Yale launches Superfund Center to address drinking water contamination

  • 17.10.2022
  • Yale Daily News

Factory spills plague Connecticut’s history as a manufacturing state, and continue to haunt the state’s drinking water in the form of chemical contaminants.

Yale’s newly launched Superfund Center will be the first of its kind to address the chemical contaminant 1,4-dioxane — a “forever chemical” like PFAS — which was identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen — a substance that can cause cancer. Administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Superfund Research Program funds solution-oriented research on exposure to hazardous substances.

1,4-dioxane is a manufacturing byproduct and trace contaminant in many consumer products, such as shampoo and antifreeze. Vasilis Vasiliou, chair of environmental health sciences at the Yale School of Public Health and the director of the new Superfund Center, decided to study 1,4-dioxane after meeting with the state department of public health and the department of energy and environmental protection in 2016. The agency officials expressed concern over high levels of 1,4-dioxane in drinking water wells throughout the state.