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Environmental Factor

July 2011

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Henry organizes session for "Sustainable Remediation 2011"

By Eddy Ball
July 2011

NIEHS Health Scientist Administrator Heather Henry, Ph.D., organized a multi-agency session on "Human Health" for the "Sustainable Remediation 2011: State of the Practice - Green Chemistry, Human Health, and Environmental Response" meeting June 1-3, 2011 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass-Amherst).

Henry is a part of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program, which was co-sponsor of the Sustainable Remediation meeting organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation.

Henry and Marjorie Aelion, Ph.D., dean the UMass-Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences Administration, moderated the June 2 session. They and their colleagues strove to raise awareness of potential health risks from products and practices that may be environmentally friendly, but still may pose a possible threat to people.

Keynote speaker Chris Portier, Ph.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), discussed the human health implications of reuse and redevelopment of former brownfields and industrial buildings. He identified a number of sites where ATSDR conducted investigations of human exposure to various hazardous substances because the previous use of a site was not fully investigated or mitigated.

The breakout sessions on Human Health featured new guidelines for school and daycare siting to prevent exposures when industrial sites are acquired for reuse. In addition, there was a concern about the use of spray foam insulation - a "green" product because of its energy efficiency benefits - and its potential impact on children's health. 

The co-organizers and speakers for the Human Health Session standing in a group
The co-organizers and speakers for the Human Health Session gathered following their presentations. Standing in the front row, left to right, are Henry; Sharee Major Rusnak, Connecticut Department Health; Marybeth Smuts, Ph.D., EPA; Tarah Somers, ATSDR; Aelion; Gary Perlman, ATSDR. Shown on the back row, left to right, are Lee Newman, Ph.D., State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Meg Harvey, Connecticut Department of Public Health; Deborah Burgin, Ph.D., ATSDR; Ryan Costello, ATSDR; and Portier. (Photo courtesy of Richard B. Newton)

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