February 2016: Winter Symposium

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On February 29, 2016, Mount Sinai hosted the 9th Annual Children’s Environmental Health Center’s Winter Symposium: “Food for Thought: Chemicals and Allergens in the Foods We Eat.” Presentations covered the latest science on mercury in fish, food allergies, organic foods versus industrial foods, pesticides and GMOs, and chemicals in food policy. The event was sponsored by CEHC’s Dr. Bob Wright and Rosalind Wright.  Expert panelists included Dr. Emily Oken (Harvard), Dr. Scott Sicherer (Sinai), Dr. Joel Foreman (Sinai Region 2 PEHSU) and Tom Neltner, JD (Environmental Defense Fund). Region 2 PEHSU’s Dr. Maida Galvez gave opening remarks and co-moderated the Q&A session along with Peggy Shepard from WEACT. Dr. Perry Sheffield served on the planning committee. Click here to watch highlights from the symposium.

January 2016: P30 Center Members Plan and Attend International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment Meeting


The International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment (ISCHE) held their second meeting from January 6-9, 2016 at the Hacienda San Antonio El Puente in Xochitepec, Morelos. At the meeting, global leaders in children’s environmental health research discussed ways to protect children from environmental risks, translate research into direct action, and build capacity for future research development. 55 researchers from 6 countries participated, bringing to the table a wide range of experience in the field. Mount Sinai P30 center members in attendance included Drs. Rosalind Wright, Robert Wright, Alan Just, Megan Horton, Annemarie Stroustrup, and Manish Arora. Dr. Robert Wright served as the retreat planning committee co-leader for this event.

January 2016: Children’s Environmental Health Event

On January 12, 2016, Greening our Children and Mount Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center hosted a community educational event at the Greenwich Library titled Safer Homes, Healthier Families: How to Reduce Exposure to Flame Retardants and Other Prevalent Toxins. Hosted in the Greenwich Library’s Cole Auditorium, the event featured Dr. Arlene Blum of the Green Science Policy Institute. You can view our flame retardant infographic below.
Flame retardants 1flame retardants 2

December 2015: Dr. Rosalind Wright Recognized as APS Member of the Month


We are pleased to announce that Dr. Rosalind Wright, P30 Center member, has been selected as the Featured American Pediatric Society (APS) Member of the Month for December. Dr. Wright serves as the Dean for Translational Biomedical Research and holds the Horace W. Goldsmith Professorship in Children’s Health Research in the Department of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her work is highlighted here on the APS website. Congratulations to Dr. Wright on this recognition!

November 2015: Mount Sinai to Host Regional Asthma Summit

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On November 20, 2015, Mount Sinai hosted a regional asthma summit sponsored by EPA Region 2. Featuring an exciting line-up of expert panelists and speakers, the summit focused on sustainable reimbursement opportunities for in-home asthma interventions. This conference was a collaborative effort between city, state, and federal agencies, community stakeholders, and medical and public health professionals. Please view our event page here.

November 2015: Dr. Sarah Evans Quoted in Yahoo! Health Article about STINK!


On November 27, 2015, a new documentary called STINK! will open in theatres in New York City. The film, directed by Jon Whelan, exposes the ‘cancer loophole’ by investigating toxic chemicals lurking in every-day consumer products. Dr. Sarah Evans, an instructor in preventive medicine at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine and postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s Environmental Health Center, was quoted in the Yahoo! Health article about this film. For more information about theatres and showtimes, please visit the STINK! website.

October 2015: Dr. Harari-Freire Receives Lorin Kerr Award from APHA


We would like to welcome our new faculty member, Homero Harari-Freire, ScD, MSc, CIH, a member of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit in the Department of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Harari-Freire has recently received the Lorin Kerr Award from the Occupational Health and Safety Section of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Harari-Freirewas awarded this honor for his dedication to improving the health and safety of workers. He conducted field investigations and worker interviews in flower plantations in Ecuador and found that workers were exposed to respiratory and dermal hazards, even in flower plantations that had international third party certifications labeled as “eco-friendly” and “sustainable.” Dr. Harari-Freire’s work identified flower companies’ self-regulation through the use of environmental third party certifications. This work initiated an important global dialogue about the relevance of unions and health and safety regulations over third party certifications to effectively protect workers in the flower industry in Ecuador.

September 2015: Dr. Garland Recognized by APHA for Active Design Research


Dr. Elizabeth Garland, a TCEEE center member, was recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA) for her Active Design research on affordable housing in the Bronx. In September, 2015, her abstract was accepted for the Steven Hooker Award for Outstanding Research in the field of physical activity. The pilot project, which was partially funded by the Mount Sinai Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CEHC), studies the public health benefits of Active Design in affordable housing with respect to physical activity. In particular, the project focused on the health benefits of Active Design for women, who are most affected by the obesity epidemic in lower-income, urban communities. Dr. Garland will be honored with a plaque and reward in recognition of her research at the upcoming APHA Physical Activity Section social event.

August 2015: Mount Sinai’s Environmental and Occupational Health Summer Training Program for First Year Medical Students


For eight weeks this summer, six students funded by a National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) T35 Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grant immersed themselves in environmental health research at Mount Sinai. The students were selected from a pool of 60 applicants for this highly competitive program. The program is directed by Dr. Maida Galvez, an Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Director of the Region 2 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. Preventive Medicine faculty, including P30 Center Members, served as mentors to students. See the full list of participating students, research topics and faculty mentors below. The seminar faculty for this program included Rafael De La Hoz, MD; Denise Gaughan, PhD; Anne Golden, PhD; Shanna Swan, PhD; Susan Teitelbaum, PhD; Rosalind Wright, MD; and Norman Zuckerman, MS.

On August 5th, 2015 the students presented their work to an audience that included faculty members and staff from Mount Sinai and the US EPA Region 2 Office, and discussed the implications of their work. The presentation topics ranged from mapping air and noise pollution in East Harlem to the lingering health repercussions among 9/11 responders. See below for the full list of students, research topics, and mentors:

Ksenia Denisova
SUNY Downstate Medical College
Mapping Male Reproductive Health
Mentors: Shanna Swan, Hagai Levine and Sarah Evans
Molly Forster
Jefferson Medical College
Tragic untold stories of 9/11 responders, 10+ years in the making
Mentor: Ismail Nabeel
Michael Nevid
Stony Brook School of Medicine
Pilot Study Using AirBeam PM2.5 Monitor and microAeth® Model AE51 to assess
Air Quality in East Harlem
Mentors: Leon Hsu, Lynn Onyebeke, Demetrios Papazaharias, Maida Galvez and Roberto Lucchini
Velda Ocasio Ramírez
Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU)
Pilot Assessment of Background Noise Levels in East Harlem using the AirCasting Noise Monitor
Mentors: Leon Hsu, Lynn Onyebeke, Demetrios Papazaharias, Maida Galvez and Roberto Lucchini
Rebecca Wax
SUNY Downstate Medical College
Consent Rate and Birth Outcomes of the PRISM Study
Mentors: Rosalind Wright and Suzy Allen
Ashley Williams
Medical College of Georgia
Novel applications to assess working memory among children ages 18 and 24 months
Mentor: Megan Horton

July 2015: Mount Sinai Postdocs Featured at Environmental Education Teaching Institute

Researchers from the Children’s Environmental Health Center in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai were recently invited to lead a workshop at a teaching institute conducted by The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF). CELF is a Stakeholder Advisory Board member of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) at the Transdisciplinary Center for Early Environmental Exposures at Sinai. The Institute, held from July 20-23 at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, consisted of a series of full-day professional development sessions and drew teachers from across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The workshop featured an all-star line-up of expert speakers promoting methods that enable teachers to integrate concepts of environmental sustainability into lesson plans for a wide range of academic topics and student ages.

At the workshop, Dr. Sarah Evans and Dr. Alison Sanders, both postdoctoral fellows, discussed how pediatric environmental health topics can be incorporated into the K-12 curriculum. Dr. Evans introduced key concepts such as the unique vulnerability of children to environmental health risks and transgenerational effects of chemical exposures, and proposed ways in which they can be integrated into both STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and non-STEM classrooms. Dr. Sanders, who also directs an afterschool science program for East Harlem fifth graders, presented her research on toxic metal exposures and epigenetics along with hands-on examples of how to translate her and others’ cutting-edge research into classroom lessons and activities. The invitation to participate in this event was an excellent opportunity to share current research being conducted at Mount Sinai with classroom teachers as part of our mission to promote environmental health education and engagement.