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UK Study on Hazardous Waste Impacts

The University of Kentucky will use a $12 million federal grant to reduce the negative health and environmental impacts found at hazardous waste sites. 

UK Superfund Research Center According to Director Bernie Hennig, lab studies are indicating healthy individuals stand a better chance of warding off contaminants.

"If you're healthy through healthy lifestyles, healthful nutrition, physical activity, your chances of being susceptible by a disease triggered by an environmental pollutant may be less," Henning said.

Hennig says low levels exposure with organic chemicals can contribute to cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.  

"We're trying to study how nutrition, healthful nutrition, increased exercise, increased physical activity can protect against environmental insults, can protect against the contaminants ability to contribute to disease."

Center Communication Director Anna Hoover says the grant also broadens statewide emphasis.

"In the past we've primarily worked with Paducah and McCracken County and with date weight in Harlan County and we've had relationships with some other communities across the state,” Hoover said. “This $12.2 million is going to allow us to even expand that reach further and engage more superfund sites."

Kentucky is home to more than 200 federal Superfund sites including 14 active locations.  A Superfund site is defined as an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located.  

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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