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City University of New York (CUNY)

Superfund Research Program

New York Training Center for Emerging Technologies in Industrial Hygiene

Project Leader: Brian Pavilonis
Co-Investigator: Homero Harari (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)
Grant Number: R25ES033044
Funding Period: 2021-2026
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)


The development of new technologies for detection of environmental contaminants have increased considerably in the last 15 years. The technology in the form of new sensors, smartphone applications, and wearables devices are widely available for researchers as well as consumers interested in obtaining environmental data. For industrial hygienists, the availability of new sensors allows for the collection of greater spatial and temporally resolved data which improves anticipation, recognition, measurement, and control of workplace exposures. This proposal builds on a long-standing collaboration between the City University of New York School of Public Health (CUNY SPH) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the NIOSH New York/New Jersey Educational Research Center while adding new collaborations with CUNY’s Queens College and the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center.

The overall goal of this proposed training program is to add significant new training and research opportunities for industrial hygiene students at the CUNY SPH in the hands-on use of sensor technology and laboratory. Students will be trained to recognize and utilize state of the art new technologies that can be used to quantify contaminants in the workplace such as total volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, heat exposure, noise and ultraviolet radiation.

This proposal will expand upon the existing NIOSH funded industrial hygiene program to: 1) revise existing industrial hygiene curriculum to include training in laboratory practices and sensor technologies, 2) fund student research projects in the evaluation and applicability low-cost sensors to quantify workers’ exposure, 3) develop an outreach and training program in industrial hygiene for Spanish speaking occupational health and safety trainers who train construction and other low wage Latinx immigrant workers.

The team will provide five graduate assistantships per year for students to work with faculty mentors in the research areas of sensor technologies or worker outreach programs. In addition, approximately 35 students in the Department of Environmental, Occupational, and Geospatial Health Sciences at the CUNY SPH will enroll in updated laboratory and didactic courses. The program will also provide training to enhance the skills of a group of 40 trainers associated with Latinx community-based organization in the New York/New Jersey region who provide training in occupational safety and health in Spanish to low wage workers.

By integrating graduate training programs for industrial hygiene students with community-based training for occupational safety and health trainers serving for low wage Latinx workers, this program will promote a commitment to community engagement and service among their industrial hygiene trainees assisted by the enhanced use of low-cost sensor technologies to identify, measure and control workplace exposures.

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