Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET)
The Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET), a center in the School of Environmental Health Sciences, evaluates, and searches for solutions to, problems associated with occupational and environmental health hazards, in order to contribute to sustainable development and to improve quality of life in the Central Americana Region. IRET, in collaboration with other national and international research institutions, has built up experience in occupational and environmental health, community health, epidemiology, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, clean technologies and environmental management. We link our research to national and regional education programs, and to extension programs with the community and governmental organizations.
The main current activities in occupational and environmental health at IRET are a case-control study addressing a potential association of childhood leukemia with prenatal parental pesticide exposure; epidemiologic studies on cancer among banana workers and DBCP exposed workers, suicides among banana workers, and different methods for pesticide exposure assessment. Besides a Master Program in Occupational Health (together with the Technological Institute of Costa Rica), IRET runs a Central American research training program in occupational and environmental health. Shortly, the Central American Program on Work and Health will be launched, which is a long term training, research and development program in occupational health with IRET in a leading role.
Students with the Instututo Regional
por Estudios Toxicos (IRET)
Short courses presented by CCHWE faculty in Costa Rica
Training for the Instituto Regional por Estudios Toxicos (IRET) and Instituto Technologico has been directed at increasing their overall effectiveness as regional resources for Central America . The thrust has been to assist the IRET-Tech partnership to expand its community and worker outreach as well as to improve its capabilities in research.
- Pesticide Education in Self Surveillance for Pesticide Poisoning, Helen Murphy, MHA, ARNP. This is a technique for field surveillance used by Ms. Murphy in her many years of work with USAID in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
- Introduction to Construction Safety and Health, 05/03/04 to 05/05/04, Mr. Richard Gleason - OSHA 510, Instituto Technologico, Costa Rica.
- Javier Vieto, the Construction Safety Inspector for the Ministry of Labor, who had taken the OSHA Train the Trainer Course in 2003, assisted Richard Gleason in these courses at the Instituto Technologico, Costa Rica. Javier, who has returned to Costa Rica, has developed a regular training course based on the OSHA program for the Construction Industry in Costa Rica taught in connection with Instituto Technologico.
- OSHA 500 training course “Train the Trainer”, Kurt Stranne - Instituto Technologico, San Jose, Costa Rica. 16 participants.
- “Tox in the Box” - Katherine Hall traveled to Costa Rica to provide training in the application of a program developed by the University of Washington NIEHS center for Ecogenetics. This K-12 teaching tool was translated and adapted for use by the Instituto Technologico to be used in its outreach to grade schools and high schools.
- Mr. Richard Gleason participated in several formal and informal teaching sessions during a trip to Costa Rica sponsored by ISOEH. These included:
- Construction Safety and Health Hazards and Case Histories, 07/22/03, Instituto Technologico, Costa Rica.
- Outreach Program of Universidad, Science Fair Judge 07/23/03, Universidad Nacional, Heredia Costa Rica
- OSHA Standards, OSHA Initial Safety Class, and Train the Trainer for the Construction Industry, 07/23/03, Instituto Technologico, Cost Rica.
- Hazardous Materials, U.S. Regulations That Require a 24 Hour Hazardous Material Technician for Emergency Response, 07/28/03, Costa Rica. 85 participants.
- Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, 10/20/03 - 10/25/03, IRET, Costa Rica. This course brought together a multinational faculty with our partner institution (IRET) to provide a broad overview of epidemiological principals in occupational and environmental health. 27 individuals participated from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Panamá.