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University of Pennsylvania Medicine receives National Institutes of Health grant to help local communities move forward after asbestos exposure
Date:11/15/2012

ealth, and principal investigator for the project. "Our hope is that this program will help residents to better understand the history of their community through the eyes of those who lived here, while giving them an opportunity to help create a healthier, safer neighborhood."

Barg, along with Edward Emmett, MD, MS, professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of the CEET, and their team will develop a storehouse of information online and at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in center city Philadelphia about asbestos-related health risks, profile people who were affected by living or working near the asbestos materials, and provide an opportunity for community members and scientists to learn about each other's experiences.

Major components of the project include: (1) documenting the history of lower-income African-American and Italian immigrant asbestos workers, their families, and their neighbors in West and South Ambler through recorded interviews and (2) developing an accessible repository of documents, photographs, life stories, news accounts, and scientific data about the communities that can be used as resource material for students, researchers, and community activists. Educational components of the program will work to inform citizens, scientists and policy-makers on long-term health effects and other potential consequences from living and working near aging, hazardous industrial sites.

"We've learned in our CEET pilot research project that the opportunity for people to tell their stories is a very significant source of healing for members of the community," said Barg. "By giving those affected by this situation a voice and a forum to share their experiences, we hope we'll be able to contribute multiple points of view to the recovery effort."

In addition to chronicling the Ambler asbestos story, the project is intended to serve as a case study for other c
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Contact: Katie Delach
katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5964
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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