Spotlight on Research at COPH – Dr. Achutan’s research focuses primarily on exposure assessment and controls of chemical and physical hazards in the workplace and in the community. Dr. Achutan is currently evaluating an intervention strategy to get more farmers to wear hearing protection when working around loud noise. Farmers are exposed to hazardous levels of noise, mainly from farm equipment and from animals. Past research has identified barriers to wearing hearing protection (ear plugs and ear muffs) among farmers. The purpose of this intervention study is to prevent further hearing loss in farmers by increasing their access to hearing protection devices, by placing these devices near all major sources of noise on the farm.
Dr. Achutan is interested in exploring ways to combine teaching and research as well as service and research. Students in Dr. Achutan’s exposure assessment course have conducted studies looking at chemotherapy drug exposures among nurses, surgical staff’s exposure to surgical smoke, chemical exposures among janitorial staff, anesthetic gas exposures to dentists, and radon exposures in basement offices. Dr. Achutan is assisting a community partner in measuring and interpreting indoor air quality data in homes in low-income communities. Other service-research projects include occupational hazards to Hispanic workers, and looking at hearing loss and noise exposures among groundsmen.
Chandran Achutan, PhD, is an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health.