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Sixth National Environmental Public Health Conference:
Preparing for the Environmental Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century

Breakout Sessions
Thursday, December 4
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

T15: Environmental Public Health Tracking: Turning Vision Into Reality
Room: CHEROKEE – 2nd Floor

In 2002, Congress provided CDC with $17.5 million to begin developing a nationwide environmental public health tracking network and to increase environmental public health capacity within state and local health

 

 

departments. The initiative was the result of a January 2001 report by the Pew Environmental Health Commission stating that existing environmental health surveillance is neither adequate nor well organized. The Commission recommended the creation of a “nationwide health tracking network for disease and exposures.” CDC’s goal is to develop a tracking system that integrates data about environmental hazards and exposures with data about health effects that may be linked to the environment. The system will enable federal, state, and local agencies to monitor and distribute information about environmental hazards and disease trends; advance research on possible linkages between environmental hazards and disease; and develop, implement, and evaluate regulatory and public health actions to prevent or control environment-related diseases. In fall 2002, CDC funded 20 state or local pilot projects to build environmental public health capacity, increase collaboration between environmental and health agencies, identify and evaluate existing data systems, build partnerships with nongovernmental organizations and communities, develop model systems that link data and that can be applied to other states or localities, and demonstrate how these model systems can be used to help plan public health actions. CDC also funded three schools of public health to establish Centers of Excellence for Environmental Public Health Tracking. This session will report on CDC’s progress.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Describe the conceptual framework of environmental public health
    tracking.
2) Tell how such a framework may be implemented.

Moderator:
Coleen Boyle; PhD; National Center on Birth Defects and
   Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and
   Prevention

Presenters:
Thomas Burke, PhD, MPH; Johns Hopkins University
Suzanne Condon, MSM; Massachusetts Department of Public Health
James VanDerslice, PhD; Washington Department of Health
Randel Stevens, PhD; Nevada Department of Information Technology

T16: All-Hazards Preparedness and Response: Environmental Health Practitioners in Emergency Response
Room: WALTON – 2nd Floor

Panelists will explore the role of environmental health practitioners in emergency response at the local, state, and federal levels. Topics will include (1) the integration of environmental health practitioners into emergency response activities and planning, (2) skills and knowledge required of environmental health practitioners, and (3) the role of environmental health practitioners in an all-hazards approach to emergency response.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Discuss the involvement of environmental health practitioners in
    emergency response.
2) List ways that environmental health practitioners can become more
    involved in emergency response activities and planning.

Moderator:
Mark Miller, RS, MPH; National Center for Environmental Health/Agency
   for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Richard Wellinghurst, RS, BLS; Louisville Metro Health Department
Eric Faisst, MPH, REHS; Oneida County Health Department

T17: Emerging Issues in Assessing Human Exposure: Persistent Organic Pollutants
Room: FORSYTHE – 2nd Floor

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as halogenated dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and brominated flame-retarding chemicals (BFRs), are widespread in the environment. Their toxicity to certain animals makes ongoing exposure assessment studies in various population groups critical. New, emerging POPs (such as BFRs) pose new challenges for scientists from many disciplines. This session will bring together experts to discuss the issues related to POPs research and to provide an update on regulations intended to ban many of these chemicals in various countries.

Session Objective:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Recognize issues related to POPs in terms of exposure assessment
    and regulations to ban their use.

Moderator:
Donald G. Patterson Jr., PhD; National Center for Environmental
   Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Olaf Papke, ERGO Forschungsgesellschaft
Torkjel Manning Sandanger, PhD; Norwegian Institute for Air Research

T18: The Mold Report: What’s Up With Damp Indoor Spaces and Your Health
Room: CLAYTON – 2nd Floor

Members of the Institute of Medicine’s Damp Indoor Spaces and Health Committee will discuss the relation between damp or moldy indoor environments and the noninfectious adverse health effects of fungi (particularly respiratory and allergic symptoms), including the effects of mycotoxins and other biologically active products. Speakers will do the following:

  • Discuss factors that predispose buildings and ventilation systems to dampness, moisture, and mold growth.
     
  • Discuss building ventilation and filtration processes and how indoor pollutants and moisture distribution may predispose buildings to mold growth.
     
  • Provide opinions on how to reduce the problems of moisture in buildings in terms of building design, construction, and maintenance.
     
  • Discuss the relation between mold growth and environmental conditions and examine environmental sampling and mold measurement, identification, and classification.
     
  • Explore the implications of setting standards for exposure to mold on the basis of current science.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session participants will be able to do the following:
1) Discuss the relation between damp or moldy indoor environments
    and the noninfectious adverse health effects of fungi.
2) Identify factors that predispose buildings and ventilation ducts to
    mold growth.
3) Discuss issues related to environmental sampling.

Moderator:
Clive Brown, MD, MPH; National Center for Environmental
   Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Susanna Von Essen, MD; University of Nebraska Medical Center
Terry Brennan, MS, BA; Camroden Associates, Inc.
Harriet Burge, PhD; Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Inc.

T19: Effective Communication During Environmental Health Emergencies
Room: GWINETT– 2nd Floor

Speakers will explain how to effectively communicate to the public during environmental health emergencies. Topics will include elements that should be taken into consideration when relaying such information—namely, risk communication principles, message timing, audience segmentation, information needs, and selection of channels. Speakers will focus on how to reach the public through news media channels, how to frame messages to respond to needs in the field, and how to apply specific media strategies during environmental health emergency situations.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Identify those elements that should be taken into consideration
    when relaying information to the public during environmental health
    emergencies.
2) Describe how to reach the public through news media channels,
    how to frame messages to respond to needs in the field, and how
    to apply specific media strategies during environmental health
    emergencies.

Moderator:
Ann C. Forsythe, PhD; National Center for Environmental Health/
   Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Marsha L. Vanderford, PhD; Office of Communication, Centers for
   Disease Control and Prevention
Von Roebuck, Office of Communication, Centers for Disease Control
   and Prevention
Sean Kaufman, MPH, CHES; Office of Terrorism Preparedness and
   Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

T20: Successful Industry/Government Collaborations in Environmental Public Health
Room: FULTON – 2nd Floor

The session will highlight industry/government collaborations, past and present, that have had positive implications for environmental public health.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Identify instances when industry and government have used their
    mutual resources to advance environmental public health.
2) Understand the advantages of collaborations and be receptive to
    future opportunities.

Moderator:
Lee Salamone, MA, MS; American Chemistry Council

Presenters:
Marion Balsam, MD, FAAP; The National Children's Study, National
   Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes
   of Health
Peggy Geimer, MD; Arch Chemicals
Steve Russell, American Chemistry Council

T21: What NHANES Is Missing
Room: NEWTON– 2nd Floor

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) involves a statistical sampling of the people in the United States who are 6 years of age and older. The population not sampled comprises toddlers, infants, and fetuses. The second session will bring together experts in the area of toddler exposure assessment to discuss their recent research.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Understand the issues related to toddler exposure assessment.
2) Identify exposure assessment issues related to the National
    Children’s Study and new NHANES-type studies being planned by
    state health departments.

Moderator:
Donald G. Patterson, Jr., PhD; National Center for Environmental
   Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Linda Sheldon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Chensheng Alex Lu, PhD; University of Washington
Barry Ryan, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
Charon Gwynn, PhD; New York City Department of Health and Mental
   Hygiene

T22: Using Surveillance Data to Evaluate the Emerging Hazardous Threat of Illicit Methamphetamine Labs and to Formulate Prevention Activities: Lessons Learned
Room: ROCKDALE – 2nd Floor

Methamphetamine (meth), a powerfully addictive stimulant, can be easily produced in illicit, makeshift laboratories. Aside from the inherent physical and physiological dangers of the drug itself, many of the substances used in the manufacturing process are hazardous. Volatile air emissions, spills, fires, and explosions can result in acute human exposures. The Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) database, maintained by NCEH/ATSDR, contains data on emerging environmental health threats such as meth labs. These data can be used to create injury-prevention strategies. NCEH/ATSDR interest in these events was sparked by the significant number of first responders being injured during these events. Because these labs are often located in homes and apartment buildings, the safety of others, especially children who reside in these settings, is a major concern. An overview of the meth problem will be presented, along with national data from the HSEES system. Additionally, HSEES coordinators from Washington, Iowa, and New York will present state data and describe state injury-prevention strategies that are being implemented.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Identify the dangers that meth labs pose to first responders and
    children.
2) Articulate the different characteristics of meth labs events in
    different areas of the country.
3) Cite prevention strategies currently in use in different areas of the
    country.

Moderator:
Wendy Wattigney, MS; National Center for Environmental
   Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Kevin Horton, MSPH; National Center for Environmental Health/Agency
   for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Debbi Cooper, Iowa Department of Public Health
Rebecca Wilburn, MPH; New York State Department of Health
Theodora Tsongas, PhD; Oregon Health Services, Oregon Department
   of Human Services

T23: Epidemiology and Health Effects of Highway Pollutants
Room: COBB – 2nd Floor

This breakout session will focus on the health effects of highway pollutants. The moderator will provide an overview of cardiorespiratory health effects and how residential or occupational distance from highways influences the severity of such health effects. The speakers will then present the results of recent and ongoing studies on the health effects of specific highway-related pollutants, including carbon monoxide, ultrafine particulates, and diesel emissions. Panelists will also discuss the toxicologic mechanisms of effect and methodological challenges associated with measuring highway pollutants. Presentations in this session will also focus on the degree to which known health effects of highway pollutants can influence the types of interventions designed for persons who live or work near highways.

Session Objective:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Describe the health effects and measurement of highway pollutants
    and how such pollutants are measured.

Moderator:
Allison Stock, PhD; National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for
   Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Thomas Grahame, U.S. Department of Energy
Michael Brauer, PhD; University of British Columbia
Isabelle Romieu, MD, PhD; Pan American Health Organization

T24: LeadSafeHomes.Info Project
Room: DOUGLAS – 2nd Floor

Three cities (Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago), in collaboration with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Center for Healthy Housing, and Abt Associates, are exploring ways to help families make better informed decisions on lead-safe housing. The group has envisioned a way to link housing and blood lead surveillance data in a Web-based, geographic information system (GIS) format to (1) provide property-specific information about known or suspected lead-paint problems and (2) identify neighborhoods where childhood lead poisoning is prevalent. The Web site, LeadSafeHomes.Info, will provide general educational information about lead in the home; the site will also provide information about lead, health, and lead laws as they pertain to the three cities and to a national audience. In this session, staff from NCEH/ATSDR will describe the status of the project plus its opportunities and challenges. Staff from Abt Associates will describe the technical aspects of the project. Partners from state and local health departments will share their experiences in overcoming technical, policy, and data-sharing issues. The session will include a live demonstration of the Web site.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Describe the unique features of LeadSafeHomes.Info project for
    Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago.
2) Describe the pros and cons of making lead information available to
    the public in a GIS and Web-based format.

Moderator:
Rob Henry, MPH; National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for
   Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Pat McLaine, RN, BSN; National Center for Healthy Housing
Barbara Conrad, Maryland Department of the Environment
Anne Evens, MS; Chicago Department of Public Health
Paul Hunter, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Dan McMartin, Abt Associates

T25: Water Reuse and Public Health Issues
Room: FAYETTE – 2nd Floor

Potable water has been reused in the United States for several decades and continues to be an innovative way of meeting the water demands of our growing population. Technology has advanced significantly, and regulations intended to protect human health are periodically amended. However, the potential health effects associated with drinking reused water are still undefined, and public perception tends to be unfavorable. This session will provide an overview of potable water reuse activities in the United States as well as technological advances, potential health risks, and public perception.

Session Objective:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Identify water reuse practices, technology, regulations, potential
    health risks, and the public’s perception of water reuse.

Moderator:
Lisa Vallejo, MPH; National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for
   Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
James Crook, PhD, PE; private water-reuse consultant
Christine Moe, PhD; Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
John Ruetten, Resource Trends, Inc.

 

T6: Media 101 for Environmental Health
Room: JACKSON – 2nd Floor

In 1995, researchers at Duquesne University surveyed journalists, industry communicators, and the public to learn more about who these groups considered to be credible sources of information. Respondents ranked credibility as follows: government officials, 88%; environmental groups, 78%; and business and industry groups, 53%. This session will help environmental public health practitioners capitalize on their credibility by describing how the media operates and how practitioners can collaborate with members of the media to disseminate important environmental health messages. The session will include a presentation from the CDC/ATSDR media office as well as a panel discussion with state officials and journalists. The panel will review best practices for communicating information about a variety of environmental health topics.

Session Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to do the following:
1) Develop environmental health messages for various types of media
    (print, broadcast, Internet).
2) Discuss how the news media operates and what is considered
    newsworthy.

Moderator:
Kathy Skipper, MA, APR; National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Presenters:
Kathryn Harben, Office of Communication, Centers for Disease Control
   and Prevention
Martha Framsted, Nevada State Health Division
Jim Najima, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
Maryn McKenna, MSJ; Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ted Vigodsky, WABE-FM
 



This page last reviewed December 21, 2011