165896 U.S./Vietnam scientific cooperation: Building capacity to evaluate Agent Orange/Dioxin soil contamination

Monday, November 5, 2007: 4:30 PM

Marie Haring Sweeney, PhD, MPH , Chief, Surveillance Branch, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations & Field Studies NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
William H. Farland, PhD , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, WA
Since an initial meeting held in December 2000 in Singapore, scientists from the United States and Vietnam have met to advance scientific cooperation on issues related to Agent Orange and dioxin. The work has focused on scientific research, training and capacity building related to the identification, characterization, and remediation of environmental matrices contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The joint activities have three objectives: (1) Evaluation of bioassay techniques (applicable to testing TCDD residuals in soil and other environmental matrices) for cost effectiveness and speed in comparison with the costly traditional laboratory techniques; (2) Development of research capacity in laboratory and in the field for Vietnam to independently and expeditiously assess sites (such as the Da Nang Airport) which have been identified as having possible TCDD hot spots and potential for ongoing human exposure; and (3) Identification of possible exposure interdiction and remediation technologies and pilot testing of promising technologies. These objectives have been addressed through a combination of consultation, workshops, training and support for laboratory infrastructure development. The latter has involved direct transfer of equipment and supplies to support laboratory analyses of dioxin in soil and sediments at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. Results of these efforts will be discussed in the context of an emerging multinational interest in public health protective approaches to dealing with dioxin hot spots in Vietnam.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: Describe alternative approaches for analyzing dioxin in soil. Understand the potential for ongoing exposure to dioxin from Agent Orange “hot spots” in Vietnam. Appreciate the need for a multinational, public health-directed effort for dealing with this issue.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.