Y1 Pilot Project (2 of 2)

Assessing the Role of Occupation on Home Exposures in a Disadvantaged Community

Being an immigrant, low English proficiency, and low levels of education have been associated with higher rates of injuries among minorities. Minority workers may also have a higher likelihood to hold the so-called “dirty jobs,” being exposed to chemicals at work, and transporting chemicals home from work, known as “take home.” Further, health disparities could exacerbate how work interplays with exposures at home and how it ultimately affects health. This study aims to better understand the connection between home and work-related exposures in a high-risk community by identifying occupation-specific sources of home exposure. We will assess the relationship between home and potential for take home with a survey and environmental sampling for metals and semi volatile compounds (SVOCs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Participants and household members will be referred to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Biomonitoring Massachusetts Study for biomonitoring of metals and PCBs to verify take home. We will work with the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH) to train participants on ways to mitigate these exposures. This research project obtained additional funds from the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship Program.

Click here to watch an interview with pilot project awardee, Dr. Ceballos: 

Awardee: Diana Ceballos, PhD, MS, CIH

Dr. Ceballos is a visiting scientist and JPB Environmental Health Fellow in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she works within the Center for Health and the Global Environment. Her research interests are in exposure assessment to complex chemical mixtures to determine effects on human health, especially as they pertain to vulnerable populations and emerging technologies. She strives to better understand the connection between exposure to hazards in the workplace, the community, and in the home, where workers may unwittingly bring home pollutants and transfer hazards to their children.  Dr. Ceballos received her doctoral degree in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.  She is also a Certified Industrial Hygienist from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.  Dr. Ceballos was an Associate Industrial Hygienist Fellow and then a Senior Industrial Hygienist Service Fellow at the National Institute for Safety and Health from 2010 to 2015.


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