On Saturday, April 1, faculty and students from two NIEHS-funded centers in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health – Superfund Research Program (SRP) and the Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS) collaborated with community partners to conduct hands-on learning sessions with women attending the annual Durham Women’s Health Awareness Day. This event, which is sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and NC Central University, is hosted on the NCCU campus and provides free screenings and workshops for as many as 600 women living in Durham and the surrounding Triangle communities.
UNC SRP director Dr. Rebecca Fry worked with graduate school trainees, staff in the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Environmental Resource Program (ERP) and the Durham area nonprofit Reinvestment Partners to host a hands-on learning session on arsenic, lead and other toxic metals. In addition to Dr. Fry’s discussion on the health impacts of toxic metals, SRP trainees conducted hands-on learning activities with the 15 community members in the session, engaging them in understanding how consumer products like rice and well water can be sources of arsenic. Lorisa Seibel, housing program director for Reinvestment Partners, discussed lead-based paint as a source of childhood lead poisoning in older housing and provided information on resources community members could use to address that potential hazard in their homes. Later in the day, Ms. Seibel partnered with NIEHS clinical asthma expert Dr. Stavros Garantziotis to conduct an interactive session on environmental asthma triggers and resources for Durham residents. Reinvestment Partners is a community partner of UNC CEHS, coordinating lead poisoning and healthy homes community outreach activities throughout Durham’s at-risk areas.
This session was supported by funding from NIEHS (grants #P30ES010126 and #P42ES005948) and the CDC (grant #UE1EH001276-01).