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University of Minnesota

Superfund Research Program

The Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research Activities for Assessing and Controlling Contaminants from Emerging Technologies (InTERACCT) Program

Project Leader: Susan Arnold
Grant Number: R25ES033035
Funding Period: 2021-2026
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)


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 University of Utah have formed the Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research Activities for Assessing And Controlling Contaminants From Emerging Technologies (INTERACCT) Program.

The objectives of the INTERACCT Program for this funding period are:

  • 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 will develop three online core courses for education and training in chemical hazard recognition, exposure assessment, and risk assessment. In the cores, they will demonstrate concepts with examples and illustrations drawn from the following emerging technologies: nanotechnology, additive manufacturing and novel drug delivery. Each core in the curriculum will be comprised of 10-15 web-based modules; each module, in turn, will include a carefully-constructed set of short narrated screencasts, animations, exercises, and activities.
  • To build research in industrial hygiene skills. To accomplish this objective, they will provide interdisciplinary research experience opportunities to graduate students.
  • To produce graduates with high levels of technical, scientific and proessional competency. To accomplish this objective, instructors will use 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 INTERACCT Program has a regional, national, and global reach.


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