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Blog

Feb 20
2024

Guest commentary
What’s new
Under the Surface: What does the fracking boom mean for our health?

By Justin Nobel
Science journalist

Over the last seven years, as I traveled the United States reporting on the oil and gas industry, I have learned a disturbing and little-considered fact: a lot more comes to the surface at a well than just the oil and gas. Each year the industry produces billions of tons of waste, much of it toxic and radioactive. The fracking boom has only worsened the problem. So where does it all go?  . . .

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Dec 13
2023

What’s new
Webinars
PFAS and Testicular Cancer: A study of U.S. Air Force servicemen

A recent study investigated serum PFAS concentrations and their associations with testicular cancer risk among Air Force servicemen. Dr. Mark Purdue presented findings from the study in an EDC Strategies Partnership webinar.  . . .

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Dec 12
2023

What’s new
Playground Surfacing: Fun and safety without toxic chemicals

By Lindsey Pollard, MS and Rachel Massey, ScD 

A playground is a wonderful place for kids to play, exercise, build skills, and make friends. It’s important that the materials used in playgrounds are as safe as possible.  . . .

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Nov 27
2023

Guest commentary
What’s new
“Advanced Recycling” of Plastics: Largely waste disposal by another name (Part 2)

By Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network; Science Advisor, Health Care Without Harm

“Advanced recycling,” also sometimes called molecular recycling or chemical recycling, is a term that encompasses several technologies that use heat, solvents, enzymes, or microwaves to break down plastic waste. Among the so-called “advanced recycling” methods,  attempts to commercialize and scale up have focused mainly on  pyrolysis and gasification. Pyrolysis or gasification of plastics both pose significant challenges, and their performance thus far has been poor.  . . .

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Nov 19
2023

What’s new
PFAS, phenols, and parabens: Links to hormone-mediated cancers

In a recent webinar, Dr. Max Aung presented the results of a study that examined the relationship between certain chemicals and previous diagnoses of hormone-mediated cancers.  . . .

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Nov 7
2023

What’s new
Bold ideas at the intersection of climate, health, & justice

By Max Aung, MPH, PhD and Lariah Edwards, PhD

Three leaders in the fields of public health and agroecology recently put the heat on historic injustices — and shed light on necessary paths forward.

In the latest collaboration between the Collaborative for Health and Environment, the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Program, and the Center for Environmental Health and Justice in Northern Manhattan at Columbia University, we hosted a dynamic discussion with Ans Irfan, Daniel Carrión, and Alexa White  . . .

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Oct 30
2023

Guest commentary
What’s new
“Advanced Recycling” of Plastics: Largely waste disposal by another name (Part 1)

By Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network; Science Advisor, Health Care Without Harm

Plastics are complex, heterogeneous chemical polymers with varying amounts of thousands of chemical additives that impart properties such as color, flexibility, stability, water repellency, flame retardance, and ultraviolet resistance. While many plastic products have obvious benefits, throughout their lifecycles — from production to use, recycling, and disposal — plastic polymers and their additives are also responsible for extensive harm to human health and the environment.
 . . .

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Oct 23
2023

What’s new
A Poison Like No Other: New book on microplastics highlights global threat

Around the world today, microplastics are largely unseen but ubiquitous. This makes it difficult to grasp the scope of the problem. Matt Simon’s book, A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies, sets out to show us exactly what we’re dealing with. In a recent webinar, Simon shared findings from his book with CHE Alaska.  . . .

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Oct 23
2023

Guest commentary
What’s new
Atrazine: Latest science & policy analysis on a hormone-disrupting herbicide

Guest Post by Stacy Malkan

Atrazine is the second most widely used weed killer in the United States. Yet a significant body of scientific research suggests the herbicide harms the normal functioning of the endocrine system. In humans, atrazine has been linked to irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal birth weight and unexplained infertility. Animal studies have shown that atrazine may affect reproductive function in mammals, including estrous cycles, sperm motility, testosterone levels, and prolactin, luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormone levels. In amphibians and various fish, atrazine has been shown to damage reproductive organs and systems.   . . .

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Oct 9
2023

What’s new
6PPD in Tires: A concern for playgrounds, artificial turf, and more

By Rachel Massey, ScD and Zhenyu Tian, PhD

Waste tires are used in a variety of applications, including widespread use as recreational surfacing. This includes artificial turf and “rubber mulch” marketed for use in gardens and on playgrounds. These products are marketed as a solution to the problem of burgeoning tire waste, but they disperse waste material widely into the environment, creating a future cleanup problem. And they create the conditions for young children to be exposed to this problematic material.   . . .

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Oct 9
2023

What’s new
Chemicals and pregnancy complications: findings from nontargeted analysis

In a recent webinar, Dr. Jessica Trowbridge and Dr. Tracey Woodruff presented a new study which used nontargeted analysis (NTA) methods to identify environmental chemicals that are not regularly studied. This research used the results of NTA methods to identify nine environmental chemicals in maternal samples and in cord blood, and their association with adverse pregnancy outcomes — measuring some of these chemicals for the first time in pregnant people.  . . .

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Aug 30
2023

What’s new
Sivuqaq’s Community-Driven Science: Documenting Contamination in the Arctic

Due to a combination of global distillation processes and military contamination, the Yupik people of Sivuqaq (the traditional name for St. Lawrence Island) experience disproportionately high exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other chemicals — resulting in dramatic health disparities.  . . .

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Aug 21
2023

What’s new
Playing on Plastic: Artificial Turf Hazards and Safer Alternatives

By Rachel Massey, ScD and Lindsey Pollard, MS

From professional sports leagues to elementary schools and even day care centers, many communities have questions about the pros and cons of artificial turf. The National Football League’s Players Association president is advocating for natural grass fields, citing higher injury rates on artificial turf fields. Some communities have adopted moratoria on turf installation, while some are making plans to invest in new, sustainably managed natural grass fields.  . . .

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Aug 4
2023

What’s new
Webinars
Tracking chemical exposures in the office

In a recent webinar, Dr. Anna Young presented a new study which used silicone wristbands as a novel method to monitor exposures to chemicals in the office environment.  . . .

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Jul 26
2023

What’s new
How and Why to Close the Exposure Assessment Gap

By Rachel Massey, ScD
Senior Science & Policy Advisor, CHE

Quantitative risk assessments underpin most of our federal regulations related to chemicals. Therefore, it is important to understand how and why risk assessments can go astray.
 . . .

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Jul 22
2023

What’s new
Webinars
Reducing breast cancer risk by reducing chemical exposures

Personal care products (PCPs) such as shampoo, deodorant, and fragrance often contain xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are industrial chemicals, such as parabens and phthalates, which have estrogenic activity. Estrogenic overstimulation can be carcinogenic in human breast tissue.
 . . .

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Jul 18
2023

What’s new
Reflections on science, policy & prevention

By Rachel Massey, ScD
Senior Science & Policy Advisor, CHE

Since I joined CHE late last year, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and think about the role the Collaborative plays in the environmental health space. As we move that work forward in the months ahead, I'll periodically discuss emerging research and share perspectives here on the CHE blog.  . . .

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Jun 29
2023

What’s new
Kids and chemicals: PFAS exposure and the metabolism

In a recent webinar hosted by CHE-Alaska, Dr. Jesse Goodrich presented the results of a study that comprehensively examined effects of exposures to mixtures of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on human metabolisms — with a particular focus on children and young adults.  . . .

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Jun 22
2023

What’s new
One fell swoop: Choosing solutions that address multiple crises

By Kristin Schafer, MA
Director, Collaborative for Health & Environment

I recently returned from some weeks in Canada, on Cape Breton Island at the old family farm. As always, it was lovely to connect with the land and woods, catch up with rural neighbors, hear the chorus of “peepers” in the evening, and enjoy periodic sightings of local foxes, coyotes and bears.  . . .

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Jun 7
2023

What’s new
Childhood glyphosate exposure linked to metabolic disorders

Use of the herbicide glyphosate has increased significantly over the past 20 years. With this increased exposure comes increased risk of human health effects.  . . .

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