Paloma Beamer
Associate Professor, American Indian Studies-GIDP
Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
Associate Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Associate Professor, Public Health
Primary Department
(520) 626-0006
Research Interest
Paloma I. Beamer, Ph.D., joined the College of Public Health in 2007 as an assistant professor in Environmental Health Sciences. The central motivation behind her research is in the development of tools that can help provide more robust exposure and dose estimates and improve the demonstration of a relationship between measured environmental concentrations and resulting health effects, particularly amongst children and underserved populations. Currently Dr. Beamer is using both computer modeling and laboratory techniques in her research. She is currently using GIS techniques to assess the risk of wheezing from exposure to traffic pollutants in early childhood. As an expert in micro-activity patterns she is examining the activity patterns of older children and utilizing them to estimate dust ingestion. Dr. Beamer has built a laboratory to characterize exposure and risk of water-borne contaminants. Currently she is using this laboratory to measure the concentration of tricholoethylene in breastmilk and water contaminants in Nogales. Dr. Beamer is also involved field sampling and exposure modeling projects aimed at understanding children's exposures to pesticides in agricultural communities and metals near hazardous waste sites. Dr. Beamer has served as Academic Councilor on the Board of the International Society of Exposure Science. She has been a long time member of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. She has received the "Scientific Technological Achievement Award" from US EPA, "Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award" from NIH, and the "40 under 40" Award from the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Beamer, P., Layton, D. W., & Beamer, P. -. (2009). Migration of contaminated soil and airborne particulates to indoor dust. Environmental science & technology, 43(21).

We have developed a modeling and measurement framework for assessing transport of contaminated soils and airborne particulates into a residence, their subsequent distribution indoors via resuspension and deposition processes, and removal by cleaning and building exhalation of suspended particles. The model explicitly accounts for the formation of house dust as a mixture of organic matter (OM) such as shed skin cells and organic fibers, soil tracked-in on footwear, and particulate matter (PM) derived from the infiltration of outdoor air. We derived formulas for use with measurements of inorganic contaminants, crustal tracers, OM, and PM to quantify selected transport parameters. Application of the model to residences in the U.S. Midwest indicates that As in ambient air can account for nearly 60% of the As input to floor dust, with soil track-in representing the remainder. Historic data on Pb contamination in Sacramento, CA, were used to reconstruct sources of Pb in indoor dust, showing that airborne Pb was likely the dominant source in the early 1980s. However, as airborne Pb levels declined due to the phase-out of leaded gasoline, soil resuspension and track-in eventually became the primary sources of Pb in house dust.

Beamer, P., Loh, M. M., Klimecki, W., Ornelas Van Horne, Y., Sugeng, A. J., Lothrop, N. Z., Billheimer, D. D., Guerra, S., Lantz, R. C., Canales, R. A., & Martinez, F. (2016). Association of children's urinary CC16 levels with arsenic concentrations in multiple environmental media. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
BIO5 Collaborators
Paloma Beamer, Dean Billheimer, Stefano Guerra, Walter Klimecki, Clark Lantz, Fernando Martinez
Beamer, P. I., Billheimer, D. D., Hussaini, K., & Lothrop, N. Z. (2017). Community-level characteristics and environmental factors of child respiratory illnesses in Southern Arizona. BMC Public Health, 17(516). doi:
BIO5 Collaborators
Paloma Beamer, Dean Billheimer
Carr, T. F., Beamer, P. I., Rothers, J., Stern, D. A., Gerald, L. B., Rosales, C. B., Van Horne, Y. O., Pivniouk, O. N., Vercelli, D., Halonen, M., Gameros, M., Martinez, F. D., & Wright, A. L. (2017). Prevalence of Asthma in School Children on the Arizona-Sonora Border. The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice, 5(1), 114-120.e2.
BIO5 Collaborators
Paloma Beamer, Fernando Martinez

Mexican-born children living in the United States have a lower prevalence of asthma than other US children. Although children of Mexican descent near the Arizona (AZ)-Sonora border are genetically similar, differences in environmental exposures might result in differences in asthma prevalence across this region.

Tsou, M., Ozkaynak, H., Beamer, P., Dang, W., Hsi, H., Jiang, C., & Chien, L. (2014). Mouthing activity data for children aged 7 to 35 months in Taiwan. Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology.

Young children's mouthing activities thought to be among the most important exposure pathways. Unfortunately, mouthing activity studies have only been conducted in a few countries. In the current study, we used videotaping and computer-based translating method to obtain mouthing activity data for 66 children aged 7-35 months in Taiwan. The median indoor hand-to-mouth and object-to-mouth frequencies were 8.91 and 11.39 contacts/h, respectively. The median indoor hand-to-mouth and object-to-mouth hourly contact durations were 0.34 and 0.46 min/h, respectively. The indoor object-to-mouth activities were significantly and negatively correlated with age. Children aged 12 to