PUBLIC HEALTH AND COMMUNITY MEDICINE - UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SPRING-SUMMER,
Research & Superfund
Since the discovery of a chemical dump under a school in Love
Canal, New York, in the 1970s, the federal government has spent
hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up hazardous waste sites
across the United States under a program commonly referred to as
“Superfund.” Through the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences, the government has also supported research to learn
more about the health effects from hazardous exposures and to develop
new methods to clean up these sites. The Department of Environmental
Health is a leader in Superfund research.
at the University of Washington’s Superfund Basic Research
Program are refining methods that use trees and bacteria to clean
up toxic waste, and studying how exposure to chemicals that commonly
occur at Superfund waste sites, such as mercury and trichloroethylene,
may affect humans and wildlife.
The UW Superfund program is one of 19 federally funded Superfund
basic research grants to universities, funded by the National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences.
“One of our major goals for the UW Superfund program is to
develop sensitive methods for detecting early indicators of damage
to human and ecological health that can occur from exposures to
toxic chemicals found at hazardous waste sites,” says Harvey
Checkoway, UW Superfund director and professor of Epidemiology and
Environmental Health. “In addition, we are developing new
engineering approaches for reducing these exposures.”
Superfund research has three primary goals:
and develop biomarkers, or biological markers, to assess exposure
to toxicants and susceptibility to disease.
Assess harm to health in humans and wildlife from exposure to
toxicants found at Superfund sites.
new technology to remediate, or clean up, contaminated sites.
of Washington students Allan Gross and Marietta Sharp measure
contaminants transpired by poplar trees on the Kitsap Peninsula.
The Keyport Project uses plants to stop solvents from moving
from a Navy landfill to protected wetlands.
Biomarkers can be abnormal levels of a chemical, such as an enzyme,
that cells produce in large amounts after exposure to a toxic substance.
One team of UW Superfund researchers is studying biomarkers produced
after exposure to volatile solvents such as xylene and toluene (Project
“Our goal is to learn how much of the solvent is absorbed
into the body through the lungs, and how quickly it is processed
and eliminated,” says DEH Professor Michael Morgan. “More
specifically we’re interested in differences between individuals.
We’ve found that we can expose two people to identical conditions
and find large differences in how each person takes in and eliminates
the solvent.” An interview with Morgan about Project 6 research
is online at:
Another group of UW Superfund scientists is studying biomarkers from
mercury metabolism. Scientists have long known that exposure to large
amounts of mercury can cause severe neurological problems such as
tremor, memory loss, and excitability. However, little is known about
the effects of long-term exposure to low levels of mercury vapor,
such as those generated at a Superfund site. The UW Superfund team
is studying workers who are routinely exposed to low levels of mercury
vapor—dentists and dental assistants who work with the mercury
compounds used in amalgam or “silver” fillings (See
Environmental Health News Winter 1999).
The UW Superfund team has refined the use of porphyrins, chemicals
excreted in urine, as biomarkers for mercury exposure. They’ve
also found variations in biomarkers that may signal genetic differences
in the ways people metabolize mercury. This research could eventually
lead to tests that would determine if some people were especially
susceptible to exposure to mercury vapor, information that could
affect their decisions about whether to live near a Superfund site
or work on site cleanup.
Other biomarkers UW Superfund researchers are studying include variations
in glutathione (Project 1), an antioxidant that
cells produce to defend themselves against damage from toxicants,
and paraoxonase (Project 3), an enzyme that metabolizes
organophosphate pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
Effects on Humans & Wildlife
One UW Superfund research team is examining how people’s
exposure to toxicants and genetic susceptibility to these toxicants
may affect their odds of contracting Parkinson’s disease (Project
Two other projects examine the effects of toxicants on wildlife. One
measures levels of heavy metals in small mammals and birds living
near Superfund sites (Project 7). In one part
of the study, the team tracked warblers to see where they found food
for their nestlings. The researchers found that the amount of DDT
and mercury in tissues from the chicks showed a close relationship
to the amounts of these contaminants in the areas where their parents
foraged. Other researchers are studying English sole, a bottom-dwelling
fish that live in the sediments where contaminants collect in harbors
and bays (Project 8). The team has found that
contaminant loads in the sole reflect changes in pollutant levels
in their environment.
Organisms that naturally clean up pollutants may provide one
of the most cost-effective ways to remediate, or clean up, certain
chemicals in Superfund sites. Fast-growing hybrid poplars originally
bred for pulp and wood production have turned out to be efficient
at cleaning some kinds of solvents out of groundwater (Project
9). For example, the trees metabolize TCE (trichloroethylene),
which was widely used as an industrial solvent and in dry cleaning.
a test site, a stand of hybrid poplars removed 98% of the TCE introduced
into the site. As a result of this success, additional test plots
have been established, and are being monitored by the UW and the
University of South Carolina.
The UW Superfund research team is studying other trees, including
willow, Leland cypress, sweet gum, tulip poplar and black locust,
which could be used in the remediation of Superfund sites around
Bacteria are also used to break down toxic substances (Project
10). UW Superfund researchers have isolated two species of bacteria:
Pseudonocardia chloroethenovorans, which is especially
effective at metabolizing TCE and PCE (perchloroethane), a solvent
that has been used in dry cleaning, and a species closely related
to Dehalospirillum multivorans, which may prove to be extremely
useful for bioremediation projects in cool climates. This newly
discovered bacterium degrades TCE and PCE at temperatures as low
as 2°C, far cooler than those required by most species of bacteria
used in remediation.
Biosynthesis as a Biomarker of Toxic Exposures Terrance Kavanagh,
PhD, UW DEH
Porphyrin Synthesis Biomarkers of Mercury Toxicity James S.
Woods, PhD, UW DEH
Paraoxonase (PON1): a Biomarker of Suscep-tibility to Environmentally
Induced DiseasesLucio G. Costa, PhD, UW DEH
and Biochemical Risk Factors for Parkinson’s Disease Harvey
Checkoway, PhD, UW Depts. of Environmental Health and Epidemiology
Dosimetry for Assessment of Exposure to Volatile Compounds Michael
S. Morgan, ScD, UW DEH
Applications to Remediation Decision-Making Michael Hooper,
PhD, Dept. of Biology, The Institute of Environmental and Human
Health, Texas Tech University
Environmental Stress Indicators for Fish at Superfund Sites
Donald C. Malins, PhD, ScD, Pacific Northwest Research Institute,
of Toxic Wastes Milton Gordon, PhD, UW Dept. of Biochemistry
Bioremediation of Chlorinated Solvent Compounds: In Situ Remediation
Strategies and Pre-dictive Tools for Controlling Contaminated
PlumesJohn F. Ferguson, PhD, UW Dept. of Civil and Environmental
started with Love Canal. The Superfund trust fund was created in
1980 by the US Congress in response to the discovery of a chemical
dump beneath residential neighborhoods in Love Canal, New York,
four miles from Niagara Falls. Beginning in the 1920s, the City
of Niagara Falls and the US Army had used the area as a landfill.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the Hooker Chemical Company added more
than 21,000 tons of chemical waste to the site. In 1953, the site
was filled with dirt and sold to the Niagara Falls Board of Education
for one dollar, along with a warning of the chemicals buried on
were eventually built nearby and an elementary school was built
on the former dump site. Over time drums and toxic wastes became
exposed and more than 400 chemicals were found in creeks, soil,
sewers, basements, and the schoolyard. Studies showed increased
health problems among people in the neighborhood. In 1978, President
Carter declared the situation at Love Canal to be a federal emergency.
Ultimately hundreds of millions of dollars were spent relocating
families and cleaning up the site.
official title of law that resulted from Love Canal and other hazardous
waste sites is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation
and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), better known as Superfund. It
provides federal funds to help clean up hazardous waste sites and
protect the public and the environment from releases of hazardous
by the Environmental Protection Agency, the fundcomes primarily
from taxes on the petroleum and chemical industries. It is intended
to be used when those responsible for contamination cannot be found
or are unable to pay for cleanup. Today, there are about 1200 sites
on the National Priorities List scheduled for cleanup.
In 1986, the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA)
authorized the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
(NIEHS) to conduct basic research into the potential health effects
from exposure to hazardous substances. The Department of Environmental
Health was among the first institutions awarded a grant to study
toxic effects of waste chemicals under this law.
& the Community
UW Superfund Research Program, in conjunction with the Center
for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health, has an outreach component
to increase public understanding of the scientific, social, and
political issues associated with toxins in the environment. Among
Network for Healthy Communities Videoconferences
A statewide videoconference network trains high school and middle
school teachers and stu-dents to research environmental health issues
in their communities. The students present their projects to university
scientists on topics such as local Superfund sites, the health effects
of wildfires, and E. coli. In the first two years of the
program, 32 teachers and about 900 students from throughout Washington
About 60 sixth-graders participated in online chats with Superfund
researchers Lee Newman and Stuart Strand. They learned about bioremediation
(using plants to break down toxicants in the environment) and other
environmental health issues. Transcripts are posted at http://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/Outreach/chat1.html.
DEH graduate students use the demonstrations and hands-on-activities
in the Tox-in-a-Box™ kit to introduce elementary through high
school students to environmental health and hazardous waste issues.
In the past academic year, they made presentations to about 1500
students in 15 schools throughout Western Washington.
An Internet-based curriculum encourages students to investigate
potential health concerns from the hypothetical development of a
city park on a former industrial site. It is online at http://depts.
The Outreach team helped plan and staff a community reception for
the 2001 annual meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory
Council, an independent advisory body to the Environmental Protection
Seattle and King County EJ Needs Assessment
This environmental justice project identifies the environmental
health needs of immigrant and refugee populations. Project partners
include agencies (Seattle Public Utilities, Public Health-Seattle
King County, and local hazardous waste utilities) and community
groups (the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, El Centro
de la Raza, Horn of Africa, the Community Coalition for Environmental
Justice, the International District Housing Alliance, and the American
Lung Association of Washington).
Community-based Solutions for Environmental Health and Justice Conference
This two-day April 2002 conference focused on urban and rural environmental
justice issues, and specific indigenous and ethnic community issues.
Outreach staff facilitated a session titled “Building effective
Working with Media
Course for Reporters
About 30 reporters attended the June 2001 course, “Ethical
and Policy Implications of the Human Genome Project and Genetic
Research on Human Sensitivity to Environmental Pollutants.”
For more information
phone: 206-616-7566 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
research Day, May 23, 2002
In a seminar session, selected graduating master’s students
from each of the academic programs presented summaries of their
thesis research. The remainder of the graduating master’s
students showed posters of their work in the lobby of the Health
Sciences Building. Thesis abstracts are online at http://depts.washington.edu/envhlth/news/researchday02.html.
Faculty preceptors are listed in parentheses.
transfer & Pesticides
Hygiene & Safety
Katia Harb (Koenig). Cardiopulmonary
effects of 0.3 ppm nitrogen dioxide in elderly chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma patients
Nicole Irby (Seixas). An
assessment of noise frequency spectra associated with
selected construction tasks
John Olson (Seixas). Nonoccupational
noise exposure and contribution to overall noise dose
in apprentice construction workers
Daniel Ratican (Morgan).
The distribution of methyl chloroform between sorbent
surfaces of a dual layer passive organic vapor monitor
Carolyn Salazar (Johnson).
Evaluating the inter-rater reliability of ergonomic
Occupational Medicine, MPH
Stacey Newsom (Kaufman).
The effect of air pollution on pulmonary health in the
cystic fibrosis population
Kate Bradley (Eaton). Effects
of phyto-chemicals on aflatoxin B1-mediated
genotoxicity in HepG2 cells
Jenna Fisher (Burbacher).
Behavioral effects of early postnatal chlorpyrifos exposure
Rene Showlund, MS, Technology (Kissel), studied the transfer of
pesticides from contaminated surfaces to skin. She used fluorescent
tracers as surrogates for pesticides, and asked adult volunteers
to touch surfaces loaded with tracers. Digital images of both their
fingers and the surfaces were captured under ultra-violet illumination
before and after the touching. Skin moisture and surface type influenced
the transfer of residues to the fingertips. Her findings suggest
that more attention should be given to these variables in future
investigations, particularly in studies that focus on residential
settings in agricultural communities.
Gregory Frick, MS, Industrial Hygiene & Safety (Morgan), examined
the effects of various mixture components on the performance of
passive diffusion monitors. Passive monitors fill a valuable role
in industrial hygiene sampling. Although operation of the monitors
in mixed chemical environments had been previously reviewed, the
effect of each additional chemical on monitor accuracy had not been
evaluated. Frick’s study found monitor performance to be influenced
by an interaction between mixture composition and monitor sampling
rate. Surprisingly, some chemical combinations actually enhance
monitor performance. This information can help industrial hygienists
select passive monitors based on mixture composition and device
Dr. Paul Darby, MPH, Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Keifer),
looked at carbon monoxide mortality in the United States from 1982
through 1998. Carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless product
of incomplete combustion, kills more people per year in the US than
any other toxic substance. An earlier study (1979–1988) found
that, other than those killed in fires, an average of 4,000 people
a year died of carbon monoxide poisoning, of which 65% were suicides
and 30% were unintentional. Most were caused by exhaust from stationary
motor vehicles. In addition to comparing recent data with the earlier
study, Darby conducted a cost-benefit analysis for installing carbon
monoxide sensor engine-cut-off technology in motor vehicles. He
also compared the 1999 mortality data, coded using the International
Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10, with the previous data, coded
using the ICD-9.
Oxide & Kidneys
Stephen Cherne, MS, Toxicology (Woods), looked at events involved
in the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in rat kidney cells.
Nitric oxide is a free radical whose overproduction can damage renal
cells. Cherne’s basic science research is aimed at understanding
the mechanism of this type of kidney damage. Using a fluorescent
nuclease assay, he demonstrated that bacterial endotoxin (LPS) plus
a type of interferon increase the potential for damage. He discovered
other essential elements of the disease mechanism. These findings
may help design strategies to prevent certain types of kidney disease.
Industrial Hygiene Conference
Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition was held this
June in San Diego. Presentations by DEH researchers (in bold-face)
Filtration and air cleaning issues in industrial hygiene (arranger)
Croteau G, Flanagan M, Seixas N, Camp J.
The effect of LEV controls on dust exposures during surface grinding
at construction sites
Ertell K, Takaro T, Stover B,
Newman L, Barker E. Development of a screening test for zirconium
Flanagan M, Seixas N, Camp J, Morgan M,
Majar M. Silica dust exposures during selected construction
Gleason, R. Third party liability
in occupational safety and health
Monteith, L. Environmental health
and safety for K-12: Introducing the next generation to our profession
Monteith, L. Air sampling instrument
Neitzel, R. Prevalent noise
exposures in construction and methods of evaluation
Neitzel R, Yost M, Zoh K, Somers
S. Vibration and noise exposure and health effects in logging operations.
Seixas, N. Task-based exposure
assessment for noise in construction (construction noise round table)
Swan, S. Hearing conservation
application for the PDA
of Toxicology 41st Annual Meeting
he neared completion of his year as President of the Society
of Toxicology, Dr. David Eaton had a busy annual
meeting. In addition to presiding over numerous talks and
activities, he participated in a workshop on the future role
of the Society in professional toxicology education. He outlined
his perspectives on how genomics and biotechnology will require
changes in the way the next generation of toxicologists are
trained. The session was organized by Dr. Bernard Schwetz, who
at the time was acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
The social highlight of the meeting for UW participants was
a special reception in the Presidential Suite of the Opryland
Hotel for UW toxicology students, faculty, and alumni. More
than 60 attendees enjoyed a dessert bar and celebration of UW
toxicology, past and present. Many of the DEH faculty and students
also participated in the Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter
meeting and social hour, organized in part by DEH affiliate
faculty member Steve Gilbert, president of the regional chapter
Sharpe, Dianne Botta, and Chetana Acharya of the Community
Outreach and Education Program staffed the K–12 (elementary
and secondary schools) educational materials booth, and had
good response from scientists as well as graduate students.
They shared their experiences and tools at the K–12
education subcommittee meeting and assisted during teacher
researchers (in bold-face) were:
EA, Bammler TK,
Kelly EJ, Slone DH, Eaton
DL. Inactivation of several human glutathione
S-transferase isoforms bymeta-bolites of estradiol
Auerbach SA, Liu F, Omiecinski
CJ. Alterations in histone acetylation
are associated with phenobarbital induction of the
rat CYP2B2 gene
Bekris LM, Jabbour AJ,
Dabrowski MJ, Takaro TK, Kavanagh TJ, Faustman EM.
Glutamate cysteine ligase levels in human peripheral
blood lymphocyte subtypes
Cole TB, Li WF,
Richter RJ, Furlong CE, Costa
LG. Inhibition of para--oxonase (PON1)
by heavy metals
Dieguez-Acuna FJ, Simmonds
PL, Ellis ME, Kushleika JV, Woods JS.
Mercuric ion (HG2+) increases the sensitivity of
kidney cells to apoptosis by inhibiting nuclear
factor-B (NF-B) activation
Heyer N, Bittner AC, Woods
JS, Rohlman D, Anger K. Behavioral effects
of exposure to Hgo from dental amalgam
Gohlke JM, Bartell SM,
Wong EY, Lewandowski TA, Griffith WC, Faustman EM.
Mechanism based approaches to evaluate the impacts
of life stage specific expo-sures during neuro development
Griffith WC, Faustman EM,
Curl CL, Fenske RA. Statistical methods
for analyzing community intervention studies: Approaches
for evaluating samples below detection limits
Gross-Steinmeyer K, Stapleton
PL, Tracy JH, Bammler TK, Strom SC, Eaton
DL. Influence of matrigel-overlay on
constitutive and inducible expression of 9 genes
encoding drug metabolizing enzymes in primary human
Guo Y, Jing
L, Xie H, Kelly EJ,
Gross-Steinmeyer K, Bammler
TK, Zarbl H, Eaton
DL. Alterations in global gene expression
induced by aflatoxin B1 in yeast expressing human
cytochrome P450 1A2
Hassett C, Gaedigk
A, Omiecinski CJ.
Alternative 5 splicing of human microsomal epoxide
hydro-lase: Genetic location and characterization
of variant exons
Hudson FN, Bea
F, Kavanagh TJ.
Regulation of the mouse glutamate cysteine ligase
modifier subunit gene via the ARE and NRF/AP1 binding
Judd NL, Griffith WC, Faustman
EM. Evaluation of TEQ exposure from fish
consumption relative to average population total
exposure: Implications for PCB, PCDF, and PCDD risk
Shi S, Botta D, White CC,
Dabrowski MJ, Srinouan-prachanh SL, Farin FM,
Pierce RH, Ware CB, Ladiges WC, Fausto N, Tsai SY,
O’Malley BW, Kavanagh
TJ. Inducible expression of glutamate-cysteine
ligase affects carbon tetrachloride-induced liver
injury in transgenic mice
Tice RR, Auletta A, Daston G, Faustman
E, Stokes WS. Results of an interagency
coordinating committee on the validation of alternative
methods (ICCVAM) expert panel: Evaluation of the
validation status of the frog embryo teratogenicity
assay-xenopus (FETAX) for identifying developmental
Wong EY, Farrow
S, Ponce RA, Faustman EM.
Examination of health toxicity data with application
to benefit-cost analysis of environmental health
To confirm this schedule or find more information about these courses,
call 206-543-1069 or 206-685-3089, or visit the Continuing Education
Web home page at http://depts.washington.edu/ehce.
Courses are in Seattle unless noted.
Center for Occupational Health & Safety
Hazardous Substance Summer Institute
Annual Hazardous Waste Refresher
Hazardous Materials Transportation
10th Conference on Occupational Hazards to Health Care Workers:
Research and Prevention
Comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Review
Bioterrorism and Emergency Public Health Preparedness
Puget Sound Occupational and Environmental Medicine Grand Rounds
Chemical Safety: At Work and at Home
Puget Sound Occupational and Environmental Medicine Grand Rounds
Sound Occupational and Environmental Medicine Grand Rounds
Training Institute Educational Center
for OSHA rules only!
All classes offer training that meets WISHA, OR-OSHA, and
Alaska state standards.
OSHA 501: Trainer Course for General Industry (Portland)
OSHA 226: Permit-Required Confined Space Entry
OSHA 225: Principles of Ergonomics (Portland)
OSHA 311: Fall Arrest Systems (Anchorage)
OSHA 600: Collateral Duty for Other Federal Agencies
OSHA 222A: Respiratory Protection
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule (Spokane)
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule (Portland)
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule
OSHA 510: OSHA Standards for Construction (Portland)
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule (Boise)
OSHA 521: OSHA Guide to Industrial Hygiene
OSHA 503: General Industry Outreach Trainer Update
OSHA 201A: Hazardous Materials
OSHA 501: OSHA University at Sea: Cruise to Alaska (Departs
OSHA 502: Construction Industry Trainer Update
OSHA 204A: Machinery & Machine Guarding Standards (Portland)
OSHA 510: OSHA Standards for Construction
OSHA 600: Collateral Duty for Other Federal Agencies (Boise)
OSHA 225: Principles of Ergonomics
OSHA 301: Excavation, Trenching & Soil Mechanics (Portland)
OSHA 226: Permit-Required Confined Space Entry
OSHA 521: OSHA Guide to Industrial Hygiene (Portland)
OSHA 510: OSHA Standards for Construction (Spokane)
OSHA 309A: Electrical Standards
OSHA 225: Principles of Ergonomics (Anchorage)
OSHA 222A: Respiratory Protection (Portland)
500: Trainer Course for Construction Industry
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule (Spokane)
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule (Portland)
OSHA 845: OSHA Recordkeeping Rule
501 course is being taught aboard the Celebrity Cruise Line ship
Infinity, sailing the Inside Passage
Department of Environmental Health awarded six Bachelor of Science,
14 Master of Science, one Master of Public Health, and three Doctor
of Philosophy degrees this year.
Christine Bellas, MS
Mark Burry, MS
Dolores Diaz, PhD
Lynn Bekris, MS
Prajakta Ghatpande, MS
F. Noel Hudson, PhD
Sarah Weppner, MS
Chunmei Fu, MS
Susan Leaman, MS
Jennie Nguyen, BS
Phuong Nguyen, BS
Rene Showlund, MS
Hossein Siahpush, MS
Jeffrey Stewart, MS
Stacy M. Andrewjeski, BS
Ngoc-Thao Dang, BS
Jordan Firestone, MPH
Gregory Frick, MSA
Nicole Irby, MS
Daniel Ratican, MS
Aneel Sandhu, BS
Maria I. Tchong, BS
Chang-Fu Wu, PhD
received the School of Public Health & Community Medicine’s
outstanding teaching award, along with Stephen Bezruchka of Health
Services. Dr. Daniell is an associate professor in Occupational
and Environmental Medicine. He teaches Occupational and Environmental
Epidemiology, and this year coordinated ENVH 511, the introductory
course for graduate students from other departments in the School.
Omiecinski leaves for Penn State
Omiecinski has accepted a position at Penn State University
and will be leaving in June, after nearly 20 years of
research, teaching, and service at the UW. He is taking
an endowed chair position, the Hallowell Chair and Professorship
of Veterinary Sciences. This appointment is a joint position
between the Penn State Environmental Consortium and the
institution’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Curt will have graduate appointments in the campus Molecular
Toxicology and Pathobiology programs.
He was the featured speaker at this year’s departmental
graduation celebration. In his remarks, Curt reflected
on his experiences as one of the first Toxicology faculty
Curt initially completed the UW PhD program in Pharmacology,
then after a postdoctoral fellowship at the University
of Vermont, he was “thrilled” to have the
opportunity to arrive back at the UW in 1983, with an
Assistant Professor position in DEH (adjunct with Pharmacology).
Terry Kavanagh has taken over Curt’s responsibilities
as director of the Toxicology program and deputy director
of the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health.
Research Scientist Chris Hassett, PhD student Scott Auerbach,
and postdoctoral fellow Matthew Stoner will accompany
Omiecinski to Penn State. Tao Wang and Richard Ramsden
have recently accepted other jobs in the area, and Fei
Liu will be transferring to David Eaton’s lab.
was DEH’s outstanding student this year. A recent PhD graduate,
he worked with Dr. Mike Yost,
who calls him a pioneer in the developing field of open-path optical
sensing of air contaminants. He remains with the Department as a
postdoctoral fellow with the EPA Northwest Research Center for Particulate
Air Pollution and Health.
Ramsden received the department’s staff appreciation award
for 2002. As a research scientist for the past 15 years, he has
developed a reputation in the Toxicology program as a “gene
jockey” who is sought out by various laboratories for his
creative suggestions for experimental design. Other nominees were
Mark Fenn, Jennifer Grant, Chris Hassett,
Rosie Schaffer, Chris Slaughter, and Ruth
Rooney, our fiscal supervisor, was this year’s
departmental nominee for the university’s Distinguished Staff
Award. She was cited for her positive attitude and job knowledge,
for encouraging innovative and independent thinking, and “always,
always, always thanking her employees for a job well done.”
annual faculty outreach award went to Tim
Takaro, physician in the Occupational & Environmental
Medicine program, for his work with the Former Hanford Worker Medical
Monitoring Program. Co-workers say he “truly has the needs
of exposed former workers at heart ... he shows a level of concern
and thoughtfulness above and beyond the demands of an academic career.”
His work on beryllium expo-sure was covered by the Tri-Cities Herald
on April 24.
individual staff outreach award went to Nancy
Judd, research scientist for the Institute for Risk Analysis
and Risk Communication, for her community work related to seafood
consumption and environmental monitoring. She has fostered relationships
with Asian Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asian natives, and tribal
groups who rely on the Puget Sound fishery for their food.
department’s first-ever team outreach award went to Mary
Ellen Flanagan and Gerry Croteau
of the Field Research and Consultation Group for their work with
silica dust exposures, especially in the construction industry.
They were recognized for involving workers and businesses, making
their research responsive and understandable to their community
partners, and assuring that research findings get back to the affected
Johns won the 2002–2003 Liberty Mutual Endowed
Scholarship from the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation. He
was one of only nine students nationally who received the $3,000
award this year.
Eaton participated in the National Institutes of Health
Center for Scientific Review Digestive Sciences’ boundary
review panel to establish NIH study sections that review all grants
related to the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and pancreas. He also
led seminars at New York University’s Institute for Environmental
and Occupational Medicine, Columbia University School of Public
Health, and the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. He
delivered introductory remarks honoring Curtis D. Klaassen’s
award as Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas Medical
Fenske traveled to Utrecht, the Netherlands in March,
to serve on the PhD committee of Derk Brouwer, whose dissertation
was, “Assessment of occupational exposure to pesticides in
Dutch bulb culture and glasshouse horticulture.” Fenske is
a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Review
the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides.
The committee will meet during 2002-2003, and will produce a report
that updates scientific knowledge regarding personnel exposed to
the herbicide Agent Orange. Fenske has an editorial in the May 2002
issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. “Incorporating
Health and Ecological Costs in Agricultural Production” is
a call for researchers to “expand our own perspective to include
the economic consequences of the policies we promote.”
Freeman moderated two sessions at the Society for Technical
Communication’s annual conference in Nashville in May.
Gleason was the featured speaker at the annual Seattle
Vicinity Construction Safety Council banquet in late May. Approximately
80 construction safety and health representatives from throughout
Puget Sound attended.
a week in Costa Rica for the Fogarty Center, lecturing and consulting
on measurement, exposure assessment, nonengineering controls, analytical
chemistry, and laboratory accreditation. In May, he traveled to
Suitland, Maryland, as a technical advisor to the Smithsonian National
Museum of the American Indian, Cultural Resources Center. He is
helping the Smithsonian test a procedure his laboratory devised
for identifying semi-volatile pesticides in Native American artifacts.
Keifer, Scott MacKay, and Julie
Schmitz traveled to Burapha University, Thailand, to
discuss continuing education needs, and to Vietnam for the 20th
anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational and Environmental
Health. Keifer gave the closing talk to the founding meeting of
the Vietnam Association for Occupational Health in Hanoi.
Koenig and Lianne Sheppard
participated as discussants in a National Research Council workshop
on Health Effects of Particulate Matter, held in Seattle in April.
Treser attended the first annual Environmental Health
Capacity Building Meeting in Atlanta in April as principal investigator
of the Essential Services Grant through the American Schools of
Public Health. In May, he chaired the program planning committee
for the International Environmental Health Faculty Forum in San
Diego, as part of the seventh World Environmental Health Congress.
Yost spent spring quarter in Norway as part of an exchange
program between the UW and the University of Bergen. He presented
lectures for occupational hygiene students on topics such as noise
and vibration exposures and health effects, sampling strategy and
exposure survey methods, real-time gas analysis with FTIR and other
instruments; and development of a physiologic sampler.
& Health Care Conferences
Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center and the
University of California, Davis’ Western Center for Agricultural
Health and Safety are cosponsoring a conference in Coeur d’Alene,
Idaho September 16–18, entitled Health and Safety in Western
Agriculture: Cultivating Collaborations. This conference will highlight
common safety and health issues that are experienced along the West
Coast and is designed to foster the development of collaborative
projects between individuals and organizations committed to agricultural
injury and illness prevention. Registration deadline is July 26.
Details are at the conference Web site, http://depts.washington.edu/pnash/westreg/confhome.html.
tenth Conference on Occupational Hazards to Health Care Workers:
Research and Prevention will be held in Seattle July 31 to August
1. Speakers from the United States and Canada will discuss the latest
research and best methods to prevent illness and injury among health
care workers. Details are at https://osha.washington.edu/NWcenter/course/may_8.html
or by calling 206-543-1069.
conferences are funded in part by a Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention conference grant.
Health News is published three times a year by the Dept. of Environmental
Health at the University of Washington.
should be addressed to
Environmental Health News
4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98105-6099;
the department on the World Wide Web at http://depts.washington.edu/envhlth.
permission is granted providing that copyright notice as given below
is included. We would appreciate receiving a copy of your reprinted
2002, ISSN number 0029-7925
Department of Environmental Health, University of Washington.
Editor - Sharon L. Morris
Writer & Editor - Kathy Hall
Writer - Kris Freeman
& Illustrator - Cathy Schwartz
Design - Leigh Caplan and Devon DeLapp
Assistant - Kipling West
Chair - David A. Kalman
of Environmental Health Home UW
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