Tribal-University Evaluation of Chemical Exposures to Improve Community Health

Objective

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) builds scientific capacity in Tribal communities and cultural capacity within the research community. We are improving risk assessment models by accounting for tribal land-use scenarios and unique exposure pathways. By translating this knowledge into effective and appropriate risk reduction strategies, we will reduce environmental disparities and improve the health of Pacific Northwest Tribes.

Past Activities
  • Addressed Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) concerns regarding their environmental exposures, built Tribal capacity to measure environmental pollutants, and developed risk reduction strategies that improved health without adversely affecting cultural practices.

    Members: 
    Michelle Burke, A.S., Tribal Assistant,  Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) 2011 – 2015
    Jack Butler, M.S., Air Quality Consultant, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) 2009 - 2015
Current Activities

    Tribal-University Photo Albums link


Major Accomplishments
  • Addressed CTUIR concerns regarding their environmental exposures, built Tribal capacity to measure environmental pollutants, and developed risk reduction strategies that improved health without adversely affecting cultural practices. 
  • Co-organized an event with Project 4 and Louisiana State University Superfund Research Program: Response, Recovery, and Resilience to Oil Spills and Environmental Disasters: Engaging Experts and Communities - A Symposium and Workshop for Community Stakeholders, Researchers and Policymakers, January 2013 in Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Featured PAH exposures during traditional smoking of salmon with the CTUIR research in the NIEHS publication, Celebrating 25 Years of the Superfund Research Program.
  • Engaged 27 Tribal members in three 90-minute focus group sessions to elicit feedback about tribal indicators of health, environmental health concerns, and the importance of smoked food as a cultural tradition. The findings were published in Environmental Justice.
  • Installed (with Project 5 and CTUIR personnel) ambient PAH monitors on the CTUIR Reservation.
  • Trained a Tribal Air Quality Technician to collect PAH filters; transferred responsibility for air sampling technology for gas- and particle-phase PAHs to CTUIR.
  • Facilitated collection of personal air sampling data during traditional smoking of salmon, the first study of its kind conducted with tribal members.
  • Collected salmon samples in two types of structures with two different woods. Core D analyzed samples and Core C analyzed statistics; concentrations of PAHs in traditional smoked foods exceed concentrations of PAHs in commercial salmon by factors of 40-400.
  • Sponsored a Tribal Research Symposium in 2010 with focus on Tribal legal issues, research ethics, concepts in indigenous and western science, and integration of socio-cultural health indicators in Tribal risk research.
  • Developed a Material and Data Sharing Agreement, published it in EHP, distributed it to regional EPA Tribal Liaisons and regional Indian Health Service, and posted on PEPH Resource Center for access by other SRPs.
  • Produced training videos to demonstrate how to use personal air samplers in collaboration with Tribal members.

Recent Publications

Presentations

(bold represents presenting author) - Slides and resources on the Resource and Events Page

  • Harding, A., Reams, M., Anderson, K., Lam, N., O’Connell, S., Tidwell, L. (2014): Response,recovery and resilience to oil spills and environmental disasters: Exploration and use of novel approaches to enhance community resilience. Poster presentation at the 142nd APHA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.  Abstracts published online in Abstracts of the APHA 142nd Meeting.
  • Paulik LB, Rohlman D, Donatuto J, Woodward C, Kile M, Anderson KA, Harding A: Improving techniques for estimating butter clam (Saxidomus gigantean) contamination in the Salish Sea. Poster presented at: Fidalgo Bay Science Conference, hosted by the Samish Indian Nation; 2014 October 23; Anacortes, WA.
  • Cardenas A, Houseman EA, Baccarelli A, Christiani DC, Wright RO, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Golam M, Kile ML (2014): In Utero Arsenic Exposure and Epigenome-Wide Association in Placenta, Artery and HUVEC, Prenatal and Perinatal Toxicology Conference, Boston, 2014.
  • Rohlman, D., Harper, B., Harding, A., Harris, S., Kile, M., Anderson, K., Simonich, S. (2014): Evolution of a robust tribal-university research partnership to investigate tribal exposures and build scientific capacity.  Oral presentation at the Contemporary Northwest Tribal Health Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Rohlman, D., Harper, B., Harding, A., Harris, S., Kile, M., Anderson, K., Simonich, S. (2014): Evolution of a robust tribal-university research partnership to investigate tribal exposures and build scientific capacity.  Oral presentation at the 6th Annual Northwest Environmental Health Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Harding, A., Harper, B., Harris, S., Stone, D., Anderson, K., Simonich, S., Uesugi, S., Forsberg, N., Motorykin, O., Cardenas, A., Waters,K., Anderson, K. (2012): Working with a Native American community characterize (and define) their “risk”: Risk as a value-based decision based on important cultural practices.  Oral presentation at the 140th APHA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.  Abstracts published online in Abstracts of the APHA 140th Meeting.
  • Cardenas, A., Sudakin, D., Smit, E., Harding, A. (2012): Naphthalene exposure and relationship with hemoglobin and hematocrit in White, Black, and Hispanic adults: Results from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Poster presentation at the 140th APHA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.  Abstracts published online in Abstracts of the APHA 140th Meeting.
  • Forsberg, N., Stone, D., Harding, A., Harper, B., Harris, S., Matzke, M., Cardenas, A., Waters, K., Anderson, K.  (2012): Informing communities—a collaborative investigation of Native American PAH dietary exposure scenarios and possible risks to human health.  Oral presentation at the Superfund Research Center Annual Meeting, Raleigh, NC.
  • Uesugi, S., Harding, A., Harper, B., Harris, S., Schure, M., Kile, M., Goins, T. (2012): Environment and health connections: Perspectives from community members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.  Poster presentation at the Superfund Research Center Annual Meeting, Raleigh, NC.
  • Harper, B. & Harding, A. (2011): Addressing tribal exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and building tribal capacity through a tribal-university partnership.  National webinar presentation through the Superfund Research Program Risk e-Learning series, sponsored jointly by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the USEPA, May  23, 2011.
  • Harding, A., Harper, B., Harris, S., Stone, D., Uesugi, S., Berger, P., Butler, J., Jensen, L.,  Power, L. (2010): Tribal-university partnership to address tribal exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and improve community health.  Oral presentation at the 138th APHA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.  Abstracts published online in Abstracts of the APHA 138th Meeting.
  • Harper, B., Harding, A., Harris, S., Sudakin, D., Stone, D., Uesugi, S., Hirsch, N., Jensen, L. (2010): Tribal-university partnership to address tribal exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and build capacity through scientific training and technology transfer.  Oral presentation at the SETAC North America 31st Annual Meeting, Portland, OR.
  • Harding, A., Sudakin, D., Harper, B., Harris, S., Stone, D., Uesugi, S., Hirsch, N., Cardenas, A. (2010): Tribal-university partnership to address tribal exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and build capacity through scientific training and technology transfer.  Poster presented at the Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting, Portland, OR.
  • Harding, A., Sudakin, D., Harper, B., Harris, S., Stone, D., Uesugi, S., Hirsch, N., Jensen, L.,  Power, L. (2010): Tribal-university partnership to address tribal exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and build capacity through scientific training and technology transfer.  Poster presented at the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Conference, Research Triangle Park, VA.