A Binational Success: The U.S.-Mexico Binational Center Hosts a Specialized Workshop in Sonora, Mexico

Oct. 27, 2008

The University of Arizona’s (UA) U.S.-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Sciences and Toxicology hosted its sixth Specialized Workshop in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico entitled, “Health Impacts, Management, and Treatment of Contaminants in Southern Sonora”, from October 27-28, 2008.  The workshop was coordinated in collaboration with Dr. Maria Mercedes Meza Montenegro (Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora - ITSON) and was held in thenew Centro de Estudios Estratégicos y de Negocios building at ITSON.  Assisting in the workshop were collaborators from Universidad de Sonora (UNISON), Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila (UAC), and Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE).

The focus of the workshop (236 participants from academia, government, health workers, and students) was regional environmental and health impacts in southern Sonora such as arsenic, pesticides, and municipal landfills.  The Workshop goal was to provide the most pertinent scientific information to local Mexican students, faculty, health advocates, and governmental personnel.  It also served as a networking opportunity for binational scientists willing to develop collaborative projects and training opportunities.  A special promotora (women community health advocates) training session was included in the workshop that targeted health workers involved in outreach activities with Yaqui indigenous communities.  ITSON president, Dr. Gonzalo Rodriguez Villanueva, concluded the conference by stressing the importance of collaborative binational investigations.

Workshop topics and presenters

Session I. Arsenic Toxicology and Treatment of Water


Arsenic Levels in Water for Human Consumption: The Case of Southern Sonora

Dr. María Mercedes Meza Montenegro – ITSON and Former Binational Center Fellow

Arsenic Levels in Dust

Dr. Diana Meza Figueroa - UNISON

Toxicology of Arsenic and its Effects on Human Health

Dr. Walter Klimecki - UA

Collaborative Research on Arsenic and Breast Cancer in Northern Mexico: First Report Regarding Reproductive Factors

Dr. Lizbeth López Carrillo – Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica

Low Cost Treatment for Arsenic Removal within Potable Water Sources

Dr. Wendell Ela - UA

Session II. Solid Waste and Municipal Landfills


What are Municipal Landfills?: An Engineering Perspective

Dr. James Field - UA

Municipal Landfill Collaborative Project: The Case of Ensenada

Dr. Rogelio Vázquez - CICESE

Session III. Pesticides


The Impact of Pesticides in the Yaqui Valley

Dr. José Luis Martínez Carrillo - ITSON

Health Risk Evaluation Regarding Pesticide Exposure in the Residents of the Yaqui and Mayo Valleys: Project FOMIX-CONACyT

Ernesto Uriel Cantu Soto, M.S. – ITSON and Former Binational Center Fellow

Analysis of Pesticides in Environmental, Biological, and Food Matrices and the Potential Health Impacts

Dr. Ana Valenzuela Quintanar (Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo)

Pyrethroids as an Alternative: Investigational Studies

Dr. Lourdes Aldana - UNISON

Human Health Effects to the Exposure of Pesticide Mixes

Dr. Leticia Yañez Estrada

Promotoras Training Session


Fundamental in Toxicology

Dr. Walter Klimecki (UA)

Research Ethics When Working with Human Subjects

Dr. Victor Tovar (Mexican Secretariat of Health)

The Importance of the Survey:  How to Fill Out a Survey and Obtain a Sample

Dr. Pablo Ruiz (UAC and former Binational Center trainee)