Environmental Health

EH Fellows supported research: Environmental Health and Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Jose Ricardo Suarez is conducting a pilot clinical trial entitled “Nuts and Olestra for Persistent Organic Pollutant Reduction (NO POPs)”. The objective of this study is to conduct a preliminary estimate of whether diets that include nuts or olestra can enhance the excretion of persistent organic pollutants (i.e. organochlorine pesticides, PCBs and PBDEs) among older adults in San Diego, CA. Currently, there is not an established treatment to enhance the excretion of these chemicals which are commonly found in the general US population and are strongly associated with type-2 diabetes.

Assistant Professor Sara Wylie from Northeastern University started the “Developing, Validating and Distributing a Low-Cost Tool for Community Mapping of Hydrogen Sulfide with Photographic Paper Study.” Professor Wylie will design, develop, and validate a low cost way for communities to map their exposure to hydrogen sulfide from oil and gas production. Professor Wylie will assess whether visual data is more readily interpretable for communities, policy makers, and other non-experts.

Assistant Professor Madeleine Scammell, from Boston University School of Public Health, is studying “Prevalence and Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease of Non-Traditional Etiology in the US.” Examining a large national dataset of health records, Professor Scammell will attempt to characterize the prevalence of chronic kidney disease, and risk factors, among people under age 60 with no prior diagnoses or conditions known to cause kidney disease. She will also collaborate researchers at the University of New Mexico to examine kidney disease and environmental exposures in a Native American community.

Associate Professor Chunrong Jia from the University of Memphis started “The Role of Home Environmental Intervention in a Multi-component Asthma Intervention Study.” Dr. Jia will determine the effectiveness of a home intervention program in reducing asthma for urban children. Dr. Jia will advance the understanding of how major environmental factors influence asthma interventions.

See also: Air Pollution,  Housing and Stress + Resilience