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Announcements/News Feed

News and announcements related to environmental impacts on human health, collected from a multitude of sources, especially Environmental Health News. To subscribe to this feed, visit healthandenvironment.org/CHE.xml.

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EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers 2016 Webinar Series May 11th.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016event
The topic of this webinar is Exposome. Speakers will be Elaine Faustman of the University of Washington, Roy Gerona of UCSF, and Stephen Rappaport of UC Berkeley.

New resource: Healthy Homes Basics.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016announcement
From the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, this app offers practical how-to guidance on how to have a safe and healthy home.

New resource: How Oil and Gas Operations Impact Your Baby's Health.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016announcement
From Moms Clean Air Force, this infographc summarizes what is known about the effects of air pollutants associated with oil and gas operations on the developing fetus and child.

Concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in maternal and cord blood from the maternal-infant research on environmental chemicals (MIREC) cohort study.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016journal article
In the MIREC study, multiple chemical contaminants were quantified in the plasma of pregnant women. In cord plasma PFOA had the highest detection rate. However, compared to other Canadian and international population studies, the MIREC participants had lower contaminant concentrations of these substances. Environmental Health.

That plastic container you microwave in could be super-toxic.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
If your idea of meal preparation is microwaving leftovers in the plastic takeout container they came in, here's some bad news: Several chemicals in pliable plastic can leach into your food when you heat it, and even if you're diligent enough to transfer the food to a bowl or plate labeled "microwave-safe", you still may not be protected. Time.

Use of personal care products during pregnancy linked to adverse effects in newborns.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
The antimicrobial compound, triclocarban, mainly added to soaps, was associated with shorter gestational age at birth. Another common chemical added to lotions and creams, propyl paraben, was associated with decreased body length at birth. The long-term consequences of this are not clear, and, Geer adds, "Findings must be reproduced in larger studies." ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Association of birth outcomes with fetal exposure to parabens, triclosan and triclocarban in an immigrant population in Brooklyn, New York]

A third of antibiotic prescriptions are just wrong.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
Despite decades of ever-more-frantic warnings from health officials, doctors are still writing prescriptions for colds, ear infections and bronchitis, even though they do not help, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. NBC News.
[See the report from the CDC and Pew Charitable Trusts: Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings]

Early childhood education seen as key to helping youngest Flint water crisis victims.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
Thousands of Michigan kids who have been exposed to high levels of lead are at risk of major behavioral and cognitive problems. But early education intervention can help mitigate these effects. Environment Report.
[See related articles from Georgia: Investigation: thousands of Georgia children sickened by lead and New York: Lead poisoning worse than previously disclosed]

Studying how poverty keeps hurting young minds, and what to do about it.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
Experts in neuroscience, genetics and social work discussed emerging research on what happens to a child's brain before it is fully formed, and how children who seem broken can be made whole. New York Times.

Nonprofit raises awareness of cancer risks and contaminants in the Bering Strait region.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
Between decommissioned defense sites and contaminated currents, the Bering Strait Region is particularly vulnerable to toxic pollution. Alaska Public Radio Network.

If a weed killer might cause cancer, should it be banned?
Wednesday, May 4, 2016news article
Activists want the EPA to revoke the license for the herbicide glyphosate, while others are calling for additional research and a more systemic solution. Takepart.

Public Health Institute webinar May 10th: Connecting Public Health and the Food Industry: Voluntary Commitments to Reduce Sodium and Understanding the Consumer.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016event
This Web Forum will focus on industry -- leading efforts by a large US food company to reduce sodium in key food categories. General Mills will describe the factors that led to their voluntary public commitment to reduce sodium, approaches used to reduce sodium, results to date and lessons learned. They will also highlight considerations and insights when working with food industry partners.

The commonly used nonionic surfactant Span 80 has RXRa transactivation activity, which likely increases the obesogenic potential of oil dispersants and food emulsifiers.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016journal article
From a public health standpoint, the use of DOSS and Span 80 as food additives heightens concerns regarding their use and mandates further investigations. General and Comparative Endocrinology.

Particulate air pollution, exceptional aging, and rates of centenarians: a nationwide analysis of the United States, 1980-2010.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016journal article
Communities with the most exceptional aging have low ambient air pollution and low rates of smoking, poverty, and obesity. Improvements in these determinants may contribute to increase exceptional aging. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Individual and neighborhood socioeconomic status and the association between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016journal article
Women with lower neighborhood SES may be more susceptible to air pollution-related health effects. The association between air pollution and cardiovascular disease was not explained by confounding from individual or neighborhood SES. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Implications of mercury concentrations in umbilical cord tissue in relation to maternal hair segments as biomarkers for prenatal exposure to methylmercury.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016journal article
Based on the present results, total mercury and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in cord tissue may be useful biomarkers for prenatal MeHg exposure of the fetus, especially reflecting the maternal MeHg body burden during late gestation. Environmental Research.

Plastic should be considered toxic once it gets into the environment, MPs told.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016news article
In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the environmental impact of microplastics, the Plastic Oceans Foundation warned that tiny pieces of plastic laden with chemicals were finding their way through the gut into the flesh of seafood and, from there, into the human food chain. The Independent, United Kingdom.

What's in those new plastic pipes delivering drinking water?
Tuesday, May 3, 2016news article
The latest research out of Whelton's lab has revealed a variety of compounds that can escape from PEX pipes, potentially causing drinking water to smell or taste bad. His group is also finding significant variations in what leaches out of PEX pipes, not just across brands but also among products of the same brand, and even from batch to batch of the same product -- a confounding list of unknowns and potential concerns that makes it complicated to give advice to consumers who want safe plumbing materials. Ensia.

Asthma linked to DNA damage.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016news article
House dust mites, which are a major source of allergens in house dust, can cause asthma in adults and children. Researchers from MIT and the National University of Singapore have now found that these mites have a greater impact than previously known -- they induce DNA damage that can be fatal to lung cells if the damaged DNA is not adequately repaired. MIT News.
[See the study: House dust mite-induced asthma causes oxidative damage and DNA double-strand breaks in the lungs]

EPA webinar May 9th: The Role of Climate Change in Extreme Weather Events.
Monday, May 2, 2016event
The National Academy of Sciences recently published a report on the "Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change." The report examines the current state of science of extreme weather attribution and identifies ways to move the science forward to improve attribution capabilities.

Less body fat for toddlers taking vitamin D.
Monday, May 2, 2016news article
A healthy intake of vitamin D in the first year of life appears to set children up to have more muscle mass and less body fat as toddlers, according to a new study. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Vitamin D supplementation trial in infancy: body composition effects at 3 years of age in a prospective follow-up study from Montreal]

Short-term exposure to air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress: the Framingham Heart Study.
Monday, May 2, 2016journal article
Our community-based investigation supports an association of select markers of ambient air pollution with circulating biomarkers of oxidative stress. Journal of the American Heart Association.

Depression in young adults linked to social media use.
Monday, May 2, 2016news article
The participants who spent the most time on social media had the highest risk of depression, particularly younger women with less education. The Nation's Health.
[See the study: Association between social media use and depression among US young adults]

After 'The Biggest Loser', their bodies fought to regain weight.
Monday, May 2, 2016news article
As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants' metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight. New York Times.
[See the study: Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after "The Biggest Loser" competition]

Effects of low level lead exposure on associative learning and memory in the rat: influences of sex and developmental timing of exposure.
Monday, May 2, 2016journal article
These data suggest a complex interaction between sex, developmental window of exposure and lead-exposure level on consolidation and recall of associative memories. Toxicology Letters.

Mold exposures promote both allergic and inflammatory responses.
Monday, May 2, 2016news article
Researchers found that after inhaling spores from the mold Aspergillus fumigatus, the lungs of mice developed significant adverse changes, linked with both allergic and inflammatory processes. NIEHS Environmental Factor.

Uppsala consensus statement on environmental contaminants and the global obesity epidemic.
Monday, May 2, 2016journal article
From the lectures presented at the 2nd International Workshop on Obesity and Environmental Contaminants, which was held in Uppsala, Sweden, on 8-9 October 2015, it became evident that the findings from numerous animal and epidemiological studies are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental contaminants could contribute to the global obesity epidemic. To increase awareness of this important issue among scientists, regulatory agencies, politicians, chemical industry management, and the general public, the authors summarize compelling scientific evidence that supports the hypothesis and discuss actions that could restrict the possible harmful effects of environmental contaminants on obesity. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Pipe dreams: tapping into the health information in our sewers.
Monday, May 2, 2016journal article
Halden is an environmental scientist at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, where he maintains the National Sewage Sludge Repository -- a collection of hundreds of samples of raw sewage and sludge collected from more than 200 sites around the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives.

E-waste and harm to vulnerable populations: a growing global problem.
Monday, May 2, 2016journal article
Global, national, and local levels efforts must aim to create safe recycling operations that consider broad security issues for people who rely on e-waste processing for survival. Paramount to these efforts is reducing pregnant women and children's e-waste exposures to mitigate harmful health effects. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Minamata patients speak out on anniversary of disease.
Monday, May 2, 2016news article
Sunday marks 60 years since the Minamata disease, a neurological condition caused by toxic dumping, was discovered. Al Jazeera.

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