III. PILOT PROJECTS FOCUS
The pilot projects should be focused on one or more of the indicators from the following areas and the link between the environment and human health:
Air quality in the border region in some of the sister cities is considered to be unhealthy and can potentially impact the respiratory or cardiovascular health of local citizens. Particulates and other criteria pollutants and diesel exhaust are contributors to the degradation of outdoor air quality. A causal association between air quality and respiratory or cardiovascular health has been implicated. Currently, air monitoring is underway in many areas along the border and strategies to reduce traffic and idling at border crossings, stationary source emissions, road improvements (paving) and diesel vehicle modifications are planned. Projects of this nature should result in a decline in mobile and stationary source emissions and result in a reduction in respiratory or cardiovascular health effects in sensitive populations (e.g. children or the elderly) in the border region. Successful proposals will help to demonstrate this association.
As a result of rapid population growth in the border region, access to safe drinking water and waste treatment systems continues to be limited. High rates of gastro-intestinal diseases in under-served communities makes improving water quality a priority goal for the EHWG.
Successful proposals will investigate the association between access to healthy water distribution and waste treatment systems and their link to improved health (i.e.: incidence of cholera, cryptosporidiosis, escherichia coli, 0157:H7, hepatitis A, salmonellosis, shigellosis, typhoid fever, annual diarrhea morbidity and mortality in children under 5 years old).
By developing various Environmental Health Indicators that can be tracked to evaluate changes in health status resulting from improvements in water quality in border communities, pilot projects will assist in the broader Border 2012 goal of reducing the burden of disease resulting from contaminated water.
Increase in the demand for inexpensive used tires in the border region has resulted in large stockpiles of tires, which have the potential to pose human health risks. Mexico’s environmental ministry, the Secretaría de medio ambiente y recursos naturales (SEMARNAT) and other levels of government are committed to cleaning up three of the largest piles. Assuming that the removal of tire piles is a positive environmental change, proposals are being sought for projects looking at the use of Environmental Health Indicators to demonstrate a scientific association between this change in the environment and a measurable health effect (such as reduction in incidence of mosquito-borne diseases).
It is important to note that these indicators are based on a holistic view that incorporates a hazard, exposure and health effect linkage. Projects should be concerned with this linkage. Below is the conceptual framework described, in the PAHO conceptual document, which outlines these types of linkages. The model is called the “Driving Forces-Pressures-State-Exposure-Effects-Action (DPSEEA) framework”. The DPSEAA model is useful as it covers the full spectrum of potential forces and resulting actions and brings together professionals, practitioners, and managers from both environmental and public health fields to help orient them in the larger scheme of the problem.
United States - Mexico Border Field Office,
Established in El Paso, TX. since1942
5400 Suncrest Dr. Suite C-4
El Paso, TX. U.S. 79912
FAX: (915) 845-4361