Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Helps Put Important Environmental Health Info In Hands of Spanish-Speaking Children; $110,000 Grant To Robert Wood Johnson Medical School To Service New Jersey Students

Release Date: 10/07/1998
Contact Information:

(#98145) New York, N.Y. -- In an effort to make important health information more readily available to Spanish-speaking communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted $110,000 to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) in Piscataway, New Jersey to translate its successful environmental risk assessment curriculum into Spanish for use in bi-lingual public school classes throughout the state.

RWJMS' Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) -- a program operated jointly with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey -- identified a need among New Jersey's bi-lingual students for the kind of environmental risk information that is now available to children in English-speaking classes. EOHSI's ToxRAP (Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Pollution) program, an already existing and highly successful environmental health curriculum for English-speaking children, was found to be an ideal medium to communicate the hazards of environmental toxins to Spanish-speakers as well. With the $110,000 grant from EPA, the ToxRAP curriculum will be evaluated and adapted for cultural-appropriateness, and translated into Spanish.

"The future of human health, as it relates to the environment, depends in great part on education," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is addressing head-on the greatest barrier to environmental education for thousands of Americans: language. EPA is proud to partner with RWJMS to give thousands of New Jersey youngsters the tools to live healthier lives and protect their local environment."

The Spanish ToxRAP program will train kindergarten through 6th grade bi-lingual educators to teach their students about relatively common environmental toxins including carbon monoxide, radon, and cigarette smoke. Students will learn about the risks of exposure to the toxins, how to avoid being exposed, and how to identify toxin sources. They will conduct experiments, read illustrated stories, solve problems, play games, make graphs, and do case studies based on real-life risks.

By 2001, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School hopes to have trained 250 teachers from throughout New Jersey to utilize the Spanish ToxRAP module, in an effort to reach more than 5,000 Spanish-speaking students annually. Bi-lingual teachers from Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, Edison, Toms River, Linden, and Newark are already expected to participate in the EPA-funded program.

The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Reporters seeking a Spanish translation of this release, please contact Nina Habib Spencer at (212) 637-3670.

For more information contact:
Nina Habib Spencer, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3670 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: