Collaborative on Health and the Environment - Washington Biweekly Bulletin June 2, 2010
This bulletin lists upcoming events plus recent announcements, news and journal articles,calls for proposals and other items related to learning environmental contributors tohuman health in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. They are archived andsearchable on our website:
CHE-WA Highlights CHE-WA Meeting Recap The Washington State Chapter of the national Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-WA) held a well-attended meeting on May 26th at Antioch University. The featured speaker was Cindy Sage, coordinator of the national Collaborative on Health and the Environment working group on electromagnetic fields. Cindy gave an excellent presentation: The World Health Organization's Just-released Cell Phone Study: Case For Precaution? The presentation handout is now available on and additional information is available from a previous presentation Cindy gave for a on issues related to The Information Age and EMF/RF Illness. The INTERPHONE study, coordinated by WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, is a series of studies on cell phone usage and brain tumors in humans. Begun in 2000 and conducted in 13 countries (not the US), it was finally released May 18, 2010, and received a range of responses from headlines such as "Heavy mobile users risk cancer" to "No proof of mobile phone cancer link." Cindy helped us sort through the media hype and understand the science in the study as well as encourage us to answer questions: What is the right response by our government and our health agencies? What should we do next? What precautions can we take? If you have a cell or cordless phone, a wireless laptop or wireless routers, WI-FI at work/school/office, or the new PDAs including BlackBerry, Treo and iPhone units, this is a subject worthy of consideration. The talk was followed by regional environmental health updates covering several specific topics: 2010 Washington legislative Update: bisphenol-A and beyond from Anna Davis, CHE-WA Children's Environmental Health working group update from Gail Gensler, American Lung Association of Washington from Aileen Gagney, and CHE national's report on biomonitoring and learning/developmental disabilities from Elise Miller. We ended with announcements and consideration of topics for the next meeting this fall. New Resource on Chemical Policy Reform CHE has created a new webpage with information on upcoming teleconferences, legislation and analysis; the initial focus will be on the "Safe Chemicals Act of 2010."
New members CHE-Washington welcomes these new members:
Susan Boone, SeattleTami Giles, TumwaterTerri Hansen, Portland, OregonSusan Heffernan, RN, MN, SeattleAnn Johnson, MFA, ClintonKinga Kosny, Clawson, Michigan
For a searchable database of organizations with which CHE-WA members are affiliated,please visit the CHE-WA website:
Lessons Learned Environmental Justice - or Rather, Injustice by Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT The EPA defines environmental justice as the "fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." Image from NIEHS. Many place the start of the environmental justice movement in 1982 in Warren County, North Carolina. State officals decided that the ShoccoTownship would be the perfect site for a hazardous waste landfill that would receive 30,000 cubic yards of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated soil. The state, with the permission of the EPA, built the hazardous waste dump only 7 feet above the water table instead of the requried 50 feet. The local residents, mostly rural and poor African Americans, were joined in protest by national civil rights groups, environmental groups, clergy and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. African American civil rights activist Benjamin Chavis described this incident as environmental racism, refering to the enactment or enforcement of any policy, practice, or regulation that negatively affects the environment of low-income and/or racially-homogeneous communities at a disparate rate than affluent communities. In 1987, in a defining report, the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice explored the idea of environmental racism in "Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States." Environmental injustice and environmental racism are still prevalent in the US and worldwide as one group of people is exploted to benefit another. The just and fair treatment of all people and the environment is essential for a sustainable world. Learn more about Environmental Justice: Looking back to go forward Lessons Learned is a CHE-WA bulletin feature focusing on an historical event that provides an important lesson for ensuring a more sustainable and healthy environment. Please feel free to send suggestions to. Announcements A daily news feed with articles and announcements is available on CHE's website:
The Environmental Protection Agency offers three competitive awards. Applications aredue Friday, October 8, 2010.
This comprehensive human health and exposure risk assessment on dioxin, one of themost toxic environmental contaminants, aims to protect the health of the Americanpublic. The draft report will now undergo scientific peer review by independent, externalexperts as well as public review and comment. [See related articles: , one about the legacy of dioxin inAgent Orange:
State policies that promote health, education, and strong families can help the early
development and school readiness of America's youngest citizens. These profiles highlightstates' policy choices alongside other contextual data related to the well-being of youngchildren.
The action plan defines the goal of ending childhood obesity in a generation as returningto a childhood obesity rate of just 5 percent by 2030, which was the rate beforechildhood obesity first began to rise in the late 1970s. In total, the report presents aseries of 70 specific recommendations, many of which can be implemented right away.
The National Environmental Education foundation has launched an initiative designed tohelp pediatricians and other health care professionals to improve children's health by"prescribing" outdoor activity. Research indicates that unstructured outdoor activities mayimprove children's health by increasing physical activity, reducing stress, and serving asa support mechanism for attention disorders.
This survey asks K-12 school nurses about common school environmental issues:pesticides, sinks, windows, carpeting in classes, drinking water, chemical spills, cleaning,radon testing, asbestos, renovation and more.
Earthjustice has two openings, one for a legislative counsel and one for an associatelegislative counsel to work on advocacy for, and analysis of, federal rulemakings, policiesand legislation regarding natural resource adaptation on federal public lands. Upcoming Events Online Calendar. These and more upcoming events, including calls for proposals and for abstracts, are listed in a searchable calendar: 1) Toxic America Wednesday and Thursday, June 3 and 4, 2010 8:00 p.m. Eastern time
Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosts the two-part television program revealing devastating resultsfrom a year-long investigation. Wednesday night highlights "Toxic Towns", delving intothe environmental health and justice problems plaguing the community of Mossville,Louisiana. Mossville is not an isolated example, but instead a poster child for a brokenchemical safety system. Thursday night highlights "Toxic Childhood" and features"Healthy Child, Healthy World" founders Jim and Nancy Chuda, Scientific Advisor Dr. PhilLandrigan, and HCHW's "A Wake-Up Story" video. This second part of the series revealsthe effect toxics have on unborn babies. 2) The Promise and Problems of Nuclear Energy Thursday June 3, 2010 12:30 - 1:20 p.m. Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington HSB T-435
Sponsor: University of Washington Department of Environmental and OccupationalHealth Sciences
The speaker will be Julia Sober, Health Physicist and Compliance Analyst at the
University of Washington EH&S, Radiation Safety
Contact: Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, 206-543-6991
3) Seattle Green Festival Saturday and Sunday, June 5 - 6, 2010 Seattle, Washington at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center, 800 Convention Place
Sponsor: Global Exchange, Green America, and the City of Seattle led by the Office ofSustainability and the Environment
Celebrating its third year, Seattle Green Festival is an energetic weekend of eco-innovations and hands-on demonstrations focusing on putting green into daily routines. The festival will feature 175 speakers, 300 "screened for green" businesses, workshops,eco-fashion show, and great kids' activities. Discover some of the best green productsand services the Northwest has to offer. Festival participants can learn about cleantechnology, green building, socially responsible investing, renewable energy, greencareers, local food systems and farming, and organic lifestyle. And through SeattleClimate Action Now!, Clean & Green Seattle and the city's many other climate projects,you'll learn how neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are workingtogether to make their city a healthier place to live.
Contact: Jenny Heins, 206-533-7113 or via the
4) 26th International Neurotoxicology Conference Sunday through Thursday, June 6 - 10, 2010 Portland, Oregon at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
The conference theme is "Unifying Mechanisms of Neurological Disorders: Scientific,Translational, and Clinical Implications."
Contact: Jackie Jagers, Registrar, The Neurotoxicology Conference, 501-364-1248 or
5) Air Pollution - A Matter of the Heart Monday June 7, 2010 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Washington, DC and virtual at EPA East Building Room 1153
Sponsor: National Center For Environmental Research and the American HeartAssociation
Through decades of research, scientists have discovered links between air pollution andserious health effects. New research points to the heart as a major target of theseharmful impacts, with evidence linking air pollution to cardiovascular disease and evendeath. Join renowned scientists for a briefing on the latest research on air pollution and
cardiovascular health: 1) Bob Devlin (EPA) presents the major cardiac and respiratoryimpacts of exposure to air pollution; and 2) Joel Kaufman (University of Washington)presents the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Air Study (MESA Air), the largest,most expensive nationwide study of air pollution and health ever funded by EPA. It is theresult of a unique partnership with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. PleaseRSVP to receive instructions for webconferencing by June 2nd. 6) Catastrophic Risk Reduction through Inherently Safer Approaches Wednesday June 9, 2010 noon Pacific / 3:00 p.m. Eastern time
Sponsor: The Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network
The speaker will be Gerald Poje, PhD, a toxicologist and chemical safety consultantworking with government, environmental organizations, trade unions and foundations. 7) 2010 Seminar Series: A Conversation about Our Food and Eating Wednesday June 9, 2010 Reception 5:30 - 6:30; Program 6:30 - 8:30; Post Seminar Networking 8:30 - 9:00 Seattle, Washington Downstairs at Town Hall, Eighth and Seneca
Choosing and eating food is a significant personal activity that is common to all of us. The various ways that food is produced, distributed, regulated, marketed and consumedhave profound cultural, environmental, economic, political, health and social implications. Is it enough to "vote with your fork"? What would a sustainable food system look like?Join us as Mary Embleton, executive director of Cascade Harvest Coalition, and BrittYamamoto, a member of the core faculty at the Center for Creative Change at AntiochUniversity, discuss the many dimensions of food and eating. 8) Nanotechnology: A New Chapter in Environmental Health Sciences Thursday June 10, 2010 10:00 a.m. Pacific / 1:00 p.m. Eastern time
Sponsor: Collaborative on Health and the Environment
Over the past decade, nanomaterials have exploded onto the marketplace, ranging in usefrom teddy bears and tennis rackets to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. What do weknow about these materials and how are we addressing them from a public-healthstandpoint? The Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the Universityof California, San Francisco, recently released a draft version of their report, "ANanotechnology Policy Framework: Policy Recommendations for Addressing PotentialHealth Risks from Nanomaterials in California," which makes recommendations abouthow to face the new challenges to the policy and risk assessment process thatnanomaterials present because of their unique properties. The document draws uponlessons we can learn from past chemical policy experiences and other recent
nanotechnology reports in making recommendations for California. The final report is dueout the second week of June. Presenters on this call will cover what we know about theunique properties of nanomaterials, why we should be concerned, how nanotechnology isbeing addressed at the policy and public health level, and what the gaps are in ourknowledge. Presenters include Amber Wise, PhD, chemist and postdoctoral fellow in theProgram on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California, SanFrancisco; Jennifer Sass, PhD, senior scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council; andCarl Cranor, PhD, professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. 9) National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Meeting Tuesday June 15, 2010 1:00 p.m. Eastern time
Sponsor: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council
The discussion topic is EPA's activities related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, includingcleanup and recovery actions, and the impacts of the spill on coastal environmentaljustice communities. Registration is required by noon Eastern time on Friday June 11th. 10) NIEHS-EPA Symposium on Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease Monday and Tuesday, June 21 - 22, 2010 Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington Tower Auditorium, 4333 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Sponsor: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, US EnvironmentalProtection Agency, The Health Effects Institute
This is the fifth in a series of NIEHS-EPA "Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease"conferences held since 2001. Bringing together leading investigators in the area, thissymposium will provide a forum for research dissemination and critical discussion relatedto the mechanisms by which air pollution affects the inception, progression and nature ofcardiovascular diseases.
Price: $160 on or before June 1, 2010, or $200 after
News and Journal Articles Tuesday, June 01, 2010Now that more than 50,000 women have been recruited, Dale Sandler discusses whatcomes next for the Sister Study. Environmental Health Perspectives. Tuesday, June 01, 2010Based on this study and previous scientific literature it can be concluded thatperformance on simple tasks is less susceptible to the effects of noise than performanceon more complex tasks. Environmental Health. Tuesday, June 01, 2010Researchers report that adding certain spices to your burgers before tossing them on thegrill this summer will not only add to the flavor of the meat, but they can also cut therisk of cancer long associated with the cooking of beef. USA Today. [See another article about food and health: ]Tuesday, June 01, 2010Back in the days when better living through chemistry was a promise, not a bitter irony,nylon stockings replaced silk, refrigerators edged out iceboxes, and Americans becameincreasingly dependent on man-made materials. Scientific American. Tuesday, June 01, 2010If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it,according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group. CNN. [See related articles about pesticides:, Monday, May 31, 2010A growing body of research is linking five chemicals [BPA, phthalates, PFOA,formaldehyde and PDBEs] -- among the most common in the world -- to a host ofailments, including cancer, sexual problems and behavioral issues. CNN. [See related articles about one or more of these chemicals: ; ; and Monday, May 31, 2010This week, the U-S Environmental Protection Agency will release much-anticipated newrules limiting sulfur dioxide in the air. Environment Report. Sunday, May 30, 2010Simply put, people are susceptible to developing asthma because of their genes. Butpeople develop the disorder only after exposure to environmental factors that cause theirimmune systems to make their bronchial tubes inflamed and prone to attacks. Stroudsberg Pocono Record, Pennsylvania. [See a related journal article: news articles:Saturday, May 29, 2010Exercise can buffer the effects of stress-induced cell aging, according to new researchfrom UCSF that revealed actual benefits of physical activity at the cellular level. ScienceDaily. [See an article about environmental hazards of exercise: Saturday, May 29, 2010Pampers diapers, which include Cruisers and Swaddlers, are the subject of two U.S. lawsuits filed in mid-May and blamed for causing serious diaper rashes. The bad Pamperspress has shed light on the fact that parents are largely in the dark about the chemicalsfound in the disposable diapers their children wear. CBC Canada. Friday, May 28, 2010The US National Library of Medicine's Disaster Information Management Research Centercompiles information about oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. [See a related website related articles: , plus an article about a spill in California: Friday, May 28, 2010Only 32 out of Kenya's 178 local government authorities have a sewerage system.Thismeans that 142 local authorities around the country lack access to any form of seweragesystem and are therefore highly exposed to diseases, according to a report on the linkto health and environment. Nairobi Daily Nation, Kenya. [See a related announcement from the US Environmental Protection Agency: anotherarticle about hazards in sewage waste:Friday, May 28, 2010There's an invisible, odorless gas that kills 21,000 Americans every year. We've knownabout radon gas for a long time. But experts say we're still a long way from fixing theproblem. Environment Report. Thursday, May 27, 2010People who use tanning beds frequently have up to three times the risk of developingthe deadliest form of skin cancer -- no matter how old they are when they start --according to a study published today by researchers at the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota. [See a related article: an announcement about sun safety: Thursday, May 27, 2010Writing in the journal Pediatrics, researchers report on a disturbing rise in youngstersswallowing small button batteries. These are the newer, coin-shaped lithium based powersources that are found in toys and electronic games, hearing aids and watches. TimeMagazine. Wednesday, May 26, 2010A study in mice reveals that prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, likebisphenol-A (BPA) and diethylstilbestrol (DES), may program a fetus for life. Therefore,adult women who were exposed prenatally to BPA or DES could be at increased risk ofbreast cancer, according to a new study accepted for publication in Hormones & Cancer,a journal of The Endocrine Society. ScienceDaily. [See another article about breast cancer research: Wednesday, May 26, 2010With the temperatures heating up, a dip in the pool may sound like a good idea. Butbefore you do, a startling new CDC report found 1 in 8 public pools were unfit for use. KPSP News. [See a related article: Wednesday, May 26, 2010The amount of radio frequency energy -- a form of radiation emitted by cellphones andabsorbed by the body -- is nearly impossible to determine when buying a phone, a CBC-TV Marketplace investigation has found. Environmental Defence. [See a related article: others about other sources ofradiation: Wednesday, May 26, 2010Nearly all of the herbal dietary supplements tested in a Congressional investigationcontained trace amounts of lead and other contaminants, and some supplement sellersmade illegal claims that their products can cure cancer and other diseases, investigatorsfound. New York Times. [See a related article: onefrom the UAE:Wednesday, May 26, 2010"I think they were just trying to scare me and get me to back off," says Subra, a soft-spoken grandmother who has made it her life's mission to help communities fight againstchemical threats from industry. CNN. Tuesday, May 25, 2010A recent study done with 1,200 people, published in the journal Environmental Healthand Technology found that even just five minutes in a leafy park can significantly boostour mood. Well, it might be because we inhaled some bacteria among the leaves andgrass. Tuesday, May 25, 2010Smoke Free Babies, funded by grants from the state's First Five Commission and theSonoma County Health Department, offers support to pregnant women and newmothers. Santa Rosa Press Democrat, California. [See related articles: and another about the effects of smoking: Tuesday, May 25, 2010Public health officials are battling a host of new infectious threats to the nation's bloodsupply; officials are urging the U.S. government to adopt so-called pathogen-reductiontechnology that can kill a wide range of contaminants in blood after it has been donated. Wall Street Journal. Tuesday, May 25, 2010The shock and stress felt by pregnant women after the terrorist attacks on September11, 2001, may have contributed to an increase in miscarriages of male fetuses in theUnited States, according to a study released Monday. CNN. Monday, May 24, 2010Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speedat which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin Aor its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today. AOLNews. [See related articles about environmental agents and cancer growth:Monday, May 24, 2010Until now, nobody had studied whether getting several vaccinations in a short time couldhave negative consequences, for instance by overloading the immune system, as manyparents believe, according to Smith. Reuters Health. [See another article about vaccine controversy: Monday, May 24, 2010About once or twice a year, state officials deny cancer-data requests from the public inthe name of patient privacy. Columbus Dispatch, Ohio. [See a similar article from the UK:Sunday, May 23, 2010Nearly half of rural adults in Wisconsin have lost teeth from decay, compared to justover a third of urban adults. Adding fluoride to rural drinking water systems could closethat gap, health officials say. Madison Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin. [See an opposing view: Sunday, May 23, 2010Senate bill (S3378) authorizes health care for individuals exposed to environmentalhazards at Camp Lejeune and the Atsugi Naval Air Facility and establishes an advisoryboard to examine exposures to environmental hazards during military service. SalemNews, Oregon. [See a follow-up article: Saturday, May 22, 2010Patients whose doctors over-prescribe antibiotics may develop drug resistance that lastsup to a year, putting them and the population at risk when more serious treatment isneeded, scientists said on Wednesday. Reuters Health. Saturday, May 22, 2010Environmental exposures had been thought too challenging to systematically screen fordisease associations. But a team of researchers has created a method to look fordiabetes environmental risk factors the same way other scientists screen for geneticmarkers. Scientific American. [See related articles: Saturday, May 22, 2010A study conducted by a team at the Harvard School of Public Health found that autismwas nearly twice as common among the children of women who were treated with theovulation-inducing drug Clomid and other similar drugs than women who did not sufferfrom infertility. Time Magazine. [See related articles: Friday, May 21, 2010As officials from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry were questioned
at a Congressional hearing Thursday, the Government Accountability Office released areport that found the agency lacked policies in place to give a higher level of review tohazardous sites. New York Times. Friday, May 21, 2010Kudzu, a leafy vine native to Japan and southeastern China, produces the chemicalsisoprene and nitric oxide, which, when combined with nitrogen in the air, form ozone, anair pollutant that causes significant health problems for humans. Gannett News Service. [See another article about ozone pollution:Friday, May 21, 2010Emily de Reyna was barely older than a toddler when she started becoming a woman. Some pediatricians say they are seeing more cases of girls starting puberty earlier. Some have said it's because there are far more pesticides on food, hormones in milk oreven chemicals in plastics than in the past. Lansing WILX TV, Michigan. Friday, May 21, 2010Wind turbines don't make people sick, Ontario's chief medical officer of health says afterconducting a study of adverse health effects associated with the clean energy sources. Toronto Star, Ontario. Friday, May 21, 2010Although sunscreen is recommended for infants older than 6 months by the NationalInstitutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, there's growing concernthat some of the chemicals in the products are endocrine disruptors that may posehealth risks to children. McClatchy Newspapers. [See related articles: Thursday, May 20, 2010A U.S. House of Representatives hearing scheduled for this week will examine the waysthe National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry assesses, validates and releases public health documents, and toinquire about uses of flawed science and incomplete data in drawing public healthconclusions. encToday.com
Thursday, May 20, 2010Disease pattern-based evaluation, prevention, and treatment will require a change fromthe current approach for both immune safety testing and pediatric disease management. Environmental Health Perspectives. Thursday, May 20, 2010Walmart said Wednesday it is pulling an entire line of Miley Cyrus-brand necklaces andbracelets from its shelves after tests performed for The Associated Press found thejewelry contained high levels of the toxic metal cadmium. Associated Press. Thursday, May 20, 2010Arizona hospital admissions for stroke, asthma, heart attacks and angina fell more than10 percent in the year after a statewide smoking ban took effect, a new study says. Tucson Arizona Daily Star, Arizona. [See related articles from Washington State: China: ]Thursday, May 20, 2010Between 1 and 2 percent of children in the U.S. and Canada may have allergies topeanuts or tree nuts, with the U.S. rates seemingly on the rise, two new studiessuggest. Reuters Health. Thursday, May 20, 2010High-risk pregnancies are more likely in women who have difficulty getting pregnant,with or without help from hi-tech fertility treatments, new research finds. Reuters Health. Wednesday, May 19, 2010A family of common environmental contaminants, PCBs, can damage and break theimportant protein links between cells that line the intestine and form a protective barrierinto the body. Environmental Health News. Wednesday, May 19, 2010Even in water-rich Canada, water is becoming a bigger issue. As deaths and illnessesfrom contaminated water in Ontario showed 10 years ago, clean water isn't somethingyou can take for granted anywhere in the world. CBC Canada. [See related articles: ]Wednesday, May 19, 2010Some creams promising to lighten skin, eliminate age spots and zap freckles containhigh levels of mercury, a toxic metal that can cause severe health problems, a Tribuneinvestigation has found. Chicago Tribune, Illinois. [See a related article: and others aboutdifferent toxic substances in face creams: Wednesday, May 19, 2010There's new research about Bisphenol A; tests on 50 canned products from 19 statesreveal the presence of potentially dangerous levels of BPA. Philadelphia KYW TV,Pennsylvania. [See a related article: another about health effects ofBPA:
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment offers this information as a service butdoes not endorse any of the events, articles or announcements. Companion bulletins are available for different audiences:
For those interested in general children's environmental health:For those interested in environmental health and learning and developmentaldisabilities:
While there is overlap with this bulletin, there are some events and announcementsunique to those bulletins.
If you would like to join the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) and theWashington State Regional Group, please complete the application on the CHE website: CHE means receiving up tofour email messages a month from the CHE National listserv. CHE costs nothing to joinand the benefit is shared information and opportunities for further engagement, if you
choose. Be sure to mark that you want to join the Washington State regional group atthe bottom of the application. Collaborative on Health and the Environment
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