Toxicology

What a summer we’ve had!

August 9th was a festive day here at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. In a room abuzz with nervous excitement, our summer interns stood by their posters, proud to share their summer’s work with Institute staff, friends, and family – all just as excited. Beginning in 1993 and currently directed by Dr. Ryan Olson, the annual Summer Internship Program is an opportunity for students to be mentored by Institute members conducting research in the … Read More

Weather fails to derail Salem WPS training session

Thursday, December 8th, will enter the record books as the first cold winter storm of 2016 for the Willamette Valley. But that didn’t stop our Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Train-the-Trainer team from traveling to Salem for its first ever training event. Our team was made possible by, and consists of personnel from, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon SAIF, Oregon OSHA, OHSU’s Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, and the National Pesticide Information Center housed … Read More

Lead: the metal that just keeps giving

Lead – a metal people have been using for thousands of years. I was introduced to industrial hygiene in graduate school with a project related to a fictitious “Vulcan lead foundry” as our professor assigned us to develop sampling plans to identify workplace lead exposures.  Similarly, likely every practicing industrial hygienist has spent some time sampling for lead – whether it be targeting a specific manufacturing process, during construction work involving lead paint, at shooting … Read More

Oregon offering Train-the-Trainer events for the Revised Worker Protection Standard

Starting January 2, 2017, agricultural workers and pesticide handlers that work on agricultural establishments must be trained annually about pesticide safety and the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Workers and handlers must be trained before they begin worker/handler tasks, EPA-approved training materials must be used, and trainers must be qualified. Here is where the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, National Pesticide Information Center, OSU extension, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon OSHA and others play a role: many of us … Read More

Summer sees increased pesticide use

Okay, no one really enjoys using pesticides. But in Summer, bugs crawl, weeds grow, mosquitos bite and…..well, people turn to using pesticides. So, since pesticide use is common in Summer, we all need to know how to use them in a manner that reduces health risks, to ourselves, our loved ones, to non-targeted species (e.g. pollinators) and to the general environment. Notice I didn’t use the word “safe”, because “safe” doesn’t belong in the vocabulary … Read More

Multiple agencies meet to discuss pesticide issues

Pesticides are a commonly used tool for the control of a variety of pests, including weeds, bacteria, insects, rodents and molds, and represent a potential health risk to those who use them. Oregon OSHA is actively involved in ensuring that safe work practices with pesticides are followed, and provides a variety of educational and consultation services in this regard. Last week, Oregon OSHA sponsored the 2016 Oregon Pesticide Symposium, which was held March 15-16 at the Chemeketa … Read More

AWWA is all about water

It is easy to take for granted the access to clean and safe water that we all enjoy. But without the experts who design, construct, operate and manage the utilities that provide our water, this luxury would not exist. This week, I had the privilege of addressing our regional water professionals at the 32nd annual American Water Works Association (AWWA) Pacific Northwest Section Cascade to Coast Short School, held March 13-16 at the Valley River … Read More

Research paper reveals effects of enzyme loss

  Glial expression of Swiss-cheese (SWS), the Drosophila orthologue of Neuropathy Target Esterase, is required for neuronal ensheathment and function, by Dutta S, Rieche F, Eckl N, Duch C, and Kretzschmar D. That’s the title of a paper, recently published, that describes work originating from the laboratory of Doris Kretzschmar. In this work, Dr. Kretzschmar and postdoctoral fellow Sudeshna Dutta created a genetic mutation in a fruit fly enzyme that is analogous to neuropathy target … Read More

Arsenic and cadmium air pollution found in SE and North PDX

Potentially unsafe levels of arsenic and cadmium have been detected in the air of Southeast Portland. The primary source was been localized to a glass production facility that has operated there for ~40 years. They have since terminated use of these metals in their process, so there is no current risk of continued airborne exposure from this source. A similar finding has been localized to a glass production facility in North Portland, who has also … Read More

Asian gypsy moth makes appearance in Portland

In 2015, Asian gypsy moths (AGM), a plant-eating invasive species, were detected in Portland’s Forest Park and northern part of the St Johns neighborhood. The moths were found during routine monitoring in traps placed throughout the region by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. A related species, the European gypsy moth (EGM), was also found. EGM is endemic to the northeastern United States, has defoliated millions of acres of trees and shrubs, and since the late … Read More

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