The SCEHSC Seminar Series presents
“Linking Exposure and Translational Science: A Community-Engaged Project near a Legacy Mine”
Paloma Beamer, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Arizona
College of Public Health, Community, Environment, and Policy Department
Friday, October 7, 2016
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Soto Street I Building, Room 116
2001 North Soto Street
Los Angeles, CA 90032
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Manish Arora is Director of Exposure Biology and Division Chief of Environmental Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He graduated as a dentist from India, undertook postgraduate public health training in Australia and postdoctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has used a number of advanced analytical chemistry and nuclear beam methods, including laser ablation-coupled mass spectrometry, and synchrotron and proton-based x-ray emission for bio-imaging of hard and soft tissues. Dr. Arora has published his work in leading journals including Nature and Nature Reviews Neurology, and his work was recently recognized by the New Innovator Award from the NIEHS and NIH Director’s office.
New faculty member Jill Johnston, PhD, has joined the Environmental Health Centers and will direct the Outreach program starting in the New Year. Dr. Johnston brings extensive community experience and research skills. Broadly, her research focuses on addressing unequal exposures to harmful contaminants that affect the health of working poor and communities of color. Dr. Johnston worked as a community organizer on issues of environmental and economic justice in South Texas since 2003. Most recently, she worked at the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Dr. Steve Wing to examine disparities in exposure to industrial animal operations. She will continue to collaborative with grassroots organizations to conduct community-engaged action-oriented research at USC to support environmental justice.
Current outreach director Andrea Hricko will be retiring from USC, but will continue to work on several projects and provide valuable guidance for the outreach program.
We welcome Dr. Johnston, and know she will make excellent contributions to this work.
USC Environmental Health Professor Ed Avol provides his undergraduate students with a variety of opportunities to learn more about environmental impacts in communities in and around Los Angeles. This past semester, Avol arranged an optional tour of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for interested students. Guided by several port activists, students were shown how cargo-related activities in and around the ports have impacted frontline communities for decades.
“Hearing about the port communities in class was one thing, but seeing them first hand was completely different. To be at the ports and understand the extent of the problems they face was an eye opening experience,” commented student Sharon Zhang. Zhang, who maintains a personal photo blog, documented her experience on the tour. Click here to see her collection of photos that document the tour experience.
“Here’s a neighborhood across from port storage about a mile and a half from the actual ports, where diesel trucks funnel in and out every single day, 24/7 on the narrow two lane road that separates the residents from the giant storage boxes. Because of the disparity in our imports and exports, these shipping containers are actually empty, waiting to be sent out.” -Sharon Zhang
An important milestone in the journey toward a healthy environment for residents living near ports is taking place: the Moving Forward Network has launched a campaign focused on promoting zero emission technologies to reduce diesel emissions and meet clean air standards.
The Outreach Program at USC Environmental Health has been part of coalitions since 2005 working to reduce the health impacts of international trade. With the Trade, Health and Environment Impact Project (coalition based in Southern California), the nationwide Moving Forward Network was developed to share knowledge on the impacts of goods movement and strategies for preventing and reducing those impacts. The Outreach Program is a member as an ally organization, providing assistance on environmental health information.
Find out more about the Moving Forward Network campaign at http://zeroemissionsnow.net/
Learn more about port and railyard pollution.
A recent article in the Washington Post “Ports are the new power plants — at least in terms of pollution” covered the high emissions from ports around the country.
Outreach program co-director Andrea Hricko was quoted about the achievement of programs to lower emissions from port operations. “We know in L.A. kids’ lungs have gotten better as air pollution has dropped.”
Also included in the story are the perspectives of many members of the Moving Forward Network, a coalition dedicated to improving public health for communities. Professor Robert Laumbach of Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine stated “When there’s a technology available that controls it, why do we accept these risks for diesel exhaust?” In Los Angeles, goods movement facilities are “diesel magnets,” says Angelo Logan, policy lead for the Moving Forward Network. Organizer Kim Gaddy, with Clean Water Action in New Jersey, is a member of the network fighting increasing freight and truck traffic in neighborhoods. California has been a leader with programs for cleaner trucks and port operations, and testing new technology to further reduce pollution. The national strategy of the Moving Forward Network seeks to improve the air for all port and freight operations around the country.
On November 11, more than 50 people attended the community-based research symposium hosted by USC Environmental Health to hear about several organizations’ projects related to air quality, traffic, and other health issues.
The goal of the event was to share information about community-based research projects, and build relationships between organizations. Five organizations hosted tables with materials and gave presentations. Participants learned about the communities in which they work, the methods and tools that were used in their community research projects, and lessons to share with the other groups. In addition, ideas for future projects were identified as well as ways to incorporate information into ongoing campaigns and programs.
• Coalition for a Safe Environment
• East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
• Koreatown Youth and Community Center
• Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma
• Community Outreach, Southern CA Environmental Health Centers at USC
The event was hosted by the Trade, Health, and Environment Impact Project, and the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Centers based at USC. Thanks to the Kresge Foundation for its support of this event.