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Children's Environmental Health News

6 May US ranks worst developed country for maternal health. A woman in the United States faces a one in 1,800 risk of maternal death, according to an annual report by the charity Save the Children, the worst of any developed country in the world. Time Magazine.

6 May 'Tale of two cities' widens worldwide for children, study shows. A widening gap between rich and poor in cities worldwide has contributed to deepening disparities in urban maternal health and child survival rates, the global charity Save the Children said Monday in an annual report. New York Times.

6 May The continuing threat of lead poisoning underlines the scale of shortcomings in Irish water quality. Concealing unpalatable information from the consumer is nothing new, particularly where public health is concerned. Dublin Irish Times.

6 May Don't ignore e-cigarettes among children. By infusing electronic cigarette vapors with candy and fruit flavors, e-cigarette manufacturers are potentially peddling nicotine addiction directly to American children. Poughkeepsie Journal.

5 May Clean power plan would save thousands of lives each year. The Obama administration has taken great pains to frame its Clean Power Plan as an immediate solution for an immediate, quantifiable problem. ClimateWire.

Initiative on
Children's Environmental Health

The Initiative on Children's Environmental Health–formerly the Institute for Children's Environmental Health–became an active working group of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment in 2009. ICEH is devoted to the promotion of children's health and the prevention of environmental exposures and other factors that may undermine healthy development.

Currently the Initiative provides a listserv where CHE Partners can share the latest science on environmental contributors to children's health. Depending on Partners' evolving interest, CHE may expand activites of this group again in the future.

If you are already a CHE Partner and would like to joint this working group, please contact info@healthandenvironment.org. If you are not currently a CHE Partner, please first complete the Partner form, indicating which of CHE's working groups you would like to participate in, including ICEH.

RECENT NEWS / HIGHLIGHTS: MAY 2015

CHE Partnership call: Ambient BTEX Exposure and Hormone-related Health Conditions in Humans
Wednesday, May 20, 2014 at 10:00 am Pacific/1:00 pm Eastern
Hosted by the CHE EDCs Strategies Group

A recently published review of the effects of low level human exposure to four chemicals known together as BTEX – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene will be presented on this call. BTEX are most well known as products of combustion exhaust, and more recently as pollutants from unconventional oil and gas operations (drilling and hydraulic fracturing). Much higher levels can be found indoors due to off-gassing from products like household cleaners, fabric treatments, building materials, furniture and automotive products. Ashley Bolden will present evidence from the review suggesting that low BTEX exposure (chemicals individually or in combination) are connected to developmental, respiratory, and immune effects like reduced fetal growth, asthma, and increased susceptibility to allergy at levels considered safe by the US EPA.

CHE Partnership call: An Interview with Dr. Frederica Perera, Recipient of the Prestigious Heinz Award
Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 10:00 am Pacific/1:00 pm Eastern

Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD, is the founder and director of the Columbia (University) Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health. In late April she was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment for her pioneering work in the field of molecular epidemiology and for her decades-long research to illuminate the health consequences children suffer from prenatal and childhood exposures to hazardous chemicals. The Heinz Award is made in the memory of the late US Senator John Heinz by recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions in one of five critically important categories: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment. On this call join CHE for a conversation with Dr. Perera and Elise Miller, CHE’s director. Dr. Perera will discuss how she came to this field, her work over the past decades, what she sees as pivotal moments in the evolution of the environmental health movement, and priority actions and opportunities to reduce chemical exposures in the future nationally and internationally.

CHE Partnership call: A Story of Developmental Disability, A Story of Health: The Influence of Environmental Exposures and Opportunities for Prevention
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 10:00 am Pacific/1:00 pm Eastern

This call is the third in a series introducing the new A Story of Health illustrated, multimedia eBook that harnesses the power of stories to how our environments interact with our genes to influence health across the lifespan. 

When people develop a disability, they often ask their health care providers, “How did this happen?” The answer could be clear and obvious but many times it is more complicated. This call will focus on the life of Amelia, a teenager who lives in Louisiana with her family, and is featured in A Story of Health. Although her story is fictional, she represents the one of six young people in the US with a developmental disability. This call will explore many of the topics covered in Amelia’s story, including: How gene-environment interactions can influence the onset of developmental disabilities; key opportunities or concerns before and during pregnancy to help reduce the risk of developmental disabilities in a child, including such things as preconception and maternal nutrition, fetal exposure to toxic substances, and the importance of thyroid hormone; and how multiple environmental factors including stress, toxic exposures and nutrition can interact to increase adverse effects on brain development. Opportunities and actions for prevention will also be addressed, such as the beneficial effects of an enriched social environment.

CHE quarterly Top 10 environmental health stories now available
CHE offers this selection of research, news and announcements that were of special significance during the first quarter of 2015. 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. This quarter's selections include a discussion of the role of bad luck in cancer, the continuing saga of federal chemical policy reform, the costs of hormone-disrupting chemicals, a couple of success stories, and plenty of research on the impacts of several common toxics on health. Visit the CHE blog to see this quarter's list. We invite comment and feedback.

CHE Partnership call: A High Price to Pay: Obesity, Diabetes, and Associated Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union
Co-hosted by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

On this call Dr. Bruce Blumberg and Dr. Juliette Legler explored the particular role endocrine disrupting chemicals play in the development of obesity and diabetes, and the financial burden imposed on society because of these exposures. MP3 recording now available.

The longer babies breastfeed the more they achieve in life - major study
Researchers in Brazil have followed nearly 6,000 babies from birth for the past three decades, enabling them for the first time to get an idea of the long-term effects of breastfeeding. Nearly 3,500 of them, now 30-year-old adults, accepted an invitation to be interviewed and sit IQ tests for the purpose of the study. Those who had been breastfed proved to be more intelligent, had spent longer at school and earned more than those who had not been. And the longer they were breastfed as a baby, the better they tended to be doing.

Bisphenol A and phthalate endocrine disruption of parental and social behaviors
Social behaviors, such as communication, mate choice, pair bonding, social inquisitiveness and recognition, play behavior, social grooming, copulation, and aggression, are compromised in animal models exposed to BPA, phthalates, and other EDCs. Early contact to these chemicals is also correlated with maladaptive social behaviors in children. Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Air pollution takes a double toll on babies' brains
A common pollutant in vehicle exhaust, power plant emissions and secondhand cigarette smoke [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] can shrink white matter in fetal brains and cause further developmental damage during the toddler years, a new study suggests. Los Angeles Times.[See the study: Effects of prenatal exposure to air pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) on the development of brain white matter, cognition, and behavior in later childhood]

Prenatal and childhood traffic-related pollution exposure and childhood cognition in the Project Viva cohort (Massachusetts, USA)
Residential proximity to major roadways during gestation and early-life may affect cognitive development. Influences of pollutants and socioeconomic conditions on cognition may be difficult to disentangle. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Serious life events in childhood can triple risk of developing type 1 diabetes
Serious life events in childhood, such as death or illness in the family, divorce/separation, a new child or adult in the family, and conflicts in the family, can triple the risk of subsequently developing type 1 diabetes, new research suggests. ScienceDaily. [See the study: Experience of a serious life event increases the risk for childhood type 1 diabetes: the ABIS population-based prospective cohort study]

Film release: The Human Experiment
This documentary is being released across the country and to video on demand this week. Locations are listed on the website.

 

A Story of Health: new multimedia eBook
A Story of Health is a multimedia eBook explores how our environments interact with our genes to influence health across the lifespan. We tell A Story of Health through the lives of fictional characters and their families - Brett, a young boy with asthma; Amelia, a teenager with developmental disabilities; and toddler Stephen, recently diagnosed with leukemia. Each fictional case features the latest scientific research about disease origin and helpful facts about disease prevention. Colorful illustrations, graphics and videos enhance each page. Links to a wide range of additional resources and hundreds of scientific papers enrich each story with information you can use today to promote health and prevent disease.

The eBook offers FREE continuing education credits through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Other ICEH news is listed on the ICEH History page.


Past Calls

February 4, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - CHE Alaska call: Only One Chance: How Contaminants in our Environment Impair Brain Development
Background Information / Resources

Q&A/Comments
Listen to the MP3 recording

January 22, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - A Story of Childhood Leukemia, a Story of Health: Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Childhood Leukemia
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

December 2, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - The First Thousand Days: Chemical Exposure in Early Life and Beyond
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

November 12, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Type 1 Diabetes and the Environment
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

October 15, 2014 --

CHE Alaska call: Toxic Chemicals in Schools: Health Hazards to Children and What You Can Do
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

September 9, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - PCBs in Schools – Still a Problem?
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

July 10, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Breathing Deep: Air Pollution, Health, and Public Health Policy
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

June 18, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Prenatal Exposure to EDCs and Obesity: Combining Toxicology and Epidemiology with Dr. Juliette Legler
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

April 16, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Dr. Philippe Grandjean on Chemical Brain Drain: How the Next Generation's Brain Functions are Endangered by EDCs and Other Environmental Chemicals
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

March 19, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Dr. Frederica Perera on the Effects of Prenatal Exposures to EDCs on Childhood Development
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

March 13, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - CHE Cafe call: Dr. Phil Landrigan and Dr. Ruth Etzel on Children's Environmental Health
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

October 11, 2012 --

CHE Partnership Call - 50 Years After "Silent Spring": Pesticides, Children's Health and the State of the Science
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

September 20, 2012 --

CHE Partnership Call - Healthy Environments Across Generations: What We Learned and What Comes Next
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

March 11, 2011 --

CHE Partnership Call - Healthy Aging Starts at Conception: Promoting Health Across the Lifespan
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

September 21, 2010 --

CHE Partnership Call - Pediatric Integrative Health: Approaches to Optimizing "Whole Child" Wellness
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

June 23, 2009 --

CHE Partnership Call - A Common Agenda for Health and the Environment: Goals for the Next Generation and Steps to Get There
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 Recording

March 16, 2006 --

CHE Partnership Call: The Future of the National Children's Study: Science, Priorities, and Politics
Call Transcripts
Background Informtion/Resources
Listen to the audio recording of this call (MP3 Format)

 

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