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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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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.

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EHN News
18 Apr Washington governor weighs tenfold increase in cancer risk for fish eaters. How much risk of cancer from eating fish is too much? Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has privately advanced a proposal that would likely pass legal muster but that worries Indian tribes and environmentalists. It would allow a tenfold increase in allowable cancer risk under the law. InvestigateWest.

18 Apr Industry heavyweights come to Vermont to oppose toxic chemicals bill. Global technology giant IBM has joined the opposition to a Vermont proposal to regulate chemicals in children?s products that the state?s health department considers harmful. VTDigger.

18 Apr Lowe's agrees to $500,000 fine to settle claims of lead paint rules violations. Lowe's Home Centers has agreed to pay a $500,000 federal penalty in settling claims that its contractors in at least nine states broke environmental rules for addressing lead paint dust during home renovation projects, two federal agencies announced Thursday. Associated Press.

18 Apr Ranchers and tribes? Klamath agreement shifts the hard work to Congress. Congress will soon be charged with solving decades of water conflicts in the Klamath Basin - an arid region spanning Southern Oregon and Northern California. EarthFix.

18 Apr China seeks solution to providing clean drinking water supplies. Large colonies of micro-organisms - some capable of causing serious disease - have been discovered inside pipelines carrying drinking water to homes in most major mainland cities. South China Morning Post.

18 Apr Water policy: Major Obama proposal doesn't change farm rules. Agriculture is different, Congress decided when passing the 1972 Clean Water Act. For the most part, the people who grow the country's food can plow their fields, build roads, spread fertilizer and drain water off their crops without needing a permit for filling in wetlands or washing pollutants into streams. Greenwire.

18 Apr Compensation battle rages four years after BP's US oil spill. Four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over. Reuters.

18 Apr China's coal boom is slowing ? that's a huge deal for climate change. How much global warming will we get in the future? That largely depends on how much extra carbon-dioxide humans put in the atmosphere. And that ? in large part ? hinges on how much coal China ends up burning in the years ahead. Vox.

18 Apr Michael Mann, U. of Virginia win FOIA case. Unpublished research by university scientists is exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting an attempt by skeptics of global warming to view the work of a prominent climate researcher. Washington Post.

18 Apr Drunken trees: Dramatic signs of climate change. Sarah James, an Alaska Native elder, says global warming is radically changing her homeland. Even the forests no longer grow straight. Melting ground has caused trees to tilt or fall. National Geographic News.


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