(TUCSON, Ariz.) The United States Environmental Protection Agency honored Paloma Beamer, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental health at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with the 2010 Scientific and Technological Achievement Award Level I.
Dr. Beamer received the award for co-authoring two manuscripts: “A Meta-Analysis of Children’s Hand-to-Mouth Frequency Data for Estimating Nondietary Ingestion Exposure” (2007) and “A Meta-Analysis of Children's Object-to-Mouth Frequency Data for Estimating Non-Dietary Ingestion Exposure” (2010). She is the only co-author from University of Arizona to work on these manuscripts.
The manuscripts analyzed data from existing studies to develop recommended values for the number of times children place their hands or other objects in their mouth for estimating exposure.
“The information is important for a number of reasons,” says Beamer. In order to know how much a hazardous waste site needs to be cleaned up, you need to be able to estimate the amount of soil or dust a child may ingest. Pesticide registration requires that companies estimate a child’s exposure for example if they were to play on a lawn treated with pesticides.”
Beamer added that with more recent legislation regarding plastics and lead in children’s toys, companies need to be able to estimate children’s exposures from mouthing those toys.