The University of Iowa Environmental Health Sciences Research Center (EHSRC) hosted the annual meeting of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Core Centers from June 19-21, 2019. The 23 centers are funded to conduct research, training, and community engagement in the environmental health sciences. The meeting is traditionally hosted at one of the center sites, and this year, Iowa’s EHSRC was selected.
On the evening of June 19, a small delegation of meeting participants from NIEHS and the UI toured three local farms – Morning Glory Farms, Broulik Farms, and Mallie Farms – to discuss current farming practices in the Midwest. After the tours, a community forum that attracted approximately 110 people was held in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where a series of speakers talked about water quality concerns in the state.
Over the course of the next two days, approximately 200 participants joined the full meetings in the College of Public Health Building, with a social event at Hancher Auditorium on the evening of June 20.
The conference agenda included sessions for the Community Engagement Cores, the Center Administrators, and the scientific community. Keynote presentations were delivered on the first day by Dr. Jerald Schnoor from the UI Department of Engineering on A new paradigm for supplying safe drinking water, and Dr. Detlef Knappe from North Carolina State University on Drinking water contaminants in the Cape Fear watershed.
Concurrent breakout sessions were held on a variety of topics including Disaster Research Response, Emerging Issues with Pesticides, and Reporting Back Research Results, among others. Poster sessions featured the research of early stage investigators, and new EHSCC research was highlighted in a series of lightning presentations on day 2. In addition, three presentations and a panel discussion were held on Emerging issues with electronic nicotine delivery systems (E-cigarettes).
NIEHS Director, Dr. Linda Birnbaum delivered a stimulating presentation on perfluoralkyl substances, an emerging class of water pollutants, entitled, PFAS: Emerging but Not New.