Creation of a new research center to protect children from environmental health risks


Smoke obscures hills and buildings normally visible in downtown Portland, OR. Air quality in the city has been rated the worst of any major city in the world due to smoke from several surrounding wildfires. September 10, 2020.

Claudia Meza/OPB

The federal government recently awarded nearly $5 million to Oregon State University to launch a new center that will turn environmental health research into practical applications to protect children from lead, arsenic and other toxins in the environment. The researchers plan to use the new grant funds to pilot awareness projects for at-risk groups and early childhood educators around conditions such as asthma, which affects more than 60,000 children in Oregon and can be triggered by exposure to environmental factors such as wildfire smoke and dust mites. Joining us is Molly Kile, a professor of public health and humanities at Oregon State University and a member of the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission.

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