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A Public Health Challenge

Identify patterns of environmental health risks to better determine effective policies and programs. 
 
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Environmental Health

Environmental health encompasses some of today’s most critical and complex public health challenges. Battelle provides effective solutions to these challenges – from characterizing environmental and climate risks to assessing and managing their impacts on human health. Our toxicological assessments have been used to set government priorities for chemical exposure and help private and public entities balance and manage environmental risks.

Applications

The environment and human health are intertwined. Determining exactly how the environment influences human health is a complicated endeavor. Our team of experts can help you identify patterns of environmental health risks to better determine effective policies and programs. 

We provide accurate, trusted data to guide environmental health decisions.
Contact one of our experts today to learn more.
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Services

Our services include:

Toxic Chemical Characterization

Battelle has been active since the 1980s in supporting the characterization of hazardous and toxic substances such as asbestos and lead. For more than 20 years, we have provided rulemaking, risk assessment and risk management support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, helping the nation realize tremendous reductions in overall childhood lead exposure levels and the number of lead poisoning cases. Battelle also has supported toxic chemical risk assessment and reduction, increasing access to chemical data, and promoting the design and use of safer chemicals as part of the EPA’s existing chemicals program.

Toxicological Assessment of Health Effects
Battelle provides industry-leading general toxicology services for the environmental health agencies as well as the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agrochemical industries. We execute routine and non-traditional toxicology studies, customizing our services to meet the unique needs of each client. Our scientists deliver superior results to support Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and non-GLP testing, determination of toxicology and carcinogenicity for environmental contaminants, and development of investigational new drugs.

Data Visualization for Environmental and Health Applications
Battelle leads projects in environmental and health data visualization using cutting-edge techniques to communicate complex scientific information to policymakers, resource managers and the public.

Satellite and Ground-Based Monitoring Data Analysis
Battelle has pioneered the use of satellite data to supplement ground-based measurements of air quality, meteorological, solar, wind, land cover, socioeconomic and vegetation parameters. We have extensive experience converting information into geo-spatial indicators, for communication with non-technical audiences. 

Climate Change Impacts: Boosting the Resilience of Vulnerable Populations
Understanding the range of potential impacts anticipated from climate change, and the uncertainty with climate projections and impacts, is critical to support decision-making in a wide variety of sectors including health, energy, agriculture, water resources and transportation. From Southeast Asia to the Northeastern U.S., Battelle has examined the combination of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity that makes populations vulnerable to specific climate changes. These data are evaluated in GIS-analysis along with socioeconomic data and livelihoods, to develop robust analyses of vulnerability and assess potential adaptation options to boost resilience.

Benefits

Our research has been used to set EPA priorities for chemical exposure and help organizations balance and manage environmental risks.

Providing Training to USAID Staff on Global Climate Change

Challenge

Climate change is already having impacts on human health, infrastructure, ecosystems and security worldwide, serving as a threat or risk “magnifier” that compounds existing challenges in multiple sectors. While there is strong scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change, there is still a high degree of uncertainty in certain aspects of projected climate changes and resulting impacts. This uncertainty has its roots in both an incomplete understanding of natural systems and also in unknowns as to how the world will respond to this challenge through policies and actions. Nonetheless, governments, companies and individuals continue to make decisions ranging from short-term, operational decisions to long-term planning decisions in light of uncertain information, as they continue to experience an increasingly variable climate.

In the international development context, impoverished populations in developing countries are often the most vulnerable to climate stressors, with limited capacity to adapt. Climate change can undercut the investments already made in international development by the U.S. and international community. The agricultural livelihoods of many populations in developing countries are particularly climate-sensitive. In many cases, such populations do not have the resources to deal with even historic levels of climate variability. In addition, settlements in marginal lands, whether urban areas or along coasts, add to the climate change vulnerability of populations.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has recognized the importance of addressing climate change as part of their work, and identified a strong need to integrate climate change considerations into existing programs and projects. USAID’s staff have a mix of technical and non-technical backgrounds, and a large range of responsibilities competing for their time. Thus, USAID needed a concise, unbiased presentation of key information related to the latest climate change science as it underpins vulnerability and adaptation analysis in the international development context. USAID also needed to give its staff hands-on experience with current tools to analyze vulnerability and boost resilience.

Solution

As a key member of a team supporting USAID, Battelle staff helped pioneer the development and delivery of a climate change training course to USAID staff worldwide. Battelle led the development of two modular training courses: Integrating Climate Change into Development, and Climate Change Adaptation Specialized Module. Each 2-day course was designed to help government decision makers utilize climate information, tools and resources to achieve their job objectives in a climate‐resilient manner. The development of these courses drew on the background of Battelle staff in both climate change science and a range of disciplines including climatology, natural ecosystems, social and economic systems and infrastructure. Battelle’s status as a 501(C)(3) charitable trust and private independent research organization was well matched for the sensitive and complex issue of climate change.

Battelle helped design the modular training courses to be highly interactive, with a hands-on approach, tied carefully to learning objectives for each session. Battelle staff provided particular expertise on the benefits and limitations of downscaled climate models, uncertainty in climate projections, sectoral impact assessment and the evaluation of technical climate change adaptation options. The formats of the sessions included information sharing and discussion, guided computer lab activities, interactive quizzes and role-playing exercises. Battelle staff also coordinated with USAID field staff to develop realistic case studies in sectors such as water resources, health, disasters, ecosystems, agriculture, tourism, energy and urban systems, each with a regional focus in Latin America, Africa or Asia. The sessions were designed with adequate opportunity for discussion in order to leverage not only the expertise of the training staff but also the experience of the trainees

Outcome

Battelle staff provided trainings to regional workshops in Ethiopia, Thailand and the U.S., for over 150 USAID staff total, as part of a targeted training team. The training materials developed included detailed trainer’s guides, trainee handouts and presentation copies, exercises with answer keys, and reference lists for additional information. Battelle also supported the development of an online pre-test, titled Climate Change 101, that used a web format to appropriately place trainees in the proper training module. Building on this initial training material, USAID has continued to integrate climate change training into their staff development to boost the resilience of their development projects worldwide. This project provides an example of Battelle’s ability to translate scientific information with high uncertainty for technical and non-technical audiences alike in order to inform robust planning processes.

Whiteboards with a hands-on exercise led by Battelle staff at teh USAID Global Climate Change Training.