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Wednesday Workshops

October 28, 2009: 8:30 am – 10:00 am

F 1: Be Prepared: Learning from Exercises, During Events, and After the Fact

This session will feature case studies on different ways to prepare for and learn from emergency events. The first will present ways that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) uses formal drills and tabletop exercises to improve public health preparedness. The second and third presentations will look at the coal ash release that occurred in December 2008 near Kingston, Tennessee including a discussion of the event itself, the aftermath, and many of the existing and new tools (e.g., satellite imaging) that were used to respond. The fourth session addresses lessons learned from carbon monoxide poisoning surveillance conducted after the floods in Iowa in 2008, Hurricane Ike in Texas in 2008, and the ice storm in Kentucky in 2009. The session will conclude with a discussion of choices made to dispose of debris and from Hurricane Katrina in un-lined landfills, and asks the question, did we learn from the last time we did this?

David Borowski: Environmental Disaster: Coal Ash Release - the Tennessee Department of Health Story

Nancy Clark: Integrating informal drills to improve environmental emergency response – experiences from New York

Jacquelyn Clower: Post-disaster carbon monoxide poisoning surveillance workgroup: lessons from three recent storms

Chih-yang Hu: Emergency Post-hurricane Debris Landfills in New Orleans: More Superfund Sites?

Joseph Roth, Jr.: Investigation of community health status following a release of coal ash sludge in TN

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F 2: Hook, Line, and Sinker: Fish Consumption Outreach and Education for Vulnerable Populations

Delivering a balanced message about fish consumption—its health benefits and the need for caution to avoid accumulated consumption of potentially harmful substances—is challenging. This is a concern for fish eaters, particularly for sport and subsistence anglers. Creative approaches are needed to reach high-priority groups including those that are the least aware of fish advisories, those most likely to eat higher amounts of fish, and those with low?income/low educational level and/or limited English. This session will feature five approaches to delivering messages about fish consumption with a focus on delivering messages to populations at greatest risk for eating excessive amounts of contaminated fish. Participants will learn how public health officials in Connecticut worked with the Connecticut Food Association to develop a supermarket sign to guide consumer decision-making. Participants also will learn about the Michigan Department of Community Health’s work to develop advisories for residents along the highly contaminated Saginaw River, many of whom live in poverty. The public health program in Wisconsin will present information about a variety of outreach and communication strategies for the Native American, Hmong, and Hispanic communities living nearing the Lower Fox River—one of the largest Superfund sites in the nation. Participants also will learn how a Minnesota program developed targeted messages for Hmong anglers and how a North Carolina agency worked with other state programs to reach Hispanic women.

Tannie Eshenaur: Pictures and Spoken Words: Doing Needs Assessment with Limited English Proficiency Populations

Martha Keating: Hook, Line, and Sinker: Developing, Delivering, and Testing Fish Advisory Messages for Latinas

Susan Manente: Community-based Fish Consumption Advisory Case Study – Saginaw River, Michiganh

Sharee Rusnak: Connecticut’s Supermarket Outreach Program: A Collaborative Project With the Retail Food Industry

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F 3: Environmental Public Health Tracking: Components of Technology in a Web-based Query System

Environmental public health tracking is essential to protecting communities by providing information to federal, state, and local agencies. This session focuses on making public health tracking programs more effective by creating common standards for transport networks such as the National Environmental Information Exchange Network and the Public Health Information Network Messaging System. The session also addresses the need for an implementation design that allows for more efficient and precise data searches on tracking networks, comprehensively outlines the data storage processes, and explores flexible design for a variety of users and stakeholders.

Matt Cahill: Environmental Public Health Tracking – Data Models and uses for National Tracking Portal

Shannon DeWitt: Role Based Access Control and Security for the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

Craig Kassinger: Exchange Network and PHIN: A Case for Interoperability Using the Environmental Public Health Tracking

Gonza Namulanda: The use of Standard Vocabularies on the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

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F 4: Lakes and Pools: Public Health Hazards and Benefits of Recreational Water

Drinking water safety is often at the forefront of water-related health concerns, but there also are critical public health issues associated with recreational water This session addresses public health hazards and benefits of recreational waters including lakes and pools. The session will describe data on swimmers from the Cooper Clinic database showing that exercise swimmers have half the mortality risk of exercise walkers or runners—findings that may have implications for combating multiple chronic diseases. This session also will address concerns associated with lake use, near-shore settlement, and waste disposal—and their effects on these biogenic toxin levels—as well as novel detection methods for contamination.

Lorraine Backer: Recreational Exposure to Microcystins During Algal Blooms in Small Lake

Bruce Becker: Wet & Healthy: Health Benefits of Aquatic Activity


Christopher Uejio: Environmental Variability and Change in an Inland Lake Ecosystem

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F 5: Unnecessary, Undetected, and Underappreciated Exposure: Lead in Demolition Dust and Drinking Water

Despite a steady and dramatic decline in the prevalence of elevated blood-lead-level cases, an estimated 240,000 children aged one to five years still have dangerously elevated blood-lead levels in the United States today. Much of this exposure results from lead-contaminated dust generated from housing demolition projects, and cases still exist where levels of lead in water are high enough to pose a significant health threat. This session will present case studies focused on these issues and will highlight findings from investigations conducted in Chicago and Baltimore to measure lead dust fall after housing demolition projects. Additionally, using Washington, DC, and Durham, NC, as examples, this session will discuss limitations of the federal Lead and Copper Rule in protecting children from hazardous concentrations of lead in water and will offer suggestions for practical and effective measures to address unnecessary childhood lead exposure.

Marc Edwards: Health Implications of Lead (Pb) in Drinking Water

David Jacobs: Lead Particulate Deposition from Housing Demolition

Robert Brackbill: Diagnosed Asthma among Persons Exposed to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Yanna Lambrinidou: The Federal Lead and Copper Rule and the Public's Protection from Lead in Drinking Water

Ralph Scott: Public health agency response to lead-contaminated drinking water

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F 6: Protecting Our Children: Domestic Approaches and Global Opportunities

Pediatric environmental health is an important topic within the public health realm. With more and more children being exposed to environmental threats globally, understanding how to translate knowledge to practice is important. Participants in this session will learn about data sets available from EPA that can be used in the study of children’s environmental health. The session also will discuss the implications of an oral-fluid lead test for children and will explore how advances in lead screening can address one of the major environmental threats to children. In addition, the characteristics of a childhood illness that resembles Idiopathic Environmental Illness syndrome, which is found in adults, will be discussed. Following the discussion of new tools and challenges in the U.S., the session will conclude with a case study on the implementation of pediatric environmental health programs in Vietnam.

Daniel Axelrad: America’s Children and the Environment: Development of New Children’s Environmental Health Indicato

Lynn Gardner: Accuracy of Lead Level Measurement Using Oral Fluids

Catherine Karr: Building Global Childrens Environmental Health Capacity: Partnership in Vietnam

Alan Woolf: An Idiopathic Environmental Illness-Like Syndrome in Children: Diagnostic & Management Dilemmas

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F 7: Measuring Success: Tracking and Evaluation Tools for Community Health

Measuring and tracking community health status allows public health professionals to improve local health and safety in the most efficient, effective, and sustainable way possible. In light of increasingly limited community-level resources, it is crucial to identify the best health indicators, collect data consistently to allow for comparative analysis between communities, and integrate data across systems to capture overall quality of life. To address this need, tools for obtaining and evaluating relevant health measures are being developed. This session will feature the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) county rankings and the STAR Community Index as comprehensive, prevention, and sustainability-focused approaches to health.

Lynne Barker: STAR Community Index: Motivating and Measuring Sustainable Communitie

Vickie Boothe: Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) County Rankings

Chris Kochtitzky: Healthy Community Indicators and Indices: Comprehensive Tools to Measure and track Community Health and Safety

Elke Wolfe Davidson: STAR Community Index: Motivating and Measuring Sustainable Communities

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F 8: Toward Eradication: Creating Lead Safe Environments for Children

Lead is one of society's oldest known and most thoroughly studied environmental hazards. Environmental public health efforts have helped to reduce exposure, yet contaminated air, drinking water, food, soil, and dust continue to be common avenues for exposure. Using studies conducted in Atlanta and New Orleans, this session will highlight the need to identify and test children in neighborhoods with high-risk housing, discuss the geographic-wellness approach as a tool for primary prevention, and highlight how states and localities can achieve lead-safe housing through enforcement of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Additionally, this session will feature an interactive component with discussions about the need for state health departments to develop a more comprehensive approach to addressing lead and other risks to indoor environmental quality.

Kenny Foscue: Environmental Health's Final Frontier: Creating Comprehensive State Programs For Indoor Environmental

Samantha Harrykissoon: Achieving Lead Safe Housing Through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

Howard Mielke: Lead safe environments for children: A proactive geographic-wellness approach

Ambarish Vaidyanathan: Neighborhood Level Risk Analysis of Childhood Lead Poisoning in the City of Atlanta

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F 9: Volatile Organic Compounds: Exposures and Health Effects

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted in occupational settings and from a wide variety of household products. Ongoing research employs a variety of methodological approaches to assess exposures and health effects in human populations. Analysis of human blood as a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that age, sex and lifestyle are all associated with VOC concentrations, supporting the notion that VOC exposure is ubiquitous. Additional studies have utilized community participatory approaches and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling to assess health risks in workers and to simulate exposures in different age groups, respectively. Further study is focused on chronic exposure to high levels of VOCs, including a case study of cancer effects in orthopedic surgeons exposed to methylmethacrylate.

James Diaz: Proportionate Cancer Mortality in Methylmethacrylate-Exposed Healthcare Workers

Sujata Joshi: Persistence, Patience and Partnerships: Studying cancer risks in TCE-exposed workers at the View-Mas

Brooks McPhail: The Use of PBPK Model to Predict the Metabolism of Perchloroethylene in Children

Hatice Zahran: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the US Population, 2003-2004

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F 10: Unwelcome Guests: Addressing Air Contaminants Released and Left Behind

Air quality can be significantly influenced by various sources of contamination. Toxics being actively released by operating facilities, lingering toxics from previously remediated waste sites, and naturally occurring chemicals may all pose serious health risks to people living and working nearby. This session will highlight approaches to reduce exposures and identify health impacts from indoor and outdoor air contamination. Case studies will describe projects that utilize monitoring and health surveillance data to assess the health impacts of hydrogen sulfide and secondary smelter emissions. In addition, an educational program to improve radon awareness and remediation efforts will be presented. Furthermore, presentations related to vapor intrusion will describe assessing the level of vapor intrusion at former dry cleaning operations, and addressing community concerns around property devaluation and assessment standards for waste site reuse.

Jorge Atiles: Radon Gas Education via Cooperative Extension

Carol Cusack: Respiratory health following a decrease in hydrogen sulfide gas emissions: Dakota City, Nebraska

Joseph George: Is Vapor Intrusion Lurking Around Your Town’s Former Friendly Neighborhood Drycleaner?

Elizabeth Hom: Environmental Health Surveillance Data Meets the Public Health Assessment Process

Lenny Siegel: Stakeholders and Vapor Intrusion

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F 12: The Power to Change: Understanding the Health Impact of Renewable Energy Technologies

While the potentially devastating effects of climate change necessitate a clean energy revolution, the health impacts of new energy technologies have not been fully evaluated. In this session, safe, healthy, rapidly adoptable measures for achieving a low carbon economy will be prescribed. Additionally, an opportunity to promote renewable energy while reinvigorating chemical policy will be presented through analysis of the photovoltaic industry. Finally, the safety of wind power will be explored and the use of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) will be evaluated as a mechanism to ensure the safe use of our extraordinary wind resources.

Rita Messing : Possible Impacts of Low Frequency Wind Turbine Noise on Public Health

Kurt Tramposch: Using Health Impact Assessment in Siting Wind Turbines

Michael Wilson: Building the Linkage Between Clean Energy and Green Chemistry: No Time Like the Present

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F 13: Healthy Places: The Role of Law

Law is an integral tool in achieving public health goals across the spectrum. In the environmental health realm, for instance, there has been a steady and dramatic decline in the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels due in large part to law-based interventions at the federal, state, and local level. Law can also pose barriers to public health protection. For example, the International Fire Code’s “20-foot-clear” rule sometimes forces streets to be wider than necessary, which increases traffic speed as well as traffic injuries and fatalities. This session looks at the role of law in achieving healthy places through the lens of these two salient issues. Participants will gain an understanding of the International Fire Code’s effect on street on street width and public health, gain broader knowledge of how and why connected street networks are safer, and learn how to effectively work with fire marshals to address this issue. This session will also include a presentation providing an in-depth analysis of a local lead law enacted by Rochester, New York, including lessons learned about the evaluation of local environmental health laws and policies.

Jon Davis: Public Health, Street Design & the Fire Marshalt

Jon Davis: Public Health & the Fire Code

Amelia Greiner: Designing a Health-Promoting Zoning Code: A Case Study of TransForm Baltimore

Rebecca Morley: Evaluating Rochester’s innovative local lead law: Two years of progress

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