Hebrew University Center of Excellence in Agriculture and Environmental Health
The Hebrew University Center of Excellence in Agriculture and Environmental Health was established in 2012 as a collaboration between the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, along with colleagues from the Ministry of Health. The Center is lead by Prof. Benny Chefetz and its members include Prof. Ora Paltiel, Prof. Orly Manor, Dr. Zvi Roth, Prof. Ronit Calderon-Margalit, Dr. Tamar Berman and Dr. Hagai Levine.
In Israel, where almost all arable land is intensively farmed and water resources are being over-utilized, the risk of exposures and adverse health effects from agricultural activities are high. Israel is also unique and a pioneer in recycling wastewater for agriculture use. In order to overcome the shortage of water, Israeli agriculture relies heavily on reclaimed wastewater (i.e., treated effluents) as an important source of irrigation water. The Center’s mandate is to explore the interface between modern agricultural activity, environmental quality and human health through multidisciplinary research. The Center combines environmental scientists and public health researchers in an effort to encourage multidisciplinary research. The Center’s current projects include:
- Xenobiotics originating from reclaimed wastewater: Uptake by crops and exposure assessment
- Evaluating the effect of environmentally relevant pharmaceuticals concentrations on oocyte developmental competence and embryo quality in the bovine model
- Quantitative evaluation of pesticide residues and their transformation products on edible crops
- Evaluating Carbamazepine levels in urine of healthy Israeli volunteers belonging to special populations
- Exposure of pregnant women and their offspring to endocrine disrupting chemicals and organophosphate pesticides and associations with fetal growth and development of reproductive organs
- Evaluating the effect of pesticide exposure on the male reproductive system in a bovine model and human model.
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Technion Center of Excellence in Exposure Science and Environmental Health
The Technion Center of Excellence in Exposure Science and Environmental Health (TCEEH) was established in 2011 as a joint collaboration between the Technion’s Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. The Center is lead by Prof. David Broday and its members include Prof. Yael Dubowski, Prof. Barak Fishbain, Prof. Abraham Reznick and Dr. Yuval Zudman.
TCEEH research focuses on understanding human exposure to relevant air pollutants, and the biological responses that follow this exposure. Due to population growth, industrialization, and urbanization, the Israeli public is exposed to high levels of air pollutants, experiences deteriorating urban air quality, suffers from reduced visibility and from increasing frequency of photochemical smog episodes, and faces aggravating warming and drought due to both urban heat island effects and climate changes. The Center, through its research cores, addresses these issues by promoting research on priority pollutants and in relation to aggregate exposure scenarios. The Center’s ongoing projects include:
- CITI-SENSE - Development of sensor-based Citizens’ Observatory Community for air pollution measurement and exposure estimation
- IT and video based estimation of exposure to traffic related pollutants
- Assessment of primary and secondary pesticide drift under sub-humid climate; field measurements and modeling approaches
- Remote sensing of airborne particulate matter via both satellite-borne and ground measurements
- Development of a comprehensive national air quality monitoring database that covers observations since the late 90’s
- Exposure to brominated flame retardants in car dust in Israel
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