P30 Center Member, Homero Harari, was an NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01) awardee for his study “Safe and Just Cleaners: Reducing exposure to toxic cleaning chemical products among low wage immigrant Latino community members.” Recent research has documented the health impacts of common cleaning chemicals, including skin and respiratory irritation and asthma, as well as potential reproductive effects and cancer. Nonetheless, the production and distribution of these products continues to expand. In response public health actions have aimed to reduce exposures through substituting use of environmentally safer products in public buildings and schools and encouraging development of certified environmentally safer product labels. While these initiatives have been successful at reaching certain groups of workers and consumers, low wage domestic and other cleaning workers have been largely left out due to factors including knowledge, awareness, cost and accessibility. The Safe and Just Cleaners/Limpieza Sana y Justa Project aims to reduce this environmental health disparity by documenting exposures to cleaning agents among cleaning workers in the Latino immigrant worker community in NYC, as part of a collaborative University-Community partnership. The project will collect survey data to document exposures, values, knowledge and attitudes about potential hazards and self-reported health problems associated with the use of chemicals in consumer cleaning products among immigrant Latino workers. The project will then identify and evaluate, qualitatively and quantitatively, the conditions that can result in inhalation and dermal exposures to these products among immigrant Latino domestic cleaning workers. These findings will be used to develop and implement a multilevel strategic campaign to reduce exposures among low-wage Latino immigrant communities through local and national partnerships. Embedding this campaign within a workers’ rights and social justice perspective provides an approach that educates people about safer alternatives while simultaneously pursuing broader programmatic and policy initiatives to directly address the multi-layered influences of cleaners’ and the general public’s actions towards cleaning chemicals.
The Mount Sinai P30 Community Engagement Core (CEC) along with the Region 2 PEHSU has partnered with the University of Cincinnati P30 CEC and Region 5 PEHSU at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on a recently funded NIEHS P30 Supplement to more effectively integrate environmental health (EH) into clinical practice. We propose to incorporate EH education into electronic health records and web platforms which will allow clinicians to: (1) educate, counsel and refer families using evidence-based outreach and education from local, state and federal agencies including NIEHS CECs as well as the PEHSU national network, and (2) connect families to needed environmental health services to prevent and reduce common environmental exposures in the home. With input and meaningful involvement of our diverse expert panel spanning 4 CECs and 4 PEHSUs across federal Regions 1,2,3 and 5 (Harvard/Boston Children’s, University of Rochester, WEACT, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown School of Nursing), a major aim of this proposal is to bring CEC and PEHSU together to work collaboratively on communication tools that connect CEC resources to health care professionals.
On Oct. 14th, Mount Sinai CEC staff, Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, and Anthony Negron from the NY Hall of Science, led a one-day course titled “Citizen Science and Environmental Health in your Community ” a professional development session for NYC middle school teachers. The project was funded through the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYS P2I) Community Grant Award which will allow for CELF, CUNY, NYC DOE, and the Mount Sinai CEC to engage NYC public school students as environmental health researchers to collect and analyze air pollution data from their neighborhoods. During the workshop, the middle school teachers were introduced to the principles of Education for Sustainability and pedagogy of Citizen Science. Anthony Negron from the NY Hall of Science presented on the protocol for the AirBeam monitor and AirCasting app—teachers will then train their students to measure air quality in their school communities at different times of the day and different times of the year. The Mount Sinai Community Engagement Core led the Environmental Health and Civic Engagement portion of the workshop. Maida Galvez presented on the impact of pollution in relation to human and environmental health and Luz Guel presented on the role of research in environmental justice communities. Through this training, teachers will begin to work with their students to create pollution prevention plans that can inform public health interventions that promote healthy communities.
The Mount Sinai NIEHS Core Center has announced the awardees for its fourth call for Pilot Grant proposals. The Center’s mission is to increase the Environmental Health (EH) research portfolio at Mount Sinai and to bring non-EH researchers into the field through new transdisciplinary collaborations.
Two $50,000 grants, five $20,000 grants, and one $18,000 grant was awarded. To learn more about the funded the research projects for this year, visit our Funded Pilot Projects page.
The Parsons School of Design Healthy Materials Lab launched a certificate program composed of four self-paced online courses designed to provide architecture and design students with an understanding of the impact building materials can have on human health and the environment. The four courses cover information required in the design of more healthful interiors. Learning benefits and outcomes include the ability to: Compare products and materials used in the built environment, explain the importance of designing with less toxic materials, evaluate products and materials, identifying hazards and comparing suitable options, and set criteria, analyze product information, and specify materials. The program is intended to both complement existing Parsons Degree programs and serve as continuing education for professionals. Mount Sinai P30 Co-Director, Dr. Maida Galvez, was a featured speaker discussing building materials and impacts on children’s health. To learn more about the certificate program click here.
Congratulations to Dr. Jeanette Stingone, a postdoctoral fellow who received a K99 award from NIEHS effective July 1, 2017. The objective of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) is to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers complete needed training and transition to an independent tenure-track or equivalent faculty position. Mentored by multiple faculty within the P30 Center, including Drs. Susan Teitelbaum, Chris Gennings, Ghalib Bello, Luz Claudio and Gaurav Pandey, Dr. Stingone will address the critical research question of how prenatal exposure to air toxics can affect children’s cognitive health. Specifically, her grant focuses on developing analytic approaches that supplement epidemiologic methods with data science and machine learning techniques in order to advance research on combined environmental exposures and children’s health.
$195,000 in available pilot grant funding!
The Mount Sinai NIEHS Core Center announces its fourth call for Pilot Grant proposals. The Center’s mission is to increase the Environmental Health (EH) research portfolio at Mount Sinai and to bring non-EH researchers into the field through new transdisciplinary collaborations.
One $70,000 grant and five $25,000 grants will be disbursed to Mount Sinai researchers who are Core Center Members. Applications can be made to either grant program. The budget will determine which program is applicable. Research projects should deal with an issue relevant to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (e.g. metals, industrial solvents, endocrine disrupting chemicals, air pollution, pesticides etc.) Please see https://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/strategicplan/strategicplan2012_508.pdf for a description of NIEHS research priorities. Both basic research and population science applications are encouraged. Grantees will be expected to briefly report on research progress annually including subsequent extramural funding.
To view the Pilot Project Program Application click here.
For more information about our previously funded Pilot Projects click here.
The Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is pleased to announce that three environmental health partners were honored at the 2017 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Environmental Champions Awards Ceremony. They are the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF); the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Healthy Homes Program’s (HHP) Deborah Nagin, MPH; and Puerto Rico-based environmental health advocate and pediatrician Dr. Gredia Huerta-Montañez.
The Environmental Champion Award is the highest recognition presented to the public by EPA Region 2. It recognizes those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health. The award ceremony took place on May 19, 2017 at EPA headquarters in Lower Manhattan.
The Mount Sinai P30 Transdisciplinary Center on Health Effects of Early Environmental Exposures (TCEEE), directed by Robert O. Wright, MD, MPH and the PEHSU, directed by Maida P. Galvez, MD, MPH, have had the unique privilege of working with these awardees on projects to advance children’s health.
“We are thrilled that CELF, DOH HHP led by Deborah Nagin, and Dr. Gredia Huerta-Montañez are being recognized for their work promoting healthy environments for families, especially those most vulnerable,” said Maida Galvez. “We are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with true champions of public health and have learned much from our collaborative work together.”
The 19th Annual Child Health Research Day is a two-day program held annually in April and organized and sponsored with the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai, The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute, and the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health. This event aims to highlight the outstanding research activities of students, housestaff, clinical and research post-doctoral fellows, research staff, social workers, nurses and junior faculty. The day opened with an inspiring lecture from Dr. Donna M. Ferriero entitled “The Vulnerable Newborn Brain: Lessons from Neuroimaging,” then heard 9 brilliant young scientists present their research, and viewed poster presentations from 61 authors and their collaborators and 6 top poster presenters were selected for special recognition.
The Children’s Environmental Health Center hosted its 10th Annual Winter Symposium, “Decade of the Developing Brain” on February 24th, 2017 at The New York Academy of Medicine.
Physicians and researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discussed how early-life stress can disrupt development and negatively impact long-term health trajectories. The symposium featured talks on environmental and genetic factors and how they contribute to the etiology of autism and neurodevelopment toxicity associated with environmental chemicals.
Did you miss the “Decade of the Developing Brain”? Click here to access the presentations, photos and videos.