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University of Minnesota

Superfund Research Program

Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training Program

Project Leader: Peter Raynor
Grant Number: R25ES023595
Funding Period: 2013-2023
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Summary (2016-2021)

To ensure that emerging technologies grow without causing illness or injury to workers and the public, a professional workforce must be prepared with the ability to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control exposures to hazardous materials in emerging technology workplaces. Therefore, the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, and Dakota County Technical College have formed the Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training (METPHAST) Program. The objective of the METPHAST Program is to develop a comprehensive web-based curriculum on occupational hygiene, with emphasis on applications to worker health and safety in emerging technologies.

To accomplish this objective, they are developing four online cores for education and training in chemical hazard recognition, detection technologies, exposure assessment strategies, and risk management. In the cores, they are demonstrating concepts with examples and illustrations drawn from the following emerging technologies: green chemistry, sustainable remediation, electronic products and waste, and nanotechnology. Each core in the curriculum is comprised of 10-15 web-based modules; each module, in turn, includes a carefully-constructed set of short narrated screencasts, animations, exercises, and activities. Instructors are using the curriculum to create academic and continuing education courses that develop the skills of industrial hygiene students; students in other health, science, engineering, and technology disciplines; and professionals who require continuing education on the health and safety of emerging technologies. The program is innovative because it provides flexible, online education materials that instructors can first use to train themselves, and then to train others, on topics that fit the needs of their organizations. All materials will be freely available on the web, ensuring that the METPHAST Program has a regional, national, and global reach.

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