Log in - Help - July 28, 2014
CHE logo The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
You are here:  Home » Working Groups » Fertility/Reproductive Health Working Group

This site WWW

Look for this feed to be updated in mid June.

Fertility/Repro Health News

15 Mar CHE Partnership call: Effects of Prenatal Exposures to EDCs on Childhood Development. eventWeds. March 19th at 10:00 am Pacific/1:00 pm Eastern (30 minute call). The next call in this ongoing series addressing endocrine disrupting chemicals will feature Dr. Frederica Perera. Dr. Perera's presentation will review data from a longitudinal cohort study following mothers and children from pregnancy into adolescence. In this study, prenatal exposure to the combustion-related air pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes as well as other disease endpoints. Prevention strategies will be discussed. RSVP for the call today.

15 Mar CHE-AK Working Group call: Exposure to Toxic Chemicals Among Pregnant Women and Children: The Role of Prevention with Dr. Tracey Woodruff eventTues. March 25th at 3:00 pm Alaska/4:00 pm Pacific/7:00 pm Eastern. Join Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, Director of University of California at San Francisco's Program on Reproductive Health & the Environment for a discussion on evaluating prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and related adverse pregnancy outcomes, and characterizing developmental risks. Learn how children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to exposures from harmful chemicals found in everyday products. Hear the latest scientific evidence linking exposure to environmental chemicals during critical and sensitive windows of development. RSVP for the call today.

15 Mar The geography of autism. news articleResearchers have long known that autism is found in clusters. Now research has yielded a new clue. Autism is more common where there are higher rates of male genital malformations, which suggests the possible involvement of environmental contaminants. But some researchers remain skeptical. Newsweek.

15 Mar Study: Environmental and state-level regulatory factors affect the incidence of autism and intellectual disability. journal articleTo compare environmental, phenotypic, socioeconomic and state-policy factors in a unified geospatial framework, we analyzed the spatial incidence patterns of ASD and ID using an insurance claims dataset covering nearly one third of the US population. Following epidemiologic evidence, we used the rate of congenital malformations of the reproductive system as a surrogate for environmental exposure of parents to unmeasured developmental risk factors, including toxins. PLOS Computational Biology.

15 Mar Traces of corn herbicide in our water. news articleIndiana-American Water Co. is proposing to split with its customers a nearly $1 million settlement it received from atrazine litigation. Millions of pounds of atrazine, the main ingredient in dozens of name-brand herbicides, are applied annually to corn fields in Indiana to control weeds. Muncie Star Press, Indiana.

15 Mar BPA-free does not always mean safe. news articleConsumer worries and health concerns helped prompt the FDA to ban Bisphenol A (BPA) in children's products. But an investigative report in Mother Jones finds replacement plastics may be just as hazardous. Living On Earth.

14 Mar Vietnamese men near old U.S. base highly exposed to dioxins. news articleVietnamese men living near a former U.S. military base where Agent Orange was stored and sprayed more than 40 years ago remain highly contaminated with dioxins, according to a new study. While health problems among U.S. veterans of the Vietnam War have been well-documented, little is known about the risks that the herbicide poses to men living in Vietnam. Environmental Health News.

14 Mar Study: Serum dioxin levels in Vietnamese men more than 40 years after herbicide spraying. journal articleIn 2010, we collected blood samples from 97 men in a hotspot and 85 men in an unsprayed area in Northern Vietnam. Serum concentrations of not only TCDD but also other dioxins (PCDDs), furans (PCDFs), and nonortho polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were significantly higher in the hotspot than in the unsprayed area. Environmental Science and Technology.

Fertility/Reproductive Health
Working Group

CHE's Fertility & Reproductive Health Working Group convenes over 450 diverse members around environmental impacts on fertility and reproductive health. The goal of this dynamic conversation is to discern what the science is telling us, where the research gaps are, and how we can effectively support and promote science-based education and action. Read more...

If you would like to join and are already a CHE Partner, send us an email request. Or become a CHE Partner and indicate your interest in your application.

For more information, please contact Karin Russ at karin@healthandenvironment.org.


Highlights, July 2014

Counseling Patients on Preventing Prenatal Environmental Exposures - A Mixed-Methods Study of Obstetricians. An on-line survey of over 2,500 obstetricians examined their attitudes and practices in counseling clients to avoid prenatal environmental exposures. The majority (78%) agreed that counseling patients is an effective means to reduce patient exposure to environmental health hazards. However, less than 20% reported routinely asking about common environmental exposures, and only 1 in 15 reported any training on the topic. This assessment represents a significant gap in the knowledge base of clinicians and provides strong rationale for additional training in reproductive environmental health.

Annual MACCHE Conference, Washington D.C. The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment will hold its 12th annual conference on September 19th, 2014. This year’s conference will focus on healthy buildings, with an emphasis on school and medical office buildings. Participants will receive an overview of elements of a healthy building and will choose between two breakout tracks: Greening the Medical Office and Creating a Healthy School Building.

Environmental Reproductive Health News, July 2014

Assessment of estrogenic potential of diethyl phthalate in female reproductive system involving both genomic and non-genomic actions. The present study shows the estrogenic potential of diethyl phthalate (DEP). The data showed that DEP increased the transactivation of ER in CHO and MCF-7 cells suggesting its interaction with ER. In vivo parameters like increased uterine epithelial cell height and up regulation of various steroidogenic genes were also observed in adult female rats. Our uterotrophic assay data from immature female rats suggested that DEP treatment resulted in augmentation of uterine weight as well as luminal epithelial cell heights in both vaginal and uterine tissues. Further, DEP was able to upregulate pS2 gene expression with simultaneous activation of MAPK pathway as demonstrated by increased p-ERK/ERK ratio. Reproductive Toxicology.

The Navigation Guide-Evidence-Based Medicine Meets Environmental Health: Integration of Animal and Human Evidence for PFOA Effects on Fetal Growth. The Navigation Guide is a novel systematic review method to synthesize scientific evidence and reach strength-of-evidence conclusions for environmental health decision-making. The authors identified 18 epidemiology and 21 animal toxicology studies relevant to our study question, and both the human and non-human mammalian evidence as 'moderate' quality and 'sufficient' strength. Integration of these evidence ratings produced a final strength of evidence rating where review authors concluded that PFOA is 'known to be toxic' to human reproduction and development based on sufficient evidence of decreased fetal growth in both human and non-human mammalian species. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Prenatal and peripubertal phthalates and bisphenol A in relation to sex hormones and puberty in boys. Phthalates and BPA are known endocrine disruptors and exposure in pregnant mothers and children is ubiquitous. Prenatal exposure to some phthalates was associated with decreased DHEAS and inhibin B levels, and with increased SHBG. Prenatal exposure to most phthalates and BPA was associated with greatly reduced odds of adrenarche (odds ratios [OR]=0.12-0.65) and slightly reduced odds of puberty (OR=0.50-0.98). Childhood exposure was not associated with adrenarche or puberty, but some phthalates and BPA were associated with increased SHBG levels and decreased total and free testosterone levels. Reproductive Toxicology.

UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment present Visionary Leadership Awards

6/14/13: The UCSF PRHE program awarded its Visionary Leadership Award at the start of The Endocrine Society Meeting in San Francisco to three prominent leaders of professional societies. Teresa Woodruff, President-elect of The Endocrine Society, Linda Giudice, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and Jeanne Conry, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were this year's recipients. The award is given to visionary leaders working to improve reproductive health by preventing harmful environmental exposures.

Pictured above (L-R) are PRHE Director, Tracey Woodruff with Linda Giudice and CHE Fertility founder, Alison Carlson. Below, Vice-Chair of CHE Michael Lerner, Alison Carlson, former CHE Fertility coordinator Julia Varshavsky, and current coordinator Karin Russ gather to commemorate the occasion.

Second Annual CHE/NIEHS Women's Environmental Reproductive Health Consortium Meeting

For additional information, visit: Women's Environmental Reproductive Health Consortium. 

The Male Factor: Environment, Development and Fertility

September 20, 2012
Listen to the MP3 recording

September marks the 20th anniversary of the well-known Carlsen study that reported an approximately 50% decline in sperm counts over a 50 year period.  This teleconference continued the discussion, and examined impacts of environmental exposures on male reproductive tract development and fertility.

Environmental factors may alter the course of development of male reproductive organs and impact later adult fertility. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have the capacity to alter the structure of male reproductive organs as they develop in utero. Chemicals and other environmental influences may impact the quality of sperm production. This call looked at recent data out of Denmark and explored the state of the science on changes in male reproductive development and fertility.

Featured speakers:

Shanna Swan, PhD, is the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a member of the Mt Sinai's Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC).

Niels Jorgensen, PhD, is a clinical specialist in Andrology and Medical Endocrinology and a researcher in the Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.

CHE Fertility/CHE EMF call: EMF and Reproductive Health Risks

May 21, 2012
Listen to the MP3 recording

Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) waves from cell phones, computers and other wireless electronic devices are ubiquitous in our environment. The research base linking EMF exposure to negative reproductive health effects continues to grow. This teleconference, co-hosted by CHE Fertility and CHE EMF working groups, examined recent research on EMF exposure, infertility, and negative pregnancy outcomes.

On this call. Dr. Ashok Agarwal discussed multiple studies linking EMF exposure with decreased fertility in males. Dr. De-Kun Li, of the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California reviewed studies linking EMF with early pregnancy loss, and discussed on-going studies he is conducting on pregnancy loss. Carlo V. Bellieni, Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Siena University Hospital, Italy, discussed findings from his recent study quantifying EMF emissions from laptop computers and implications for the developing fetus. Dr. Bellieni also reviewed his findings on neonatal exposure to EMF in hospital incubators, and presented a novel approach for lowering exposure to EMF for newborns and their caregivers.

Featured speakers:

Ashok Agarwal, Ph.D., HCLD, is the Director of the Andrology Laboratory and of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He was appointed as the Chairman of Board of the American College of Embryology in 2009. Dr. Agarwal is also a Professor at the Lerner College of Medicine, and the 2011 Star Award from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Agarwal is currently an editor of 10 medical text books/ manuals related to male infertility, ART, fertility preservation, DNA damage and antioxidants.De-Kun Li

De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, MPH, is a senior research scientist at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Dr. Li’s research areas include pharmacoepidemiolgical effect of medication use during pregnancy, genetic determinants of adverse pregnancy outcomes, the effect of electromagnetic fields on adverse pregnancy outcomes and low sperm quality, and the effect of endocrine disruptors, specifically Bisphenol A (BPA), on male and female reproductive systems. Dr. Li is also a lecturer at Stanford University in the Department of Health Research and Policy. He is currently the associate editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Carlo V. Bellieni, MDCarlo V. Bellieni, MD, is a neonatologist and a bioethicist. Dr. Bellieni is the Director of the neonatal intensive therapy unit at the Siena University Hospital. He serves as Secretary of the Bioethics Committee of the Italian Pediatrics Society, and is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and of the Directive Board of the Scienza e Vita Association. Dr. Bellieni is the author of many clinical research papers in international scientific journals, including studies on electromagnetic emission from neonatal incubators and on pain in children, and has written several books in Italian, Spanish, French, and English on neonatal pain and bioethics.

This call will be moderated by Karin Russ, MS, RN, National Coordinator of the CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health working group, and Antoinette (Toni) Stein, PhD, Co-Coordinator of CHE-EMF working group coordinator. The teleconference will be recorded for archival purposes.


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