Symposium to Discuss U.S. Foreign Investments’ Impact on Environmental Pollution and Public Health

Symposium to Discuss U.S. Foreign Investments’ Impact on Environmental Pollution and Public Health
10/25/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences’ Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean will host a presentation featuring Perry Gottesfeld, executive director of Occupational Knowledge International (OK International).
Gottesfeld will speak on Monday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Trustee’s Room located in Myers Convocation Center. The event, which is co-sponsored by the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is free and open to the public.
Gottesfeld’s presentation will explore two case studies outlining U.S. investments in Peru and Mexico that are resulting in significant environmental and public health impacts. U.S. corporate investment in industrial facilities is often welcomed by countries looking to expand markets, modernize antiquated facilities, create jobs and improve productivity. However, such investments are often followed by disappointment as companies continue to operate polluting plants that draw the attention of local regulators. These companies also come under criticism at home for not meeting U.S. standards for emissions and occupational health and safety protections.  
Gottesfeld has been actively involved in the environmental health field since 1984. He obtained his Masters of Public Health in Biomedical and Environmental Health Sciences from University of California-Berkeley, and in 1988 started Occupational Knowledge Inc. to offer training and consulting services in the environmental field. In this capacity, Gottesfeld has conducted environmental audits, training and consulting services on hazardous materials and solid waste management issues to businesses, non-profit organizations, government and universities. 
In 1999, Gottesfeld founded OK International to address environmental health in developing countries. OK International is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public health through innovative strategies to reduce exposures to industrial pollutants. The organization seeks to address inequities in environmental standards between developed and developing countries by working in partnership with industry, government and non-governmental organizations. The organization’s web site may be found at
For more information about the Symposium Against Indifference, visit or contact Dr. Christopher Swanson, professor of mathematics, at or419.289.5264.  
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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