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Projects Funded - 2015-2016 Academic Year
 
Characterizing Occupational Exposures in a Hair Salon
Student: Keerthanaa Jeeva
Faculty Advisor: Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH
Institution: University of Minnesota School of Public Health – Exposure Science & Sustainability Institute (ESSI)
Presented at the Spring 2017 Poster Session
Final Report
An estimated 1.45 million Beauty Salon Professionals (BSP) in the U.S., most of them in hair and nail salons are potentially exposed to a wide range of chemicals while working with professional formulations of personal care products. While these chemicals have been associated with assorted adverse health outcomes such as asthma, dermal sensitization and cancer, exposure and risk profiles for this cohort remain poorly characterized and thus limit the ability of concerned health professionals and BSP to develop effective exposure and risk reduction strategies. We propose to conduct a basic characterization to facilitate the exposure assessment and risk characterization of BSP exposures to a selection of chemicals found in professional formulations of hair care products.  The outcome of this research will include a comprehensive report documenting the approaches used and major findings.  A relational database will be developed that captures the products by service type, chemical compositions and exposure determinant data, along with relevant health hazard information to facilitate risk characterization.  Finally, a contaminant generation rate for at least one chemical emanating from a product used during hair treatment will be estimated that will be useful for predicting exposures when the candidate product is used under similar environmental conditions.
  
Characterizing Occupational Exposures in a Nail Salon
Student: Chinomso Ibe

Faculty Advisor: Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH
Institution: University of Minnesota School of Public Health – Exposure Science & Sustainability Institute (ESSI)
Presented at the Fall 2016 Plenary Session
An estimated 1.45 million Beauty Salon Professionals (BSP) in the U.S., most of them in hair (HC) and nail salons (NS), (BLS, 2012) are potentially exposed to a wide range of chemicals while working with professional formulations of personal care products. Many of these chemicals have been associated with serious health effects such as asthma, respiratory, dermal sensitization and cancer (Chevrier et al., 2006; Garlante´zec et al., 2009; Warshaw et al., 2010; Gallichio et al., 2011; Herdt-Losavio et al., 2011; Quach et al., 2010; Tsigenia et al., 2012).  Despite the large number of potentially exposed workers, few studies have been conducted to quantify their workplace exposures, making it difficult to direct exposure and risk management measures to reduce health risks (Alaves et al., 2013). We propose to conduct a basic characterization including a hazard assessment to facilitate the exposure assessment and risk characterization of BSP exposures to a selection of chemicals found in professional formulations of nail care products. The outcome of this research will include a comprehensive report documenting the approaches used and major findings.  A relational database will be developed that captures the products by service type, chemical compositions and exposure determinant data, along with relevant health hazard information to facilitate risk characterization.  Finally, a contaminant generation rate for at least one chemical emanating from a product used during nail treatment will be estimated that will be useful for predicting exposures when the candidate product is used under similar environmental conditions.
  
Assess the Impact of Environmental Counseling on Pregnant Women’s Perception and Behavior about Chemical Hazards
Student: Sewit Tedla
Faculty Advisor: Shahid Parvez, PhD
Institution:  Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Increase use of synthetic chemicals elevates the risk of preconception and prenatal exposure which negatively affect fetal development and lead to chronic health outcomes. Therefore, the role of environmental health practitioners in the prevention of environmental exposure to pregnant women and their unborn fetus is critical. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism or system in place in clinical care to educate pregnant women about environmental hazards. Therefore, we intend to study the influence of environmental counseling in clinical practice on pregnant women’s perception and behavior to minimize exposure risk. We designed the counseling materials to educate pregnant women about common exposure pathways and methods to minimize exposure. We also designed pre and post counseling surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of counseling on pregnant women’s’ perception and behavior. The pregnant women consented and recruited at the time of prenatal visit at the Eskenazi Health Center, West 38th Street Indianapolis. Each participant completed a pre-counseling survey, followed by counseling. The post-counseling survey was performed on their next scheduled visit, typically after 4 weeks.  Currently, the enrollment of pregnant women and counseling are in-progress and tentatively will be completed in April 2016. Analysis of the surveys will be performed after we meet our recruitment goal. This study will help to determine whether environmental counseling can be effective in minimizing maternal exposure. The data from this research will help public health professionals, clinicians, and reproductive health professionals assess the benefits of incorporating environmental counseling into prenatal care.

Building the Multi-layer Data Community Action Tool for Risk Communication: Evaluating data quality
Student: Jeremy Chesher
Faculty Advisor: Yi Wang, Ph.D
Institution: Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Final Report
The creation of the Multi-layer Data Community Action Tool (MDCAT) requires the best data available as well as the best procedure for collecting, cleaning, and displaying this data. Thus, we focus this project on evaluating the data collection process as well as the quality of data sources used in risk communication for the MDCAT. Although data is derived from reliable sources, some data is not wholly accurate. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database has been criticized for having gaps or outdated data for many chemicals. In order for risk to be accurately characterized, we fill these gaps for the chemical contaminants found in Indianapolis’s Near Westside community (WESCO). We obtain environmental site data and summarize it for assessment of hazards to the community, creating a list of chemicals of concern (COCs). Then, we use this COC list to review EPA’s IRIS data and conduct an updated literature review for any data that is missing or outdated. We compare data from IRIS and the literature and create a report detailing missing or incomplete information.
 
Community Perceptions of Environmental Hazards: MDCAT Intervention
Student: Jeremy Prather
Faculty Advisor: Yi Wang, Ph.D
Institution: Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Final Report
The Multi-layer Data Community Action Tool (MDCAT) is a tool being developed to aid the Near Westside Community of Indianapolis that communicates several levels of environmental and health data via an online tool to help community members develop a better concept of the chemical hazards to which they are being exposed. To evaluate the effectiveness of the tool in communicating risk from environmental hazards, surveys were administered to community members at community gatherings and meetings. Data were collected prior to community members seeing the MDCAT, and will be collected after, to document a change in perception in environmental hazards.
 
Advancing hazard communication for chemical accident prevention: review of risk management plans for chemical safety improvements
Student: Hayley Byra
Faculty Advisor: Joel Tickner, Sc.D.
Institution: University of Massachusetts Lowell
The EPA’s Risk Management Plan Rule (RMP), under Section 112r of the Clean Air Act was established to accelerate chemical safety by hazard communication of worst and common case accident scenarios and requiring analysis of safety options. Such communication could lead to community, worker, and first responder dialogue about hazards and prevention.  This project explores how communication of worst case accident scenarios can lead to accident prevention activities.  In particular, the research focuses on two elements:  A review of why companies have delisted in the past five years from the RMP rule reporting requirements and a review of prevention options for the 101 facilities that have the largest worst case scenarios, affecting more than one million people.
 
Expanding the P2OASyS Hazard Assessment Tool to include updated GHS Classifications
Student: Samantha Couture
Faculty Advisor: Joel Tickner, Sc.D.
Institution: University of Massachusetts Lowell
The Pollution Prevention Options Assessment System (P2OSyS) is a tool developed by the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute in the 1990s to compare chemical and process change options for toxics use reduction. During the past decade a number of comparative chemical hazard assessment tools have been developed, many incorporating endpoints and criteria from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS). The purpose of this project is to conduct a comparison between P2OASyS and other comparative chemical hazard assessment tools in terms of their endpoints evaluated and cut off criteria. P2OASyS will then be updated based on GHS categories and wording, to enhance the usability of the tool, particularly for small and medium sized companies.
 
Identifying structural alerts for high concern chemicals that can be communicated to users
Student: Alicia McCarthy
Faculty Advisor: Joel Tickner, Sc.D.
Institution: University of Massachusetts Lowell
GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals (GreenScreen®) is a publicly available chemical hazard assessment tool used by a variety of organizations, including state governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and industry, to select safer chemicals for their product lines. The GreenScreen® consists of four benchmark scores which identify how safe chemicals are relative to one another. Beginning with Benchmark 1, the benchmarks indicate progressively safer chemicals up to Benchmark 4. The aim of this project is to evaluate the chemicals which received a Benchmark 1 in order to identify common structural alerts for Benchmark 1 chemicals. Using these structural alerts, end-users can more easily identify as well as avoid chemicals of concern in their product lines.