Research Centers
University of Washington Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research

University of Washington

The theme of the University of Washington based Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research (CHC) is understanding the biochemical, molecular and exposure mechanisms that define children’s susceptibility to pesticides and the implications for assessing pesticide risks to normal development and learning. The CHC is a multi-disciplinary research center that takes advantage of the established landscape of risk research at the University of Washington; it is administratively housed within the Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication that is in the UW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

To facilitate both basic and applied research on reducing the adverse effects of environmental pesticide exposures, center participants include members from multiple institutions, schools, and varied departments and clinics. To achieve tangible effects on the community, the CHC includes a partnership with an eastern Washington community within the Yakima Valley agricultural center of our state, to jointly accomplish pesticide intervention with reduced childhood pesticide exposures.

The CHC is comprised of two laboratory based research projects, two field based projects, and four facility cores. The specific objectives of the laboratory based research projects are to:

  • identify cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms for the adverse developmental neurotoxicity of pesticides and
  • identify the impact of genetic polymorphisms for paraoxonase on the developmental neurotoxicity of organophosphate pesticides.

The specific objectives of the two field based projects-a pesticide exposure pathways research project plus the related community based intervention study are to:

  • identify critical pathways of pesticide exposure for children and
  • to develop a culturally-appropriate intervention to break the take-home pathway that will ultimately result in reducing children’s exposure to pesticides.

The four facility cores (Neurobehavioral Assessment, Exposure Assessment, Risk Characterization and Risk Communication) are designed to support the research agenda and to put the research into a child specific risk assessment context. Thus the scientific findings on pesticide toxicity and exposure can be directly incorporated into risk assessment models that are designed to protect child health.

Laboratory Based Projects

The laboratory based projects in this proposal will specifically address two aspects of children’s susceptibility to pesticides. They will investigate molecular mechanisms of neurotoxicity for pesticides and evaluate the role of paraoxonase in defining sensitivity of children to organophosphate pesticides. Functional assessments for both studies will be performed in the Neurobehavioral Assessment Facility Core. These projects will be closely linked as common organophosphate pesticides will be examined in all projects, animals, and tissues and research results will be readily shared among these researchers.

Center Publications:

Views: All publications Selected publication types Journal articles Publications submitted after final report

View Projects in Tabular Format

Main Center Abstract and Reports:

Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research

Center Research Projects:

R831709C001 - Molecular Mechanisms of Pesticide-Induced Developmental Toxicity

R831709C002 - Genetic Susceptibility to Pesticides

R831709C003 - Community-Based Participatory Research Project

R831709C004 - Pesticide Exposure Pathways Research Project