Two researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health received a five-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to fund their project entitled “Promoting Healthy Seafood Choices in Asian Communities”. Dr. Susan Buchanan, and Dr. Mary Turyk, are principal investigators of the research study that examines the health benefits and risks of seafood consumption. The objective of the project is to perform an in-depth characterization of exposure to mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from fish consumption in partnership with community based organizations who serve the Asian population in Chicago. The results will then be used to tailor public health text messages to the identified subgroups at risk, thereby decreasing their exposure to those contaminants while maintaining or improving their consumption of healthy nutrients from fish.
The project builds upon and synthesizes the previous work of the two collaborators. Dr. Buchanan’s previous work includes designing, evaluating, and implementing targeted screening for methyl mercury during routine prenatal care. Dr. Turyk’s previous research includes the investigation of the risks and benefits of consumption of Great Lakes fish.