Rachel Marek, Jason Hua, and Keri Hornbuckle pose for a photo in the lab

Iowa researchers find emissions of PCBs from school building materials

Sunday, September 17, 2023
University of Iowa researchers studying toxic air chemicals have identified building materials used in a Vermont school could pose health risks to the school’s students and staff.
Keri Hornbuckle poses in her lab

Keri Hornbuckle presents at CASE Colloquium

Monday, November 7, 2022
Keri Hornbuckle spoke at the Climate/Atmospheric Science & Engineering (CASE) Colloquium series. The topic was “The impact of coordinated sampling, analytical, and data management methods with identification and remediation of legacy and modern sources of airborne PCBs.”
A PCB collector on top of lockers in a school

What to know about PCBs in schools: A visual primer

Thursday, October 27, 2022
Most people by now know about lead and asbestos: toxic substances found in old buildings that can cause great harm to people’s health and the natural environment. But health and environmental experts say chemicals known as PCBs—polychlorinated biphnenyls—represent an emerging front in the ongoing battle for detoxifying the nation’s infrastructure, including its aging schools.
Portrait of Keri Hornbuckle

Exposure to airborne PCBs an ongoing challenge, expert says

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Approaches for studying airborne exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — and helping communities reduce such exposure — were discussed by Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP) Director Keri Hornbuckle, Ph.D., during her Feb. 4 Keystone Science Lecture. The NIEHS-funded program is housed at the University of Iowa.
Aerial photo of Monroe school

Toxic PCBs festered at a Monroe school for eight years as students, teachers grew sicker

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Environmental hazards, including PCBs, were repeatedly found at Sky Valley Education Center’s campus in Monroe. Some of the highest levels were found in classrooms. The school is still open.
A PCB danger sign in front of Burlington High School

Vermont relaxes PCB standards, but impact on Burlington school project unclear

Thursday, November 18, 2021
The Vermont Department of Health has quietly updated the way it assesses airborne levels of cancer-causing chemicals, a decision that comes ahead of a statewide testing program for hundreds of schools across the state.
A PCB danger sign outside a Burlington, VT, school

The chemicals that closed Burlington High School are everywhere: What about other schools?

Thursday, June 3, 2021
Hazardous chemicals caused Burlington High School to close its doors which, in turn, opened many questions about the state of Vermont schools and whether this is the beginning of a much larger PCB problem.
A PCB danger sign in front of Burlington High School

Burlington's PCB problem could impact other schools across Vermont

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Shortly after Burlington High School closed last September because of high levels of airborne toxic chemicals in its tech center building, district Superintendent Tom Flanagan got what he thought was encouraging news.
Moala Bannavti holds a PCB detector

ISRP trainee wins 2020 Three Minute Thesis competition

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Moala Keshei Bannavti, ISRP trainee, won the University of Iowa Graduate College's 2020 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Bannavti is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering studying room-to-room variation and remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
A PCB danger sign in front of Burlington High School

Parents want Burlington High School to open its doors — despite the toxins inside

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Since March, the 970 students at Burlington High School have had only one day of in-person education: Their first day, in September, before the discovery of airborne PCBs — carcinogenic chemicals — shuttered the building for the fall.