The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Southeastern Region organized their 15th Annual Meeting in Brunswick, Georgia on September 28 – 30. At the meeting, they held a competition for student presentations. Ms. Imaobong Ekpo, an Environmental Health Sciences Masters of Public Health Student at Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health and one of the students from Dr. Atin Adhikari’s research team received a second place award for her poster presentation titled: “Exposure to nanoparticles including submicron silica dust in a construction site during concrete blasting,” authored by Ms. Imaobong Ekpo, Mr. Jefferson Doehling, Dr. Abbas Rashidi, Dr. Aniruddha Mitra, Ms. Alexis Pawlak, Mr. Shane Lewis, Mr. Jacob Schwartz, and Dr. Atin Adhikari. The common idea is that the dust generated during mechanical processes in construction jobsites are mostly large particles formed through blasting, crushing, drilling, grinding, or sawing. However, field data obtained from this preliminary study of Dr. Adhikari’s research team showed that workers were exposed to not only large particles but high levels of nanoparticles. Exposure to nanoparticles and submicron silica dust during construction activities like concrete blasting can be expected irrespective of proximity to the construction event.
[Photo: Ms. Imaobong Ekpo]