The Future of Public Health Under President Trump: How Sidelining Science Threatens Vulnerable Communities & Children

August 15, 2017
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

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On Tuesday, August 15, CHE-Alaska hosted a call with guest presenters Juan Declet-Barreto and Dr. Frederica Perera for a discussion of how the Trump Administration is sidelining science, why we should be concerned, and what we can do to protect environmental health and justice. 

On this call, Juan Declet-Barreto, Kendall Science Fellow with the Union of Concerned Scientists, discussed how the Trump Administration has been sidelining science since day one, how this is hurting public health, and the detrimental impacts of disregarding environmental justice in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget. We were also joined by Dr. Frederica Perera, professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Dr. Perera talked about how a host of chemicals and pollutants readily travel across the placenta from mother to fetus, pre-polluting a baby even before birth, and why we should be spending more on research and prevention of those threats, not less. We found out why we need more testing of chemicals before they are marketed and how President Trump's plans to slash the EPA budget poses a threat to our children’s health and future. 

Featured Speakers


Juan Declet-BarretoJuan Declet-Barreto, PhD, joined UCS in January of 2016 as a joint Kendall Science Fellow for the Climate & Energy program and the Center for Science and Democracy. He partners with environmental justice groups and activists to research the potential effects of carbon trading on disadvantaged communities, as individual states begin implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Before joining UCS, Dr. Declet-Barreto spent two years as a climate and health research fellow with the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he helped link climate change to adverse health impacts, with a special attention on low-income communities, and communities populated predominantly by people of color. His research maps, analyzes, and finds solutions to the unequal human health and livelihood impacts of environmental hazards, particularly those exacerbated by climate change.

Dr. Declet-Barreto earned a Ph.D. in environmental social sciences, M.A. and B.S. degrees in geography, and an associate’s degree in geographic information systems, from Arizona State University.


Frederica PereraFrederica P. Perera, PhD, DrPH, MPH, is professor of Environmental Health Sciences and serves as director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology, utilizing biomarkers to understand links between environmental exposures and disease. Currently, she and her colleagues are applying advanced molecular and imaging techniques within longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women and their children, with the goal of identifying preventable environmental risk factors for developmental disorders, asthma, obesity and cancer in childhood. These include toxic chemicals, pesticides and air pollution, with particular focus on adverse effects of prenatal and early childhood exposures. Her areas of specialization include prevention of environmentally related developmental disorders and disease in children, cancer prevention through the use of novel biomarkers, environment-susceptibility interactions, and risk assessment. Her recent research is also addressing the multiple impacts on children's health and development of fossil fuel combustion--both from the toxic pollutants emitted and climate change related to CO2 emissions. She is the author of over 350 publications, including 300 peer-reviewed articles, and has received numerous honors.


This call was hosted by the CHE-Alaska Partnership. It lasted for 60 minutes and was recorded for the call and webinar archive.