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SUPERFUND RESEARCH PROGRAM
Tribal-University Evaluation of Chemical Exposures
to Improve Community Health
2015
Community E...
2 Tribal—University Partnership Current Projects
Background
Traditionally smoked salmon is a
staple and valued food for Na...
3EVALUATION OF CHEMICAL EXPOSURES TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY HEALTH
Background
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are
formed when ...
On December 2nd
, the CEC and an
OSU Financial Aid advisor went to
the Confederated Tribes of Siletz
Indians and talked to...
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Tribal-University Evaluation of Chemical Exposures to Improve Community Health

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Oregon State University (OSU) Superfund Research Program Community Engagement Core newsletter for 2015.

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Tribal-University Evaluation of Chemical Exposures to Improve Community Health

  1. 1. SUPERFUND RESEARCH PROGRAM Tribal-University Evaluation of Chemical Exposures to Improve Community Health 2015 Community Engagement Core Leadership The purpose of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to evaluate chemical exposures that are a concern for Native American Tribes. To accomplish this goal, the CEC works to build scientific capacity in Tribal communities and cultural capacity within the university research community. This mission was developed by Dr Anna Harding based on her expertise and partnership with Tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Dr Harding is the founding director of the CEC has served as its Director since 2009 but after 26 years of service to Oregon State University, she has announced her intention to retire. Dr Molly Kile, who has been a co-leader in the CEC for the past four years, transitioned into the directorship in November, 2015. To insure a smooth leadership transition, Anna will continue to work with the CEC until June 2016. Trained as an environmental epidemiologist, Molly Kile is an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. She has a great deal of experience in community engagement activities and working with communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental contaminants. In addition to her engagement activities with our tribal partners, she works with communities that are impacted by arsenic-contaminated drinking water in the United States and Bangladesh. As the new director, Molly is looking forward to continuing the mission of the CEC and partner with Tribal communities that experience environmental injustice. Through these partnerships, the CEC seeks to translate knowledge into effective and culturally appropriate risk reduction strategies that will reduce exposure to environmental pollution and contribute knowledge for self-protection and remediation. Anna Harding (top), Molly Kile (bottom) 2 PAH metabolism study 3 Tracing air pollution 4 Tribal collaborations In this issue PAHs: New Technologies and Emerging Health Risks The Oregon State University Superfund Research Center (SRP) brings together a multidisciplinary team to identify polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the environment, to characterize their toxicity, and to determine the potential for those exposures to influence human health. PAHs are re-emerging as an environmental pollutant of concern. PAHs are formed during the burning of carbon-based materials, and are commonly found at Superfund sites and urban settings. This work is supported by the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act of 1986 and is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
  2. 2. 2 Tribal—University Partnership Current Projects Background Traditionally smoked salmon is a staple and valued food for Native American Tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The meat is preserved by cooking at 90 - 120°C for up to 36 hours over smoldering wood inside a tipi or a smoke shed. In 2012, Tribal partners expressed concern that this process could increase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the preserved fish. A study was conducted with the Department of Science and Engineering (DOSE) at the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) that showed that PAH levels in traditionally smoked salmon were much higher than PAH levels found in cold smoked salmon (Forsberg et al. 2012). This led Tribal members to question how PAHs found in traditionally smoked salmon are absorbed, processed, and eliminated by the body. The Project Our tribal partners recruited 9 CTUIR members to participate in a metabolism study where they ate a small portion of traditionally smoked salmon and provided 5 urine samples before and after this meal. Samples were analyzed at Oregon State University. Overall, 4 PAHs and 10 PAH metabolites were detected in the urine of participants after eating 50 grams of traditionally smoked salmon. After 24 hours, the body excreted almost all of the PAHs and returned to baseline which reflected PAH levels before the volunteers ate the smoked salmon. These results underwent scientific peer review and were published in Science of the Total Environment. Reporting Results All participants wanted to see their results. Guided by best practices in reporting research data, reports were created that let each person see how their PAH levels compared to the group’s average (Figure 1). This approach was needed because of the uniqueness of the data—no one had measured PAH levels in Tribal members after eating smoked salmon before—and to protect volunteer’s privacy. Each report also contained information that would help people make choices that would reduce their exposure to PAHs while still enjoying the nutritional and cultural benefits Traditionally Smoked Salmon Metabolism Study Reporting PAH biomonitoring results to participants After Tribal volunteers ate a small portion of traditionally smoked salmon, the concentration of PAHs and their metabolites rapidly increased in urine. This shows that PAHs were absorbed by the body. After 24 hours almost all PAH levels returned to background levels showing that they are quickly excreted. People who were more hydrated eliminated the PAHs more rapidly. Eating fresh, frozen, canned, or air dried salmon would reduce exposure to PAHs. Since pregnant women and children are more vulnerable to PAH toxicity, they may want to limit the amount of smoked salmon and enjoy it prepared in these other ways. Figure 1. This is an example of the data included in the participant’s reports. Each line in the figure represents the total amount of 4 PAHs that were not metabolized in the body and what those levels were at 5 different time points. The individual’s data is indicated by the orange line and the black lines represent the data from the other 8 participants. The data shows that all participants had some PAHs in their urine prior to eating 50 grams of smoked salmon (baseline). PAH levels rose rapidly in the urine of all participants after eating the traditionally smoked salmon. While each person excreted PAHs at a different rates, everyone associated with smoked salmon (below). Forsberg et al. 2012. Effect of Native American fish smoking methods on dietary exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and possible risks to human health. J Ag Food Chem. 60: 6899-6906. Motorykin et al. 2015. Metabolism and excretion rates of parent and hydroxyl-PAHs in urine collected after consumption of traditionally smoked salmon for Native American volunteers. Sci. Tot. Environ. 514: 170-177. had a similar pattern of excretion and almost all PAH levels returned to baseline after 24 hours. One reason people had different excretion rates was their hydration status which was measured using urinary creatinine.
  3. 3. 3EVALUATION OF CHEMICAL EXPOSURES TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY HEALTH Background Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when organic material or fossil fuels are burned. PAHs attach themselves to very fine particulate matter that can travel thousands of miles in the air before falling to Earth. By measuring PAHs, their degradation products, and accounting for wind speed and direction, sources of air pollution can be identified, both regionally and from across the Pacific Ocean in Asia (Figure 2). The Project Beginning in 2010, CTUIR partnered with OSU SRP to evaluate the impacts of regional airborne contamination to their reservation. Working with the air quality technician at DOSE, one high volume air monitor was installed on Cabbage Hill at CTUIR. For comparison, a second monitor was placed in the Mount Bachelor Observatory (Bend, OR) (Figure 2). Tribal air quality staff were trained to operate the monitors and replaced filters in the air samplers every 24 hours. Samples were collected on 83 days over the one year study period (2010—2011). The samples were used to measure fine particulate matter, organic and black carbon, 32 PAHs, and 37 PAH degradation products (nitro-PAHs and oxy-PAHs). By gathering this data , the researchers hoped to identify the contribution of trans-Pacific transport of pollution to Oregon air quality. However, no such events were identified at Cabbage Hill. Instead, the researchers identified a large regional source of PAHs, coming from the nearby coal-fired power plant located in Boardman, OR. The data showed that the average levels of PAH, nitro-PAH, and oxy-PAH levels were higher when the power plant was operating compared to when it was offline. This suggested that the power plant was a regional source of PAHs. Interestingly, the levels of PAHs dropped in spring of 2011 when the power plant upgraded its air pollution scrubbers to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s new mercury emission standards. This upgrade had the unexpected benefit of substantially reducing PAH emissions measured at Cabbage Hill by 72% and oxy-PAH degradation byproducts by 40%. Although no changes in fine particulate matter, nitro-PAH, or organic carbon were observed, the improvements to the power plant improved air quality in the region. This was reviewed by scientists and published in Environmental Science and Technology. Lafontaine et al. 2015. Relative Influence of Trans-Pacific and Regional Atmospheric Transport of PAHs in the Pacific Northwest, U.S. Environ Sci Technol, 49(23):13807- 13816. The Unexpected Benefit of a Mercury Scrubber on PAH Emissions Tracing the source of air pollution in the Pacific Northwest Figure 2. Installing air monitor on Cabbage Hill (upper left ). Map showing the location of air monitors at Cabbage Hill (CTUIR) and Mt Bachelor and their proximity to Boardman (upper right). Illustration of tracking transport of air pollution from Asia to the Pacific Northwest (bottom). “Boardman was a major source of PAH in the Columbia River Gorge, and now it is not. That’s a good thing ... for people living in the Gorge”- Dr. Staci Simonich, Confederated Umatil- la Journal, September 2015.
  4. 4. On December 2nd , the CEC and an OSU Financial Aid advisor went to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and talked to students at the Siletz Valley Early College Academy. The trip was organized by Greta Frey (CEC trainee), who is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. She was joined by Mitra Geier, another SRP trainee. The team answered questions regarding college applications, schol- arships and research opportunities at Oregon State University. SRP trainees were also able to share their own college experiences with If you have any questions, please contact Molly Kile, Assistant Professor Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences 15 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 Telephone: (541) 737-1443 Email: Molly.Kile@oregonstate.edu Visit our website to learn about projects supported by OSU’s Superfund Community Engagement Core: http://superfund.oregonstate.edu/outreach This project is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program grant P42 ESO16465 Confederated Tribes of Siletz Reaching out to the next generation of Tribal students 4 Core Personnel Molly Kile, Sc.D., Core Leader Oregon State University Barbara Harper, Ph.D., Co-Leader Oregon State University Anna Harding, Ph.D., Co-Leader Oregon State University Jamie Donatuto, Ph.D., Community Liaison Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Greta Frey, Superfund Trainee Oregon State University Confederated Tribes of Siletz and Aleut Corporation Diana Rohlman, Ph.D., Program Coordinator Oregon State University Stuart Harris, B.S., Tribal Liaison Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation All studies referenced in this newsletter are available online or by contacting Dr. Molly Kile. Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Upcoming research collaborations The CEC will begin working on new projects with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (La Conner, WA). These projects will focus on monitoring air quality on the reservation which is in close proximity to several oil refineries. Another project will use passive sampling wristband technology to look at personal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (see photo) . To learn more about using wristbands for personal exposure monitoring , go to: http://ehsc.oregonstate.edu/passive-wristband-samplers Resources for Tribal Partnerships Tribal partnership resources online Working with Tribal partners, OSU SRP Center has created an online library of resources for conducting research with Tribal communities. This includes a link to the Traditional Tribal Subsistence Exposure Scenario and Risk Assessment Guidance Manual. This document captures many unique Tribal exposure scenarios that can be used in risk assessment calculations. To learn more, go to: http://superfund.oregonstate.edu/conducting-research-tribal-communities

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