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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
15 Apr Florida lawmakers proposing a salve for ailing springs. For decades, fertilizer and cow manure from nearby dairy farms have seeped into the porous ground at Manatee Springs and by extension the aquifer, which supplies most of the state's drinking water, scientists said. New York Times.

15 Apr Killing of environmental activists rises globally. A survey released Tuesday -- the first comprehensive one of its kind -- says that only 10 killers of 908 environmental activists slain around the world over the past decade have been convicted. They also noted that the death rate has risen in the past four years to an average of two activists a week. Associated Press.

15 Apr Federal lawsuit focuses attention on safety of toxic chemicals on Minn. railroads. Railroad safety has been under the microscope ever since last July, when 47 people were killed when a runaway oil train exploded in the middle of a small Canadian town. Now, a lawsuit has launched a fight over the safety of toxic chemicals transported on local railroads. Minneapolis-St. Paul KSTP TV.

15 Apr Life in the shadow of an oil refinery. On the blocks surrounding Calumet Specialty Products? Shreveport Refinery the stench of rotten eggs is nearly constant. It?s a sign that hydrogen sulfide is in the air, and residents say the chemicals they?ve come to associate with that smell are responsible for a host of health issues ? from cancers to lung disease to nerve damage ? that plague families in the area. Al Jazeera America.

15 Apr Southern California air regulators seek to hold ports to pollution targets. Air quality regulators, embarking on a bold new strategy to reduce smog in Southern California, want to hold the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach responsible for their pledges to cut pollution. Los Angeles Times.

15 Apr Pollution from Asia makes Pacific storms stronger. What happens in Asia doesn't stay in Asia, a new study warns. Pollution from booming economies in the Far East is causing stronger storms and changing weather patterns over the Pacific Ocean, which in turn is changing weather in North America, scientists report. National Geographic News.

15 Apr EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites. Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows. Los Angeles Times.

15 Apr For Miami's immigrants, some of the cheapest land is the most vulnerable to climate change. When there?s talk of sea level rise in Miami, it?s usually focused on the dangers of the Atlantic beginning to engulf some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. But its not just the rich and famous along Florida?s Gold Coast who have a lot to lose. Public Radio International.

15 Apr Ohio shale fracturing rules tough enough to bench Seattle Seahawk fans. Enthusiastic Seattle Seahawks fans have actually caused earthquakes large enough that they might set off alarms under the new special permitting rules the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has issued on hydraulic fracturing of horizontal wells, prompting concerns that a Seahawks visit to Cleveland could have geological and political implications. Cleveland Plain Dealer.

15 Apr China set to elevate environment over development in new law. Long-awaited amendments to China's 1989 Environmental Protection Law are expected to be finalised later this year, giving the Ministry of Environmental Protection greater authority to take on polluters. Reuters.


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