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International training course on environmental toxicology

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In order to update and improve knowledge and professional skills for staff working in the field of environmental health, the Institute of Public Health in Ho Chi Minh City (IPH) and the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health (NIOEH) in collaboration with the Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI) organized a training course on "Environmental Toxicology" from 2-5 December 2019.


Prof. Mathuros Ruchirawat, Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs, Chulabhorn Research Institute,

and A.Prof. Dang Van Chinh, Director of Institute of Public Health HCMC, delivered the opening speech.

This course provided participants with a background of the major groups of toxic substances encountered by humans and animals through food and the environment, and also through exposure at the workplace. These toxicants include toxic substances in air, water and soil; solvents; gases; pesticides; hazardous wastes and other pollutants. The course focused on the chemistry, fate and distribution in the environment, mechanisms of their action, toxic manifestation in living organisms, as well as toxic syndrome in human beings. Participants also had a great opportunity to experience two modules, risk assessment and hazard asessment, on the electronic distance learning tool (eDLT), developed by the Chulabarn Research Institute.

A wide range of topics was provided by leading experts in toxicology and environmental health from University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; University of Aarhus, Denmark; University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; and Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok, Thailand.

Session 1: Exposure to Chemical Hazard

  • Exposure to chemical hazards and fate of chemicals in the body
  • Setting safe exposure levels

Session 2: Pesticides

  • Overview of pesticide uses and control
  • Classification and mechanisms of actions of pesticides
  • Neurotoxic & Non-neurotoxic effects of selected pesticides             
  • Hazard Assessment for Pesticides (chlorpyrifos & others of regional concerns)
  • Approaches to Management of hazardous pesticides                               

Session 3: Air Pollution

  • Ambient air pollution - sources and chemistry
  • IARC evaluation of indoor air and ambient air
  • Ambient air pollution - health effects                                              
    • Effects on the environment and prevention                                    

Session 4: Eco-Toxicology

  • Chemicals in the environment – organic chemical distribution

and  routes of human exposure                                          

  • Persistence, bioconcentration and toxicity of chemicals                  
    • Principles of ecotoxicology                                                            
    • Factors affecting exposure concentrations, bioavailability

and resultant toxicity

Session 5: Industrial chemicals and Hazardous Waste

  • Toxicity of industrial chemicals (organic compounds)
  • Toxicity of industrial chemicals (plastics)
  • Toxicity of industrial chemicals (metallic elements)
  • Hazardous Waste I (e-waste)                                                        
    • Hazardous Waste II

Session 6: Toxicants in food and Environmental carcinogens

  • Toxicants in food
  • Food Additives                                                                   
    • Environmental carcinogens

Session 7: Electronic Distance Learning Modules

  • Hazard Assessment
  • Risk Assessment: Chemical Incident

The participants are lecturers, researchers, and practitioners from Hospitals, Centers for Disease Control, Research Institutes, and Universities in HCMC, Can Tho, Thua Thien Hue, Ben Tre, An Giang, Tien Giang, Binh Duong, Dong Thap, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces. At the end of the course, the successful participants were received the certificate to certify the completion of the training.

This training course also marked the successful connection and cooperation between Institute of Pulic Health in HCMC and Chulaborn Research Institute. The upcoming cooperation in training and scientific research between the two Institutes will contribute to improve the capacity of individual researchers working in the field of toxicology and environmental health in Vietnam through training courses, supporting partnerships and developing leadership skills.


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