The SWEHSC plays an important role in stimulating collaborative interactions among researchers. This is evidenced by a significant number of new, funded research projects, as well as a notable number of planned initiatives involving collaborations. The SWEHSC promotes and enhances collaborative research within and between the members through Research Focus Groups.
The themes of the three Research Focus Groups are seen below:
Exposure Assessment of Pollution Sources and Respiratory Outcomes
Characterization of the environmental exposures that worsen outcome in asthmatic children is critical to developing strategies to mitigate this pediatric disease that is reaching epidemic proportions. Understanding the flux of toxicant-contaminated particulates between outdoor sources and the home will be critical to developing accurate exposure estimates in epidemiological studies.
Acute and Chronic Lung Disease after Exposure to Complex Mixtures
The lung as a target organ for a number of environmental agents that can result in both carcinogenic and degenerative diseases. These may include dusts, smoke and nanoparticles accompanied by pulmonary infections. This may be particularly relevant for the southwest, where substantial airborne arsenic from mine tailings has been documented.