OHSU Students getting ready to paddle.
OHSU students join Oregon Health Authority and Oregon DEQ as they get ready to paddle

Dr. Dave Stone, co-leader of the Research Translation Core, paddled in the Portland Harbor Superfund Site as part of an innovative educational event designed for Preventative Medicine students at Oregon Health and Science University.

Approximately fifteen MD/MPH and Medical Toxicology students attended the tour in which Dr. Stone and representatives from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, discussed issues related to Portland Harbor and environmental health. Dr. Stone highlighted risks associated with PAHs in the sediment, as well as persistent pollutants in fish tissue.

The tour began at the iconic St. John’s Bridge and continued to some of the most PAH polluted PAH  in the Harbor.  Dr. Stone discussed the on-going research and activities of OSU’s Superfund Research Program and how it relates to Portland Harbor and public health.

Paddling in the Harbor
Paddling in the harbor
St. John's Bridge canoes
St. John’s Bridge canoes
Fish advisory at the site
Credit: NIEHS
PEPH Annual Meeting: Communication Research in Environmental Health Sciences – Environmental Health Literacy, September 22-24, 2014,  NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC … Graphic Credit: NIEHS

This year the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is focusing the PEPH meeting on Environmental Health Literacy (EHL).

An added feature this year are Watch Parties, so those not attending the meeting in person can gather with others, watch the meeting presentations, and have discussions. Our SRP will be hosting some Watch Parties for the live streaming (we are unable to watch other presentations live due to the time difference).  All are welcome!

Use or follow hashtag #EHL2014

Recordings are available for viewing between September 25 and September 30. Please contact Naomi Hirsch if you are interested in viewing a recording and the time you are available.  Choose from any of the presentations listed below. 

Watch Party Schedule

Monday, Sept 22nd in ALS Building room 1019

8:10 a.m. – 9:30 am
Culturally Appropriate Communication: Development of Indigenous Health Indicators
Jamie Donatuto and Larry Campbell, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (via video)
Followed by our group discussion

Tuesday, Sept 23rd in ALS Building room 1019

10 :00 am
A Communication Science Approach to Developing and Evaluating Environmental Health Messages
Kami Silk, Michigan State University
10:30 am.
Importance of EHL to NIEHS Mission: New Partners for Research
Gwen Collman, NIEHS

Recorded Sessions

Welcome Linda Birnbaum, NIEHS
Defining EHL in Context of NIEHS’ Commitment to Community Engagement
Liam O’Fallon, NIEHS
Scope of Current NIH Research and Resources
Bill Elwood, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
Outside Influences on EHL: What the Public Already Understands about Environmental Risks
Symma Finn, NIEHS
Defining Environmental Health Literacy Together
Marti Lindsey, University of Arizona
Influence of the Media on Understanding of Environmental Health
Katherine Rowan, George Mason University
The Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT) and the Role of Prevention in the Clinical Setting
Mark Miller, University of California San Francisco Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
Community Engagement through Enhanced Environmental Health Literacy
Neasha Graves, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
Development and Implementation of Occupational Health and Environmental Literacy Training for Various Audiences
Mitch Rosen, Rutgers University
Use of Mapping, GIS, and Spatial Statistics to Increase Environmental Health Literacy in Community Settings
Paul English, California Department of Public Health
New Tools for Measuring and Communicating Environmental Exposures and Risks
Sara Wylie, Northeastern University
Deborah Thomas, Shale Test
Breast cancer communication & Photovoice: Increasing EHL in Youth
Alexandra Anderson, Zero Breast Cancer

(Adapted from story from Eddy Hall, NIEHS)

SRP Training Core Co-leader Stacey Harper has received the 2014 Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award.

Stacey Harper
Stacey Harper

The Savery award is presented each year to a faculty member of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences to recognize outstanding contributions through teaching, research, international, and/or extended education activities. Harper will receive the award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque, at a faculty and staff luncheon Oct. 8.

Harper has been an outstanding role model for graduate students.  She was brought into the SRP Center as a leader when the Training Core was established in 2013.  She has been an assistant professor of nanotoxicology in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (EMT) and the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering since 2009.  Prior to joining the faculty at OSU, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Environmental Health Sciences Center, where she was mentored by Robert Tanguay, Ph.D (SRP Project 3 Leader and Center Research Coordinator).

Harper takes an integrative approach to studying the environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanotechnology. Her lab uses rapid assays to determine the toxic potential of nanomaterials, investigative tools to evaluate nanomaterial physiochemical properties, and informatics to identify the specific features of a nanomaterial that govern its environmental behavior and biological interactions.

In addition to her most recent honor, Harper was the 2012 recipient of the L.L. Stewart Faculty Scholars Award, which recognizes an outstanding faculty member at OSU with $30,000 in additional research support. Harper also received an Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 2011.

Earlier this summer, Harper received an NSF grant for nanomaterials research that begin next week.

Read more about Stacey Harper on her spotlight: Nanotechnology’s Gatekeeper within the Environmental Health Sciences Center web site.




The OSU SRP – DOSE partnership in 2011 in front of a traditional smoking tipi includes SRP trainees Andres Cardenas and Oleksii Motorykin, and CEC Co-leaders Dr. Barbara Harper and Stuart Harris.

The Department of Science and Engineering (DOSE) of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) is a partner with our Superfund Research Program (SRP) Community Engagement Core (Core E).

In June 2014, DOSE recruited nine Tribal members to help with a study that would measure how people metabolize and eliminate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that can attach to food when it is smoked.

PAHs are produced by burning wood and other materials. Salmon, a first food, is important to the subsistence of Native Americans living in the Pacific Northwest. The salmon run in spring and fall. Smoking salmon is one of the traditional ways to preserve this seasonally abundant food and make it available year round.

The study team first conducted a community educational forum for study volunteers that described the purpose of the study and get informed consent. Each participant was asked to refrain from eating any foods containing PAHs for two days. Then they were asked to eat a small serving of traditionally smoked salmon.  After eating the salmon they provided urine samples to help researchers understand how the PAH residues produced during smoking events are processed by the body.

SRP Trainee Oleksii Motorykin (Project 5) is involved in this study and is working with CORE E and DOSE Scientists to interpret the data.

The Community Engagement Core has a wealth of resources shared on the web site related to working with Tribes. Be sure to check it out!

Toxicologists examine the chemicals of modern life.
By: Peg Herring, Oregon’s Agricultural Progress

Forty years ago, chemical pollution was the stuff that spewed from tailpipes, smokestacks, and sewers. Rivers burned, fish died, and forests withered under acid rain until Congress passed strict laws to curb the flood of manmade chemicals pouring into our waterways and atmosphere.

Man-made and naturally occurring chemicals pervade modern life. Here are a few that have been linked to human health problems.

However, 40 years ago there was little consideration of the chemicals that we were pouring into our bodies. The chemicals we use to sanitize our hands, package our foods, and keep our beds from going up in flames have seeped into our bodies in ways that were unimaginable a generation ago. Today, we are marinating in antibacterials, hormone disruptors, and flame retardants.

Man-made and naturally occurring chemicals pervade modern life. Here are a few that have been linked to human health problems.

“There are more than 80,000 man-made chemicals in existence today, and an estimated 2,000 new chemicals are introduced each year,” said Craig Marcus, a toxicologist at Oregon State University. “We encounter thousands of them every day, in food, kitchenware, furniture, household cleaners, and personal care products. And very few of them have been adequately tested for safety.” Continue reading