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CHE partner and science and environmental journalist wins Pulitizer

4/15/14: CHE congratulates Dan Fagin, author of "Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation" (Bantam Books), for being awarded the 2014 Pulitizer Prize for General Nonfiction. "Toms River" is a book reporting on a New Jersey seashore town’s cluster of childhood cancers linked to water and air pollution. In April 2013, Elise Miller, CHE's Director, interviewed Dan Fagin on a CHE Cafe call.
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CHE's new quarterly Top 10 environmental health stories now available

4/7/14: CHE offers this selection of research, news and announcements that were of special significance during the first quarter of 2014. Items include research that made a noteworthy contribution to the field, news and announcements that took a conversation to a new level and/or new audience and some welcome action. Visit the CHE blog to see this quarter's list. Comments welcome.

Video: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Leveraging Law to Facilitate Citizen Epidemiology

3/6/14: CHE Partners Phil Brown, Dick Clapp, Peggy M. Shepard and Wilma Subra were among those on a February 10th panel discussion at Brooklyn Law School about how community residents (that is, citizens of a place) who are experiencing health effects from industrial toxins can document exposures and hold industrial polluters accountable.
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Read more about the roundtable discussion

See a related CHE call: Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age

CHE Director interviewed on NYC-based public radio on health and the exposome

During this interview on WBAI-New York, Elise Miller, CHE's director, discusses how the success in mapping the human genome has fostered interest in mapping the “exposome", a term coined to describe everything a person is exposed to starting at conception and includes lifestyle choices and well as chemical exposures. Elise further explains to health journalist, Liz Seegret, how the genome and the exposome, as well as the interactions between them, affect our health across the lifespan. This interview was based on Elise's "pioneer pitch" to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last October in New York City.
Listen to the interview

Read more about RWJF's Pioneer Pitch

Ecology of Breast Cancer

12/1/14: The Ecology of Breast Cancer: The Promise of Prevention and the Hope for Healing is a new book by Ted Schettler, MD, MPH that makes the case that breast cancer is a disease arising from diverse societal conditions. Although well-recognized risk factors and a person’s life style are important, they simply do not explain why many people develop the disease. Nor do they fully explain breast cancer patterns in populations.
Download the book (complete version or chapter-by-chapter)
Listen to the CHE call featuring Dr. Schettler
Listen to the New School conversation featuring Dr. Schettler


CHE regularly highlights the work of our Partners here in our Partner Spotlight.

Vi Waghiyi is a St. Lawrence Island Yupik mother and grandmother, Native Village of Savoonga Tribal Member, and Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), which is also the organizational host of CHE's Alaska Working Group. In this CHE Partner Spotlight, Vi discusses her work addressing environmental contamination and its impact on human health in Alaska.

What inspired you to begin working in the field of environmental health, and in your current work in particular?

I am a Yupik mother of four boys and a grandmother from Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, located in the northern Bering Sea. Our people have maintained a traditional culture of reliance on traditional foods from the land and sea that provide physical, cultural, and spiritual sustenance.

I learned about the high levels of PCBs in our people in a news article in the Anchorage Daily News when I was a stay-at-home mom. This touched me personally because so many family members and friends from my community, including my parents, have suffered and died of cancer. I have had three miscarriages. I am inspired by this awareness and what I have come to learn about the contamination from military and distant sources and making the connection with the illnesses suffered by my people. I was brought up in a culture of caring where people work together. We were wronged by the US military and corporations that have contaminated my people without our consent. We are the victims of environmental violence. This goes against my culture and upbringing. I am inspired to hold the military and other polluters accountable and to achieve justice. I am inspired to work for the health and well-being of my people and our future generations.

What is your primary mission in your current work?

My primary mission is to make changes to the broken system of laws and also the health care system that has resulted in such health disparities in my people and all vulnerable communities. Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) along with our community leaders and two universities is conducting a community-based participatory research project supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences entitled: Protecting Future Generations—Assessing and Preventing Exposures to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. We are working to empower my communities through research, education, and training. We are also working to ensure full participation in decision-making so that our voices are heard by policy makers in the state, as well as nationally, and internationally. Another important priority for our work is to address the inadequacies of the health care system, improve health care, diagnosis, and treatment for the illnesses suffered by my people that are connected to harmful exposures.

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EHN News
22 Apr Green groups push Earth Day agenda. Environmental groups are marking the 44th Earth Day on Tuesday with an assault on the Keystone XL pipeline, greenhouse gas emissions and other issues related to climate change. The Hill.

22 Apr A year after West, Texas, blast, political support for chemical safety reform isn?t certain. A year after the West Fertilizer explosion, the nation is taking its first steps to repair the failed system for preventing chemical accidents. But whether the fixes will work, or even become reality, remains to be seen. Dallas Morning News.

22 Apr Lead-poisoning nightmare in Nigeria may be easing. Children in northwestern Nigeria are no longer dying by the hundreds from lead poisoning, according to officials. National Public Radio.

22 Apr Drug that wipes out vultures may cause an EU eco-disaster. Diclophenac is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that is beneficial to mammals but will kill any vulture that feeds on a carcass containing traces of the drug. A campaign has begun to get the European Union to change its guidelines so the drug can be banned. The Independent.

22 Apr Texas pollution worsens as budget shrinks for regulators. With budgets already reduced and more cuts on the way, federal environmental regulators are expected to be doing fewer inspections of industries that pollute. If Texas environmental regulators are expected to take up the slack, many of them are dealing with budget cuts of their own. StateImpact Texas.

22 Apr Apple's environmental push. Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy. Associated Press.

22 Apr Manufacturing goes lean and green. Manufacturers around the world are uncovering the environmental as well as financial benefits of lean approaches. Ensia.

22 Apr Why Hawaii is ground zero for the GMO debate. You can trace the genetic makeup of most corn grown in the U.S., and in many other places around the world, to Hawaii. These same farms have become a flash point in a spreading debate over genetic engineering in agriculture. Associated Press.

22 Apr Top court declines Exxon's appeal in water pollution case. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling against Exxon Mobil Corp that ordered the company to pay $105 million in damages for polluting New York City's groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive. Reuters.

22 Apr An apple a day, and other myths. A trip to almost any bookstore or a cruise around the Internet might leave the impression that avoiding cancer is mostly a matter of watching what you eat. But there is a yawning divide between this nutritional folklore and science. New York Times.


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