PNASH meets at Oregon Health and Science University

The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health (PNASH) Center Advisory Committee is meeting at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), pictured below.  PNASH is a NIOSH-funded regional Center that supports research projects and outreach in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.

The current PNASH project in Oregon is designed to study stress in agricultural workers and develop and test an intervention to reduce stress in workers. Drs. Diane Rohlman and Kent Anger of OHSU and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC), sited at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, direct the project. Collaborators include Leda Garside, RN, Salud Services of Tuality Healthcare.

While may seem to be a dizzying list of organizational names, it does reflect the degree to which federal and state funding enables linkages between scientists at different organizations and projects are developed that require the expertise of scientists from different organizations. Each scientist is partly funded by NIOSH and state funding streams.  PNASH Director Dr. Rich Fenske is on the left.

A sample of PNASH-funded projects are being presented today. Examples are:

  • OHWC Director Kent Anger noted the OHWC’s recent review of Total Worker Health (TWH) research and revealed that there is no research to evaluate TWH interventions (to improve health and safety and wellness/wellbeing) in agricultural settings. TWH is a possible new area of focus for the
  • Evidence of an association between asthma and elevated ammonia in air in farming areas, especially animal feeding areas (Catherine Karr of the University of Washington (UW), PI).
  • Dr. Christopher Simpson (UW) described a new rapid measure of organophosphorus compound exposures, useful for workers applying the most widely-used agricultural pesticides worldwide, including some in Pacific Northwest tree fruit farms.
  • Dr. Alice Larson spoke about her census of indigenous agricultural workers.
  • Dr. Laurel Kincl described her new project with Dungeness crab workers(below).
  • Nargess Shadbeh of the Oregon Law Center described the 10-year project to provide information on pesticide safety to Oregon’s indigenous workers through promontoras speaking directly to the workers, a project in danger of ending due to the end of grant funding.  Other funding mechanisms to maintain the human resources to present the information on, essentially, the Worker Protection Standard to indigenous workers, included state government and industry.