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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.
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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.
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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.

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EHN News
23 Apr Texas freezes agency's funding after air pollution data released. A few casual words and the early release of some scientific data have cost the San Antonio region much-needed state funds to battle its growing air pollution problem. The misstep, which appears to have been unintentional, highlights the sensitivity of studying oil and gas pollution in business-friendly Texas. Center for Public Integrity, Inside Climate News, Weather Channel.

23 Apr New map could refocus California's pollution battles. The California Environmental Protection Agency has released a statewide list of census tracts most burdened by pollution, providing a first-of-its-kind ranking certain to pressure regulators to clean up neighborhoods with long-standing health risks. Los Angeles Times.

23 Apr US urged to tackle lead in aviation gasoline. Consumer advocates, public health workers and environmental groups here are calling on the federal government to take a formal step towards regulating the use of lead in aviation gasoline, despite a failure to do so for nearly two decades. The United States is one of the few countries that continue to allow the use of lead in aviation gasoline. Inter Press Service.

23 Apr Suit alleges shoe boxes contain ingredient in rat repellent. A major manufacturer of anti-fungal products has filed suit in Los Angeles against a competitor, contending that hundreds of thousands of shoe boxes coming into U.S. ports each day could contain a chemical used in rat repellent. Los Angeles Times.

23 Apr One man's obsession with EPA and toxic waste in his neighborhood leads all the way to the Supreme Court. For most of the past decade, Tate MacQueen has dedicated himself to getting toxic waste left in his Asheville, N.C., neighborhood cleaned up. MacQueen isn't just angry with the former owner of the facility, CTS Corp, but also EPA, which he says has criminally mismanaged the site. Greenwire.

23 Apr Baltimore, other big cities back EPA in Bay cleanup dispute. Baltimore has joined with other major U.S. cities in defending the federal government's authority to impose a "pollution diet" on the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore Sun.

23 Apr Brushing teeth with sewer water next step as Texas faces drought. Wichita Falls, a city of more than 104,000, suffering the worst drought on record, is about to become the first place in the U.S. to treat sewage and pump it directly back to residents. Bloomberg News.

23 Apr In South Carolina, leaders reconsider drilling along the coastline. The push to start drilling in the Atlantic Ocean is gaining momentum and dividing people along the grand coast of South Carolina, where some local leaders fear what it could mean for tourism. McClatchy Newspapers.

23 Apr Want to stop climate change? Take the fossil fuel industry to court. Big Carbon is thought to be taking climate-change lawsuits very seriously - especially after a federal appeals court found in 2005 that U.S. cities and even individuals suffering economic and other damages from climate change had standing to sue under the National Environmental Policy Act. Nation.

23 Apr Better climate data could help Tanzania curb malaria. Tanzania is enlisting climate data in a new approach to curbing malaria. Enhancing National Climate Services is designed to identify long-term drivers of the disease by compiling historical climate data and making it available for analysis by health policy-makers. Reuters.


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