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Community Research Events & Announcements

CHE Database

The CHE Toxicant and Disease Database is a searchable database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions. Diseases and or toxicants can be viewed by clicking on the diseases below or by utilizing the search engine in the column on the right. For a full description of the database and its limitations, please click here.

Fenceline Stories

Flint Hills SEP
  Flint Hills Resources SEP
  Photo: Steve Lerner
“The life is being sucked right out of us,” says Horace Smith as he sits on a stool in his living room with a clear plastic tube running from an oxygen tank up his bare chest to his nose. “I’m real short of breath and it [the oxygen] helps me breathe,” explains Smith, who lives on Palm Drive in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Corpus Christi. Just two short blocks from his door and clearly visible from his porch is the huge Flint Hills Resources (formerly Koch) refinery. Continue reading...
Read past stories...

Women’s Environmental Health Fact SheetsWomen's Health and Environment Website

CHE-WA Environmental Justice Working Group

CHE-Washington’s Environmental Justice Working Group is developing opportunities to create stronger alliances between environmental justice and environmental health advocates and to instill a broader understanding that environmental health and justice are inherently linked.

Community Resources

The CHE Community Resources web page is a one-stop source for information about science and community action. We recognize a page like this is never fully comprehensive and does not include the complete breadth of the work being done in the area of community action and environmental health. However, we hope this will be a starting point for communities, academics, and health practitioners alike to explore how various communities have turned science into community action.  

Quick Reference Notebook

NOTE: In many of the case studies described below, you will see an image of a notepad. Clicking on the notepad will link you to a handy Quick Reference Guide for each article.











The Value of Science: Whose Science?

The health implications of environmental exposures manifest themselves in our bodies and in our communities. The chemicals that are used in everyday processes, like driving or manufacturing goods, often end up in the bloodstreams of the most vulnerable populations.  How do we begin to use science as a tool to capture what is happening between the environment and our health? What do the scientific questions and outcomes look like when they are determined by academic researchers, communities or industry? This section contains articles that discuss the various ways science is gathered and used in communities, and the many successes and challenges to doing this work.

Science in Action 

  • Science and Environmental Policy (PDF). Address by Helen Ingram. Plenary Session of the Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the Association for the Advancement of Science. June 19, 2001.

Action in the Face of Scientific Uncertainty: The Precautionary Principle

Community Driven Science

          CASE STUDY


Industry Science


Translation of the Science

Often, scientific research is indecipherable to lay audiences. What may be relevant to academic researchers at the cutting edge of disease research may not be immediately relevant to a mother with two asthmatic children. Discussions in academic communities about research data based on scientific integrity and theory can simultaneously empower people to better advocate or organize on behalf of their community. But how does the data move from the academic to the community realm? This section offers articles that tell the story of how communities, with the help of science and data, have organized and advocated for changes to benefit the health of their communities.

Science in Community Organizing

Science in Policy Advocacy

Public Reporting of the Science

If the science is telling us that the environment can impact our health in a number of negative ways, what are the laws and government agencies in place to protect us? Many of the agencies provide us with information on our local polluters, toxic locations in our communities, and chemicals in consumer products. This section contains links to the most basic information we can use to begin investigating environmental toxics and pollution in our homes and communities.

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) 

Environmental Impact Statements/Reports/Assessments (EIS/EIR/EIA)

Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

CERCLA (The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) / Superfund Sites


Brownfields Assessments

Researching "What’s In YOUR Community?"

Often, factories and highways are located next to our homes and schools. Concerned parents, workers and citizens want to know the health implications of living next to toxic neighbors. This sections contains specific links to resources that help you investigate who your neighbors are, whether they are toxic or not, and what rights you have in advocating for safer communities for everyone.

Toxics Release Inventory

EPA's "Where You Live"


Community Right To Know

Massachusetts Health and Environment Information System (MassHEIS)

Finding and Creating Alternatives

The science has shown there are many negative impacts the environment can have on our health. What are the solutions? How do we begin moving away from toxic processes and products to safer alternatives? We hope you will help us expand this section as the science and alternatives become clearer to all of us. To start, this section contains link to resources that will help us learn what chemicals are connected to various diseases, safer products we can buy, and pesticide alternatives we can use in our homes and communities.

Health Impact Information

Consumer Information

Pesticide Alternatives

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment thanks Christine Cordero of the Center for Environmental Health for her work developing the Community Resources page.


Last updated: 11 December 2007


The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
c/o Commonweal, PO Box 316, Bolinas, CA 94924
For questions or comments about the website, email: info@healthandenvironment.org