TTUHSC El Paso receives $30,000 EPA grant
EL PASO, Texas, Feb. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted $30,000 to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso for the Farmworkers Pesticide Use Protection Project. The project will educate migrant farmworkers and their families on the health effects and safe use of pesticides as they work along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The project is a collaboration between the EPA and TTUHSC El Paso's Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health (SWCPEH).
Pesticide exposure can affect health later in life, including damage to the body's nervous and endocrine systems. The SWCPEH has partnered with promotores - community health workers - from Familias Triunfadoras Inc. to educate the local migrant farmworker community. These communities often have poor access to basic necessities and are in need of preventative and routine health care.
Promotores will provide pesticide health education to the farmworkers and develop curriculum.
"Collaboration between our center and promotores is an integral part of our project," said Stormy Monks, Ph.D., regional director of SWCPEH at TTUHSC El Paso. "We were fortunate to connect with promotores who have strong ties to the migrant farmworker community and can provide insight on their needs."
As part of the EPA's Children's Health Policy and Strategic Plan, the agency examines environmental impacts and addresses health disparities so all children, no matter their ZIP code, race or income, are protected equally under the law.
"Not only do farmworkers have pesticide health hazards in the field, but they can bring these hazards to high-risk individuals at home, including elderly family, pregnant spouses and small children," said Diego Garcia, life scientist at the EPA's Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division Pesticide Program.
Fewer exposures mean a healthier workforce and fewer lost wages, medical bills and work and absences.
"The EPA is excited to continue developing our partnership with TTUHSC El Paso to improve our children's environmental health outcomes," said EPA Region 6 Administrator Earthea Nance, Ph.D. "Understanding and evaluating the impacts of pesticide use is a high priority, and we have much more to learn in this area."
About Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health (SWCPEH)
Housed at TTUHSC El Paso's Department of Emergency Medicine, the SWCPEH is one of 10 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) in the U.S. PEHSUs serve as a network of experts in children's environmental health. Our regional PEHSU covers Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Support for the SWCPEH comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics and is partly funded by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR). The EPA supports PEHSUs by providing partial funding to CDC/ATSDR through an interagency agreement.
The PEHSU program's mission is to improve reproductive and children's health by leading the integration of environmental health into clinical care and public health while supporting communities to address historical injustices and ongoing environmental racism and address the existential threat of climate change.
About TTUHSC El Paso
TTUHSC El Paso is the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and serves 108 counties in West Texas that have been historically underserved. It's designated as a Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution, preparing the next generation of health care leaders, 48% of whom identify as Hispanic and are often first-generation college students. Currently, less than 6% of physicians and registered nurses in the U.S. identify as Hispanic; however, in 2022, 57% of TTUHSC El Paso graduates, including medical and nursing students, identified as Hispanic, diversifying the health care workforce locally and nationally.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 02F21901 to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.
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