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Environmental health events from around the world are listed in CHE's searchable calendar. See events related to learning and developmental disabilities.

Upcoming Events

CHE LDDI/ASA Workshops

Environmental Influences on Neurodevelopment:
Translating the Emerging Science into Public Health Policy

Two workshops in November 2011 and one in January 2012 will feature national experts from diverse sectors highlighting the latest research on associations between environmental exposures and early neurodevelopment as well as the implications for prevention-based public health policy.

Visit the workshops page

Past Meetings, Conferences and Events

2010 Teleconference Series from AAIDD: Aging, Environmental Health, and IDD

This fall, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) with Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and our distinguished panels of guest speakers bring you a groundbreaking series of teleconference calls on aging, environmental health, and disability. Scheduled webinars include these:

1) "Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging" with Ted Schettler and Maria Valenti
Tuesday October 12th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time

2) "Built Environment" with Kathy Sykes, Rodney Harrell and Regina Gray
Tuesday October 19th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time

3) "Psychosocial Environment" with Danny George and Peter Whitehouse
Tuesday October 26th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time

4) "Chemical Environment" with Maye Thompson and Marybeth Palmigiano
Tuesday November 2nd, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time

5) "Food Environment" with Michelle Gottlieb and Emma Sirois
Tuesday November 9th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time

For more information, please visit AAIDD's Teleconference webpage.

LDDI member AAIDD hosts regular teleconferences through its Environmental Health Initiative on topics related to learning and developmental disabilities and the environment. Learn more »

NADD Teleconference Series

A series of 15 teleconferences from September 14th through December 15th will address a wide range of issues regarding individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as mental health diagnoses. Topics include fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, anxiety and depression, behavioral treatment and autism spectrum disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and developmental disabilities, and more. Learn more »

in reverse chronological order

LDDI Biomonitoring Project

logo from the Mind, Disrupted website

The report, Mind Disrupted, was released in conjunction with a Congressional Hearing on chemical policy reform held on the Senate side Thursday February 4th. For an audio recording of the event, and for more information on the report release, please visit www.minddisrupted.org, the new website that houses the report and other relevant materials. A briefing on the House side was held in Washington, DC, on Friday February 19th. For more information, please contact Laura Abulafia with LDDI: laura@healthandenvironment.org.

LDA Conference Symposium February 17, 2010

The Learning Disability Association of America's annual medical symposium on environmental health was held in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of LDA's annual conference. The first part of the symposium featured participants in the LDDI biomonitoring project. Read more »

State Policy Forum in Illinois, October 2009

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) and many other LDDI partners worked hard on putting together a policy forum in Illinois on October 2nd, entitled "Public Health, Toxic Chemicals and Disabilities." The event was a great success with four policymakers attending and one speaking at the meeting. Part of the meeting was a panel on biomonitoring where personal stories from the LDDI biomonitoring project were shared. Learn more »

Educational Forum, February 2009

AAIDD, LDA, and ASA partnered with local organizations in Connecticut to co-host an educational forum on toxic chemicals and public health in Hartford.  

LDDI Policy Training in Baltimore, January 2009

Materials from the training:

LDDI's Fall 2007 Teleconference Series

This seven-part teleconference series was based on the agenda of the conference, "Priming for Prevention: An Ecological Approach to Research, Education and Policy," that was to be held at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, in May 2007. Dial-in information will be sent to LDDI members in a separate email message before each teleconference. CME credits will not be available for these calls.

Overview: Emerging science suggests that environmental exposures, along with socioeconomic factors, gene-environment interactions and infectious disease, can undermine healthy child development. In addition, these factors can contribute to increases in learning and developmental disabilities, neurological disorders and other child health problems. This means that to ensure children's well-being, we not only need to reduce environmental contaminants but to develop a whole systems or "“ecological" understanding in order to address these complexities.

Leading researchers and advocates presenting in this teleconference series will highlight recent studies and describe how this new science is being translated into innovative solutions and public policy opportunities. Our intention is to help participants on these calls come away not only with more scientific knowledge, but with new ideas we can collectively take to "prime for prevention" and to protect the health and future of all children.

Sponsors: Collaborative on Health and the Environment's Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative; American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Autism Society of America; Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4; Institute for the Study of Disadvantage and Disability; Learning Disabilities Association of America; John Merck Fund; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit; University of Maryland School of Nursing

1) "Priming for Prevention"
Wednesday September 12, 2007
2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Elise Miller, MEd, executive director of the Institute for Children"s Environmental Health and national coordinator of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment's Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative, will provide an overview of the series and LDDI's mission and activities
  • Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network: "An Ecological Approach for Understanding and Enhancing Child Development"

Call Materials:

2) Overview of Science Regarding Environmental Contributors to Child Development
Wednesday September 19, 2007
5:00 p.m. Eastern/2:00 p.m. Pacific


  • Leslie Rubin, MD, president of the Institute for the Study of Disadvantage and Disability and Visiting Scholar at the Morehouse School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics: "From Substances to Society"
  • David Bellinger, PhD, MSc, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital: "Lead, Socioeconomic Factors and Child Development"
  • Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group: "Toxics in Cord Blood and Body Burden Studies: Implications for Child Development"

Call Materials:

3) Research in Relation to Specific Learning and Developmental Disabilities
Wednesday October 3, 2007
2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, clinical associate in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Morphometric Analysis and assistant professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School: "The Emerging Whole-Body, Gene-Environment-Epigenetics Approach in Autism Research and Treatment"
  • Susan Schantz, PhD, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Neurodevelopmental Effects of PCBs, MeHg and Other Contaminants: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies"
  • Allison Davis, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing: "A Vulnerable Population: Environmental Health Exposures and the Developmental Disabilities Community"

Call Materials:

4) Matrix of Other Emerging Research
Wednesday October 17, 2007
2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Yvonne Fry-Johnson, MD, chief of maternal and child health at the National Center for Primary Care: "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Developmental Disabilities"
  • Virginia Rauh, ScD, professor of public health and deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Columbia University Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health: "Effects of Prenatal Exposure to the Organophosphate Pesticide Chlorpyrifos in the Urban Environment"

Note: We had hoped to have Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, MPH, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, present on "The CHARGE Study: Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment", but she is not available on this date. We are trying to arrange another date for her to speak.

Call Materials:

5) More Emerging Research
Wednesday October 31, 2007
2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Tom Zoeller, PhD, professor and chair of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Biology Department: "Classes and Consequences of Thyroid Disruptors"
  • Sandra Steingraber, PhD, distinguished visiting scholar in the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, Ithaca College: "Consequences of Early Puberty in U.S. Girls -- Implications for Learning"

Call Materials:

6) Leading Learning and Developmental Disabilities Organizations: New Model Environmental Health Initiatives
Thursday November 8, 2007
2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Maureen Swanson, director of the Healthy Children Project, Learning Disabilities Association of America
  • Laura Abulafia, MHS, director of the Environmental Health Initiative, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Lee Grossman, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America
  • Rob Fletcher, executive director of the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed

Call Materials:

7) Innovative Approaches: What Do a Community-based Researcher, an Environmental Design Analyst and a Chemist Have in Common?
Monday November 19, 2007
2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific


  • Peggy Shepard, executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.: "Translating Research Findings into Policy"
  • Lorraine Maxwell, PhD, associate professor of graduate studies in the Cornell University Department of Design and Environmental Analysis: "Addressing the Physical Environment's Role in Children's Learning and Health"
  • Terry Collins, PhD, Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University: "Green Chemistry and the Future"

Call Materials:

Conference Call June 20, 2006

Conference Call April 10, 2006

Regional Meeting: Minnesota, January 21, 2006

"Preventing Harm to Growing Brains: Environmental Contributors to Learning & Developmental Disabilities in Children" is the title of this one-day meeting for educators, parents, children's advocates, researchers, policymakers, health professionals and others. Keynote Speakers were

  • Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, assistant professor, Community & Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City and assistant director for the Mount Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment
  • Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network

Regional Meeting: California, October 27, 2005

Meeting materials:

  • meeting agenda (300 KB)
  • Time Out For Toxins by Jo Rupert Behm, MS, RN (21.3 MB)
  • Time-Out para Toxinas (Español) por Jo Rupert Behm, MS, RN (21.2 MB)
  • Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative: An Overview by Elise Miller, MEd (10.6 MB)
  • Neurodevelopment and Environmental Chemicals by Mark Miller, MD, MPH (6.5 MB)
  • Emerging Science on Neurotoxicant by Isaac N. Pessah, PhD (29.5 MB)
  • Mercury in SF Bay by Andria Ventura (3.4 MB)

Presentation files old than two years have been removed to conserve space. If you would like a PowerPoint file, please send a request to CHE email.

Regional Meeting: New York City, June 9, 2005

LDDI's third regional meeting saw almost 80 people attend, some of whom were new to environmental health. The energy and engagement were notable throughout the day, right up until Elise Miller had to bring the "wrap-up/next steps" session to a close to begin the CHE reception.

Meeting documents and presentations:

  • meeting agenda (42 KB)
  • meeting notes (85 KB)
  • Neurotoxicity in Children from Low Dose Exposures to PCBs by David Carpenter (5.2 MB)
  • Citizens' Environmental Coalition by Kathy Curtis (6.9 MB)
  • Of Mercury, Microbes, Mice and Men: Animal Models of Neurodevelopmental Damage and Hypothesis-Driven Interpretation of Data by Mady Hornig (1.3 MB)
  • Learning Disabilities & the Environment by Heather Loukmas (42 KB)
  • Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative: An Overview by Elise Miller (812 KB)
  • Learning and Developmental Disabilities and the Environment: An Overview by Ted Schettler (4 MB)
  • Healthy Living: Environmental Exposures & Adults with Developmental Disabilities by Sheryl White-Scott (1.5 MB)

Presentation files old than two years have been removed to conserve space. If you would like a PowerPoint file, please send a request to CHE email.

Congressional Briefing on Pollutants and Disabilities, May 10, 2005

Members of the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI), a national working group of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, organized a Congressional Briefing on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the Senate Dirksen Building. The Briefing, entitled "Chemical Exposure, Children's Health and Disability," was cosponsored by Senators Lautenberg, DeWine, Kerry, Snowe and Jeffords. For more information about the organizers and presenters, please see these PDF documents:

Regional Meeting: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 9, 2005

The Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI) held its second regional meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 9th as part of the inaugural CHE-PENN conference. Approximately 40 people attended this half-day workshop, including researchers, health professionals, learning and developmental groups, public health representatives, environmental health and justice advocates and other concerned citizens. Ted Schettler, MD, MPH; Herbert Needleman, MD; and Laura Hewitson, PhD, provided science overviews and updates on neurotoxicants, followed by a panel of national, state and local nonprofits, represented by Kathy Lawson, Myron Arnowitt and Amy Stiffey, MA, who is working to protect communities from neurotoxicants through education and policy efforts. Kathy Lawson, who directs the Learning Disabilities Association's Healthy Children Project, will be the point person in Pennsylvania to follow up with participants on potential collective LDDI activities.

Meeting documents:

Regional Meeting: East Lansing, Michigan, October 27, 2004

The first LDDI Regional Meeting was held Wednesday, October 27, 2004, on the Michigan State Univeristy campus in East Lansing, Michigan. The purpose of this meeting was to foster effective collaboration between researchers, health care professionals, health-affected groups, environmental health and justice advocates and other concerned citizens in order protect all children in the region from environmental pollutants that can undermine their healthy development.

Meeting documents and photo:

National Meeting: May 19, 2004

The first major national meeting of the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI) was held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, on May 19, 2004.

Meeting Materials

Slides from PowerPoint Presentations

Presentation files old than two years have been removed to conserve space. If you would like a PowerPoint file, please send a request to CHE email.


Presentation Title

File Size

John Balbus, MD, MPH

Healthy Brain Partners : LDDI and Environmental Advocacy Groups

5.6 MB

Jo Behm, RN, MS

Importance of Taking Personal & Agency Inventory and Getting Organized As First Steps Toward Engaging Critical Mass

244 KB

Sallie Bernard

Advancing the Science

784 KB

Doreen Croser

Collaborating for ACTION: Pollution, Toxic Chemicals and Mental Retardation

196 KB

Sharon Davis, PhD

Outreach Strategies of The Arc of the United States

68 KB

Michael Friedlander, PhD

PCBs and Neural Development: Hijacking the Brain's Pathways

16 MB

Lynn Goldman, MD, MPH

Translating the Science on Neurotoxicants into Effective Policy

524 KB

Martha Herbert, MD, PhD

The Science of Autism: Why We'll Never Understand Autism If We Don't Consider the Environment

1.2 MB

Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH

The Search for Environmental Causes of Learning Disabilities in Children

508 KB

Kathy Lawson

Healthy Children Project: Learn More – Do More For Environmental Health

1.7 MB

Betty Mekdeci

Pattern of Functional Deficits Identified in Vietnam Veterans' Children

880 KB

Pete Myers, PhD

New Directions in Research – New Opportunities for Prevention

1.1 MB

Wendy Nehring, RN, PhD, FAAN

Education for Professionals Who Specialize in Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

800 KB

Jennifer Nyland, PhD

Low Dose Mercury: Implications for the Nervous System

684 KB

Ted Schettler, MD, MPH

The Developing Brain: Vulnerability to Environmental Agents

208 KB

David Wallinga, MD, MPA

Neurodevelopmental Toxins: More Science, and the Context of Science

2 MB

Tom Zoeller, PhD

Research Opportunities/Needs: Thyroid Hormones and Brain Development

1.2 MB

National Meeting: March 21, 2003

Meeting Notes (44KB)

National Meeting: May 23, 2002

Meeting Notes (20 KB)


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