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A Story of Health Wins CDC Communications AwardA Story of Health award

2/5/16: The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have honored A Story of Health  multimedia eBook/continuing education course with an ”Excellence in communications” award. NCEH and ATSDR are agencies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The award was given at the annual NCEH/ATSDR Honor Awards on February 3, 2016 to A Story of Health Team for excellence in communication for the development of a medical education product that highlights the importance of environmental health. Read the full story on CHE's blog.

Remembering Richard Levins

1/27/16: Richard Levins, John Rock Professor of Population Sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, died January 19, 2016 at 85. He was known throughout his lengthy career for his ability to make connections between seemingly disparate topics such as biology and political theory. An ex-tropical farmer turned ecologist, biomathematician, and philosopher of science, Levins described the subject matter he focused on as “looking at the whole.” Read Dr. Levins' full obituary. Visit Dr. Levin's website.

CHE's Chemical Policy Reform webpage updated

1/11/16: After years of pressure by nonprofits and others to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—an act that has proven highly ineffective at protecting public health since its enactment in 1976—both houses of the US Congress passed different versions of a bill intended to improve TSCA in 2015.

In an effort to adhere to CHE’s mission of providing a neutral and civil forum for discussing emerging environmental health science and its implications for potential policy decisions, we have updated our Chemical Policy Reform webpage to include news coverage as well as analyses by several groups, some of which argue in favor of the Senate and House bills and others oppose them. It is important to note that though CHE does not take a stance on specific legislation, CHE’s consensus statement makes it very clear that we support the most health-protective policies based on the best available science. In this context, we provide these different perspectives simply to encourage readers to review the links closely and draw their own conclusions about the potential efficacy and impacts of the proposed bills.

CHE quarterly Top 10 list now available

1/7/16: This is the last of CHE’s public quarterly Top 10 lists. We have selected studies and issues that we feel are significant in the field of environmental health, either because of their impact, their implications or their insight. Topics are listed in no particular order. This quarter's list includes the COP21 Paris climate agreement, a number of studies on the scope and health impacts of air pollution, the renewed attention on lead poisoning due to the water contamination in Flint, MI, and many other stories of note. Comments are welcome, as is always true with our blog posts. View the list.

A Story of Health

New multimedia eBook
receives high praise

4/23/15: Your health. The environment. What’s the story? CHE and partners have created A Story of Health multimedia eBook to investigate just that.

The eBook is usable by parents and individuals who have no formal training in science or medicine, but it also has layers of additional information and materials for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians who want to dig deeper. In fact, free continuing education credits are available for health professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

A Story of Health has received high praise from health leaders across the country. Brian Linde, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, said, “This is a fantastic resource. It is compelling, educational, and engaging, and will absolutely make a difference.” Lawrence Rosen, MD, Founder of The Whole Child Center, added, “A Story of Health is the most engaging and compelling environmental health resource I’ve experienced. I recommend it for all who care our planet and the impact we have on its health—and vice versa.” Read more testimonials about the value of A Story of Health.

A Story of Health was developed by ATSDR, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), the University of California, San Francisco, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (UCSF PEHSU), the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California EPA (OEHHA), and the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN).

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EHN News
6 Feb Review: He was not a scientist. In the 1950?s, Frank Baxter was not a TV icon on the scale of Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, or Milton Berle. But he was a familiar fixture in American living rooms, thanks to a series of shows in which he played the quintessential smart guy. Baxter, who warned of human impact on Earth?s climate almost 60 years ago, is a reminder of a time when TV did more teaching. Environmental Health News.

6 Feb How smog is putting a damper on Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year, which falls on February 8, is going to be a little quieter and a bit less jubilant this year as Chinese cities ban fireworks to combat the country?s increasingly dire smog problem. CityLab.

6 Feb Another U.S. House panel plans Flint hearing. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Republican Rep. Fred Upton of St. Joseph, said Friday it intends to hold a March hearing on the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint. Detroit News.

6 Feb Washington State Senate bill would name agriculture whistleblowers. Are Washington farmers being bullied by anonymous informants who report suspected pollution to the state Department of Ecology, or do those tips allow people to report important concerns without fear of retaliation? Yakima Herald Republic.

6 Feb Fall in number of oil rigs drilling in US speeds up. The decline in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the US accelerated sharply this week, as companies adjusted to the latest slump in the price of crude. Financial Times.

6 Feb Eating soy may protect against reproductive effects of BPA. Eating soy foods may help protect against reproductive effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in many plastic consumer products and lining the inside of some canned foods, according to a study of women undergoing fertility treatments. Reuters.

6 Feb Beyond Flint: in the south, another water crisis has been unfolding for years. It's not simply Flint that has bad water. The Michigan city, which has grabbed headlines recently for its rampant water contamination, is joined in that dubious distinction by another town, much farther south: St. Joseph, La. National Public Radio.

6 Feb Montana tribe?s water deal clears major Senate milestone. Seven years ago, Montana legislators approved a water compact with the Blackfeet that was decades in the making. But it took until this week for a Senate committee to approve a bill that could make that deal a reality for the tribe, whose reservation is next to Glacier National Park. It was the first major Indian water settlement to get even this far since 2010. High Country News.

6 Feb Fracking bad for Florida. Florida lawmakers wanted to send a positive message last month by passing a huge water bill during the first week of the legislative session, committing tens of millions of dollars to clean up the natural springs and generate new supplies of drinking water for the state's most crowded areas. But now they are headed in the opposite direction by pushing to expand fracking, an aggressive form of oil drilling that could threaten the drinking water supply, damage private property and hurt Florida's tourist economy. Tampa Bay Times.

6 Feb The Republican refusal to aid Flint. The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has elicited a lot more hand-wringing and apologies than concrete actions to provide for the needs of children and adults whose health may be damaged by water from pipes that are leaching lead into taps all over the city. New York Times.


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