Monsoon storms send huge walls of dust across parts of Arizona, sometimes snarling traffic on roadways and knocking out power. There could be hidden health impacts for millions of people living in the state's dust zone as well. These dust storms - or haboobs - carry a noxious mix of fungi, heavy metals from pollutants, chemicals and bacteria that could lead to cardiovascular and eye disease, and other illnesses.
Arsenic may be found in many foods due to absorption through the soil and water.
Tailings are the mounds of crushed rock, mixed with trace amounts of chemicals, that remain after ore is processed. Mine tailings are composed of fine particles that can easily be blown around in dust storms and can lead to contaminated well water.
IHSFC Human Populations and Exposure Resource
The IHSFC Human Populations and Exposure Resource (HPER) leverages SWEHSC human studies and exposure assessment experts to provide a central resource for researchers conducting environmental health studies.
In August 2015, an estimated 3 million gallons of acid water and heavy metals spilled from the Gold King Mine into Colorado's Animas River, eventually flowing into the San Juan River, the primary source of irrigation for Navajo Nation farmers. The spill was accidentally caused by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency while trying to prevent leakage of toxic materials.
Asthma and related allergic diseases are two conditions that plague many Americans across the Southwest. Native Americans across the desert landscape have suffered from these ailments in disproportionate amounts. Understanding how particular environments can either contribute to, or offer protection from asthma offer the promise of improving treatment for asthma and allergy patients.
IHSFC Data Science Resource
The IHSFC Data Science Resource (IHSFC DSR) provides expertise throughout the life-cycle of a research project, from study design and sample collection planning, through the publication and dissemination of results, to data sharing and reuse through curated repositories.
The KEYS internship provides hands-on research opportunities to talented students from diverse backgrounds. The program concludes with the KEYS Research Showcase, where students present their results to their families, UA scientists, and program sponsors.
The Cellular Imaging Facility Core provides SWEHSC members and their labs with access to a number of powerful microscopes and image analysis capabilities. The Core staff provides hands-on assistance with experimental design, training, troubleshooting, and analysis.
Cancer is a leading cause of death among firefighters, who are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals through both inhalation and skin absorption. Measuring these exposures and determining the mechanisms by which they cause cancer are essential steps in learning how to reduce cancer risk in firefighters.
Air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. Some air pollutants are poisonous, and inhaling them can increase the chance of having health problems. Air pollution isn't just outside - the air inside buildings can also be polluted and affect your health.
The Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research center, which is actively investigating the health effects of environmental agents and serving as a resource for the community.