Cumulative Impacts on Health: New Community-Based Research Projects

June 9, 2011
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Cumulative Impacts Project
The site assembles the latest science, emerging best practices, analytical tools, and legal shifts that can reduce cumulative harm to the planet, communities, and people. It features a unique search system meant to facilitate self-education on the range of topics related to cumulative impacts. The site is a centerpiece of a collaborative project between SEHN and CHE to develop precautionary policies that will prevent and reduce the cumulative effect of numerous adverse impacts on public health or ecosystems from environmental hazards.

Listen to Recording

Multiple aspects of the environment in which we live, learn, work and play can impact our health. However, the general practice of governmental agencies and policymakers responsible for protecting public health and the environment is to focus on one factor at a time, and more specifically, one chemical contaminant at a time. For many years, the environmental justice movement and local communities have advocated for the consideration of multiple exposures and cumulative impacts in environmental policy and regulatory decisions. The emerging science, in fact, affirms what these advocates have been calling for—explicitly, the need to take into account interacting concerns, such as socioeconomic, nutritional and psychosocial factors along with multiple toxic exposures, if we are to improve public health.

CHE and SEHN hosted this conference call featuring researchers, recently funded by the US EPA, who are working with poor and underserved communities to determine how multiple stressors such as hazardous chemicals, poor nutrition and lower socioeconomic status undermine their health as well as what interventions could be implemented to create healthier, more resilient communities.

Featured Speakers

Jane Clougherty, MSc, ScD, University of Pittsburgh Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and community partner Peggy Shepard, Executive Director, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc

Rob Laumbach, MD, MPH, CIH, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health and Cynthia Mellon, Ironbound Community Corporation

John Levy, Boston University School of Public Health and community partner Maria Mojica, Program Assurance and Community Outreach Specialist, NorthStar Learning Centers

Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, US EPA National Center for Environmental Research

The call was moderated by Elise Miller, MEd, CHE Director.

Special note: This was the first call in a 2-part series co-sponsored by CHE and the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN) featuring EPA-funded researchers and their community partners discussing cumulative impacts research projects on a community level. The second call was held on June 16, 2011.