Post category: reproductive health
Celebrating CHE’s Legacy & Future
Last Saturday afternoon, longtime environmental health leaders gathered in the Commonweal gallery in Bolinas, California to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE).
What an amazing roomful of people. . . .
After Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski and I published Our Stolen Future in 1996, we got “slapped” by one of the most prominent science journalists of the day, Gina Kolata writing for the New York Times. Among her criticisms was that one chemical can’t cause a plethora of diseases. It was one chemical, one disease, like asbestos and mesothelioma. . . .
My passion for environmental health and justice took hold twenty years ago in college at the University of California, Berkeley, where I learned of the disproportionate health problems faced by communities that have been historically marginalized — many of which included low-income residents, immigrants, black, indigenous, or people of color. . . .
Cynthia Curl, PhD, MS knows about pesticides. In fact, it has been a topic of research for her for the last 15 years. While much of her work now compares levels of pesticide exposures among consumers of organic versus conventional produce, that isn’t initially where her research began.
“I didn’t start out studying diet or organic food, I really started out looking at pesticide exposures among farm workers and their families. I was working with the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, whose mission is…to improve farm worker health. [But,] we had this unexpected finding where we had some kids in Seattle with higher exposures [to pesticides] than kids in farming communities out in Eastern Washington, and it took us a while to even come up with some ideas about why this may be. Ultimately, I started to suspect that it was diet just because of their differences in socioeconomic status and differences in dietary patterns that their parents reported,” Dr. Curl shares. . . .
Ami Zota, ScD, MS has been working in the environmental health world since she was an undergraduate, and a main focus of her work has been looking at the intersection of environmental health and environmental justice.
Much of her research has specifically focused on “[characterizing] exposure to a wide range of environmental hazards in the general population with a real emphasis on identifying vulnerable populations or highly exposed populations,” Dr. Zota says. . . .
Meet our 20 Pioneers under 40 in Environmental Public Health: Courtney Carignan, PhD
Courtney Carignan, PhD, got interested in the field of environmental health, and toxic chemicals more specifically, while she was doing work as an environmental consultant and risk assessor after college. One day when she was doing some indoor air monitoring she had to remove chemicals and paint cans in order to do the testing and wondered about their safety. . . .
This report from the NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Centers highlights some of the important contributions the centers have made toward reducing the burden of environmentally induced or exacerbated diseases placed on children. The report provides examples of success in the community and in support of public health. It is organized in three section:
- Health outcomes, presenting scientific findings from the Children’s Centers on diseases that sometimes affect children
- Environmental exposures, presenting research findings on chemicals and pollutants children are commonly exposed to through air, water and food.
- Hallmark features, highlighting the unique features that have facilitated the work of the Children’s Centers and advancements in the field.
We wanted to find the best young researchers and advocates who might change the future of environmental health. So, we asked a panel of luminaries in environmental health to nominate rising stars who are doing pioneering work. After a rigorous selection process, we invited 20 of these nominees to be our 20 Pioneers under 40 in Environmental Public Health.
This month, we held our first webinar in the series. In addition to these presentations, we got to sit down and learn a little bit more about the researchers. While we did talk about their research, we also learned how they first got interested in the field and what this work means to them, plus a few tips for staying healthy.
Todd Whitehead, PhD, works at the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) at the University of California, Berkeley. He initially got involved in this work by looking at flame-retardants in consumer products. . . .
A New Chapter in A Story of Health!
Reiko and Toshio are a Japanese-American couple in their early 30s who met in college and later married. They have been trying to have a child for about a year and feel frustrated that Reiko is not yet pregnant. They are not alone—infertility is not uncommon.
Follow Reiko and Toshio as they explore what may be contributing to their infertility and their options for interventions. Their story is the newest chapter in A Story of Health multimedia eBook, available at no cost. This eBook uses videos, infographics and articles by experts to illustrate where and how we live, work, and play can influence reproductive health. Written for health care providers, prospective parents, health advocates, policy makers and others concerned about environmental influences on reproductive health, the story includes links to additional resources and scientific references on each page.
Health professionals can register for free continuing education credits (CE) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with ATSDR hosting the CE accreditation pages.
The first installment of the eBook, with chapters on asthma, developmental disabilities and childhood leukemia, is also available to download for free, either in total or as individual chapters.
A Story of Health has been developed in a collaboration among the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) at the University of California, Berkeley, Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California EPA (OEHHA), the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN), and the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU).
Parents say they are concerned about environmental health threats, yet most pediatric care providers do not offer prevention strategies during office visits. Why? Many providers report they feel ill-equipped to educate families about common exposures. In an effort to fill the need for environmental health information, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units and Physicians for Social Responsibility have launched the Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT). The PEHT, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is based on material in the AAP "Green Book". This free and up-to-date resource offers trusted information at your fingertips.