Ten Texas A&M University (TAMU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center trainees are now more prepared to respond in a safe manner during an emergency. The trainees, along with Garett Sansom, Ph.D., Community Engagement Core member, each earned their 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification this May.
The comprehensive week-long course included hands-on activities and focused on safety during hazardous waste site cleanup and emergency response involving hazardous substance releases. Students learned about protective gear, how to deal with various hazards, and how to react in emergency situations.
The certification will be valuable for the trainees in their work at the TAMU SRP Center, which focuses on developing tools and models to address exposures to mixtures during environmental emergency-related contamination events.
Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, TAMU SRP trainees helped collect soil, mud, and water samples from a neighborhood that faced threats from chemical pollution. The trainees tested the samples for lead, arsenic, and other dangerous chemicals, comparing the post-storm samples to ones gathered before the hurricane hit. With their recent training, the trainees will be better equipped and prepared to stay safe when collecting samples after future environmental disasters and emergency-related events.