contaminated surfaces. Although the Stockholm Convention recognized international understanding that that PCBs are toxic, persistent, and bioaccumulating compounds harmful to humans and ecosystems, new methods were and are needed to isolate opportunities for remediation and abatement. Addressing the breadth of the problem requires new methods for sampling, analytical quantification, and data science. New methods for sampling include the development of mobile and passive approaches to measuring PCBs in indoor and outdoor air. New methods for analytical quantification include mass selective methods and automation for high-throughput analysis of all 209 congeners. New methods for handling and analyzing complex data are needed for forensic analysis of sources amenable to remediation. Lastly, and most importantly is the development of new approaches that set aside old assumptions about PCBs in the environment.
BIOGRAPHY: Keri Hornbuckle is a Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering. She is a Research Engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health, and serves as on the faculty of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology, all at the University of Iowa. She is the Director of the Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP), a P42 multi-project interdisciplinary research center funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NIH). Prof. Hornbuckle is a past President of the International Association for Great Lakes Research and is Associate Editor of two American Chemical Society journals: Environmental Science & Technology and ACS Environmental AU.