Log in - Help - April 18, 2014
CHE logo The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
This site WWW

Science and Civility
See our Mission statement.


CHE partner and science and environmental journalist wins Pulitizer

4/15/14: CHE congratulates Dan Fagin, author of "Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation" (Bantam Books), for being awarded the 2014 Pulitizer Prize for General Nonfiction. "Toms River" is a book reporting on a New Jersey seashore town’s cluster of childhood cancers linked to water and air pollution. In April 2013, Elise Miller, CHE's Director, interviewed Dan Fagin on a CHE Cafe call.
Read more

Listen to the CHE interview

CHE's new quarterly Top 10 environmental health stories now available

4/7/14: CHE offers this selection of research, news and announcements that were of special significance during the first quarter of 2014. Items include research that made a noteworthy contribution to the field, news and announcements that took a conversation to a new level and/or new audience and some welcome action. Visit the CHE blog to see this quarter's list. Comments welcome.

Video: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Leveraging Law to Facilitate Citizen Epidemiology

3/6/14: CHE Partners Phil Brown, Dick Clapp, Peggy M. Shepard and Wilma Subra were among those on a February 10th panel discussion at Brooklyn Law School about how community residents (that is, citizens of a place) who are experiencing health effects from industrial toxins can document exposures and hold industrial polluters accountable.
See the video

Read more about the roundtable discussion

See a related CHE call: Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age

CHE Director interviewed on NYC-based public radio on health and the exposome

During this interview on WBAI-New York, Elise Miller, CHE's director, discusses how the success in mapping the human genome has fostered interest in mapping the “exposome", a term coined to describe everything a person is exposed to starting at conception and includes lifestyle choices and well as chemical exposures. Elise further explains to health journalist, Liz Seegret, how the genome and the exposome, as well as the interactions between them, affect our health across the lifespan. This interview was based on Elise's "pioneer pitch" to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last October in New York City.
Listen to the interview

Read more about RWJF's Pioneer Pitch

Ecology of Breast Cancer

12/1/14: The Ecology of Breast Cancer: The Promise of Prevention and the Hope for Healing is a new book by Ted Schettler, MD, MPH that makes the case that breast cancer is a disease arising from diverse societal conditions. Although well-recognized risk factors and a person’s life style are important, they simply do not explain why many people develop the disease. Nor do they fully explain breast cancer patterns in populations.
Download the book (complete version or chapter-by-chapter)
Listen to the CHE call featuring Dr. Schettler
Listen to the New School conversation featuring Dr. Schettler


CHE regularly highlights the work of our Partners here in our Partner Spotlight.

Vi Waghiyi is a St. Lawrence Island Yupik mother and grandmother, Native Village of Savoonga Tribal Member, and Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), which is also the organizational host of CHE's Alaska Working Group. In this CHE Partner Spotlight, Vi discusses her work addressing environmental contamination and its impact on human health in Alaska.

What inspired you to begin working in the field of environmental health, and in your current work in particular?

I am a Yupik mother of four boys and a grandmother from Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, located in the northern Bering Sea. Our people have maintained a traditional culture of reliance on traditional foods from the land and sea that provide physical, cultural, and spiritual sustenance.

I learned about the high levels of PCBs in our people in a news article in the Anchorage Daily News when I was a stay-at-home mom. This touched me personally because so many family members and friends from my community, including my parents, have suffered and died of cancer. I have had three miscarriages. I am inspired by this awareness and what I have come to learn about the contamination from military and distant sources and making the connection with the illnesses suffered by my people. I was brought up in a culture of caring where people work together. We were wronged by the US military and corporations that have contaminated my people without our consent. We are the victims of environmental violence. This goes against my culture and upbringing. I am inspired to hold the military and other polluters accountable and to achieve justice. I am inspired to work for the health and well-being of my people and our future generations.

What is your primary mission in your current work?

My primary mission is to make changes to the broken system of laws and also the health care system that has resulted in such health disparities in my people and all vulnerable communities. Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) along with our community leaders and two universities is conducting a community-based participatory research project supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences entitled: Protecting Future Generations—Assessing and Preventing Exposures to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. We are working to empower my communities through research, education, and training. We are also working to ensure full participation in decision-making so that our voices are heard by policy makers in the state, as well as nationally, and internationally. Another important priority for our work is to address the inadequacies of the health care system, improve health care, diagnosis, and treatment for the illnesses suffered by my people that are connected to harmful exposures.

Continue reading...

Read past interviews.

Visit the CHE blog Visit CHE's Facebook page
EHN News
17 Apr China's babies at risk from soot, smog. China?s smoke-belching coal plants and heavy traffic may be signs of a bustling economy but health experts fear the country?s dirty air is hurting its babies. Evidence is mounting that coal and car emissions in China, as well as other developing countries, are raising the risks of premature babies, low birth weights and neural tube defects. Scientists say that the dangers begin in the womb. Environmental Health News.

17 Apr One year after Texas disaster, report looks at schools located near chemical facilities. A new study released Wednesday finds there are almost 10,000 schools across the country located within a mile of a chemical facility. Huffington Post.

17 Apr Household rat poison linked to death and disease in wildlife. The sickly condition of California's famous cougar is likely to intensify the debate over the use of rat poisons in areas of the state where urban living collides with nature. Los Angeles Times.

17 Apr Measuring Africa?s air pollution. When Jenny Linden, an air quality scientist, tried to measure the pollution in Burkina Faso?s capital city, one of her instruments clogged up. It was designed for road dust in Arizona, but the dust in Ouagadougou far exceeded the machine?s limit. New York Times.

17 Apr Illinois could be first state to ban microbeads. Tiny plastic particles found in many facial cleansers and soaps meant to cleanse and smooth skin would be phased out of products sold in Illinois by 2018 in a measure being advanced through the state legislature. Chicago Tribune.

17 Apr US Supreme Court could make it harder for victims of hazardous pollutants to get justice. Later this month, the Supreme Court will consider whether a federal environmental law should override a North Carolina state law that cuts off a company's liability 10 years after its last contaminating act. The decision could have big implications for corporate America. Huffington Post.

17 Apr Toxicology: The plastics puzzle. When toxicologists warned that the plastics ingredient BPA might be harmful, consumers clamoured for something new. But problems persist. Nature.

17 Apr Radioactive waste booms with fracking as new rules mulled. Oilfields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take. Bloomberg News.

17 Apr US looks to Europe to make oil refineries safer. Domestic oil refiners can learn from Europe as pressure grows to reduce accidents at plants in Louisiana and the nation, safety experts say. New Orleans Louisiana Weekly.

17 Apr BP and Coast Guard issue conflicting statements about status of Gulf cleanup. On Tuesday night, BP said that the ?active cleanup? of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had been brought ?to a close.? Later Tuesday night, the Coast Guard said the response to the spill isn?t over yet, ?not by a long shot.? Washington Post.


The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
c/o Commonweal, PO Box 316, Bolinas, CA 94924
For questions or comments about the website, email: info@healthandenvironment.org