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Penn Medicine Gets $10-Million Grant to Investigate Asbestos Contamination In Ambler

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Penn Medicine has received a $10-million grant to figure out why some Ambler residents exposed to asbestos died of mesothelioma and others survived. Doctors will also research the best ways to remediate asbestos contaminated sites.

Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania Dr. Trevor Penning credits the residents of Ambler, Montgomery County for asking the questions that led to this grant.

"Each of the projects in the superfund grant came from a community based question, and we will be going back to them with data as the projects progress."

The projects include remediating an asbestos related site without removing it. Instead, it will be treated using plant materials. Doctors are also examining how folks in Ambler were exposed and if women have a higher incidence of meso.

Using mice, researchers will see if they can determine a genetic component to mesothelioma, and if giving flax seed to those already exposed will prevent or delay the onset of disease.

Ambler residents who want to participate in the study will be asked to donate blood.


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