status of the community members exposed to environmental hazards. Currently, 12 grants have been awarded across the United States. The majority of these grantees are located in lower-income communities confronting the redevelopment of brownfields.
NIEHS, working in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, has developed the Minority Worker Training Program as a series of national pilot programs designed to test strategies for the recruitment and training of young people for future environmental careers. The people selected live near hazardous waste sites or in communities at risk of exposure to contaminated properties. This program seeks to provide sustainable job development and training for young adults who live in areas with hazardous exposure potential, such as brownfields sites in urban communities. Community groups and HBCUs are involved in this partnership to teach math, science, and life skills to assist in reinforcing worker knowledge and positive behavior on the job.
The NIEHS Environmental Health Science Centers are academic institutions throughout the country that bring together individuals from many scientific disciplines to focus on particular environmental health problems. Three of these centers (those at the University of Iowa, University of California at Davis, and Oregon State University) focus on the health concerns of agricultural workers, many of whom are migrant workers or disadvantaged minorities. The results of this research will help define the true risks to this occupational group so that better prevention and intervention strategies can be developed to protect their health.
NIEHS is assisting NCI in a prospective study of cancer risk in a cohort of 75,000 pesticide applicators and their spouses. NIEHS manager and evaluates the part of the study devoted to noncancer endpoints and has assisted in recruiting African Americans into the study population. This study examines, in part, the unique risks to rural African Americans and other minority populations exposed to pesticides. Minority populations may have increased susceptibility to the effects of pesticides. For example, there is increasing evidence of racial differences in the prevalence of gene polymorphisms that affect the metabolism of chemicals including pesticides