Artisanal industry communities are important economic drivers in developing countries;however children living and working in communities where hazardous activities are conducted can be exposed to dangerous levels of toxic contaminants. In informal lead-acid battery recycling communities, for example, studies from a number of countries, including Vietnam, show elevated (sometimes fatal) levels of lead in children's blood. Vietnam is on an accelerated schedule to address children's environmental health risks in battery recycling and other artisanal industry communities, with support at all levels of government and society, and a target date of 2018 for moving the most hazardous activities out of residential areas into specialized zones. Given the severity of the problem and the concrete timelines put forth by the Vietnamese Government, there is an urgent need for the sharing of scientific information on assessing and mitigating children's exposure to lead and other toxics. An interactive one-day workshop in Hanoi is proposed for November 2014, run by a collaborative team of researchers, clinicians, and technical experts from Blacksmith Institute (New York), the Centre for Environment and Community Development (Hanoi), the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health (Hanoi), Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (New York), and the University of Washington (Seattle).
Specific aims of the workshop are to help build capacity of Vietnamese partners working actively on children's environmental health in artisanal industry communities to: 1) translate children's toxics research findings to action, given resource constraints, 2) involve community stakeholders in children's exposure and risk characterization, 3) develop shared children's risk mitigation objectives/indicators, and 4) engage the medical and public health communities in surveillance and follow-up. A longer-term objective is to help lay the groundwork for a regional best practices exchange, so that neighboring countries can benefit from Vietnam's successes and lessons learned. The workshop and its anticipated contributions would serve NIEHS's core mission of advancing environmental health science to help solve a critical global health problem.

Public Health Relevance

Artisanal industry communities are important economic drivers in developing countries;however children living and working in communities where battery recycling and other hazardous activities are conducted can be exposed to hazardous/fatal levels of lead and other toxics. Vietnam is on an accelerated schedule to address children's environmental health risks in battery recycling and other artisanal industries, with support from workers and households, all the way up to the Prime Minister's office. The investigators propose an interactive one-day workshop in Hanoi in November 2014 to exchange scientific information and help build capacity of Vietnamese partners to: 1) translate children's toxics research findings to action, given resource constraints, 2) involve community stakeholders in children's exposure and risk characterization, 3) develop shared children's risk mitigation objectives/indicators, 4) engage the medical and public health communities in surveillance and follow-up, and 5) lay the groundwork for a regional best practices exchange, so that neighboring countries can benefit from Vietnam's successes and lessons learned.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Conference (R13)
Project #
1R13ES024657-01
Application #
8785728
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
Program Officer
Henry, Heather F
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Blacksmith Institute, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10115