Synergy in Basic and Applied BSSR

Heavy metal exposures and mental health symptoms in exposed communities

To address and collaborate extensively with community-based mental health providers on targeting heavy metal (uranium, lead, cadmium, tungsten, plutonium, cesium etc.) and arsenic exposed communities living and dealing with the aftermath of industrial mining, occupational and transgenerational exposures to metal mixtures, who are living close to unremediated mine and mining waste sites. These communities have rural, low resource settings and documented water, food and dust contamination affecting population health. No targeted mental health screening measures, culturally appropriate mental health preventive services are available for most of these communities. Concerns on addictions, increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and suicide deaths are immediate community needs and the linkages with alterations of neuronal functioning and autoimmunity to the central nervous system as a result of oxidative stress are not studied at all. This large scale environmental health problem effects at least 600,000 Native people in the Western U.S. and their mental health needs are currently not met.

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Idea No. 310