Investigator Update: Dr. Paloma Beamer

Dr. Paloma Beamer, University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) Collaborator, is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Health Sciences division of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. An environmental engineer by training, Dr. Beamer has spent years investigating environmental exposures.

Recently, Dr. Beamer was invited to participate on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC). The goal of the BOSC is to “provide advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) on technical and management issues of its research programs.” Dr. Beamer is also serving on the Subcommittee on Chemical Safety for Sustainability, which is responsible for reviewing and providing guidance on the research conducted by two programs: Chemical Safety for Sustainability and Human Health Risk Assessment.

After attending her first face-to-face meeting at the BOSC in Research Triangle Park, NC in October 2015, Dr. Beamer commented, “It was interesting to learn from the head of risk assessment that they hope the regional offices are using the updated tools and assumptions.” This enhanced level of communication among offices is a practice that Dr. Beamer supports.

Two of Dr. Beamer’s studies were published in late 2015. Spatial clusters of child lower respiratory illnesses associated with community-level risk factors describes her work investigating the impacts of socioeconomic status, low-income housing, and air pollution on the respiratory health of child participants in the Tucson Children's Respiratory Study. Soil ingestion rates for children under 3 years old in Taiwan is the result of a collaborative study with colleagues in Taipei and EPA ORD. The findings are important for more realistically estimating the potential exposure and health risks to children in contact with contaminated soils.