Dr. Sarah Evans weighs in on a recent study that showed higher levels of phthalates in people who dined out more often. In the Health Daily article, Dr. Evans emphasized that eating more home-cooked meals could help limit phthalate exposure– but people need to be mindful of the foods they choose.That’s because phthalates can lurk in the processed, packaged foods sold at grocery stores, too. “The best way to reduce exposure is to eat whole, fresh foods at home as often as possible,” said Evans, who was not involved in the study. “Phthalates have been shown to accumulate in high-fat foods, so limiting consumption of those items may be effective at reducing exposure.” To read the full Health Daily article click here.
In this NIEHS podcast, Drs. Robert Wright and Homera Harari discuss the health risks of crumb rubber in playgrounds, and what you can do to reduce children’s exposure to potentially harmful contaminants. To listen to the podcast click here.
On March 12th, Dr. Landrigan was featured on CNN Article “US Deaths from Lead Exposure 10 times Higher than that, study suggests.” Dr. Landrigan added “The literature has been showing for many years that lead causes hypertension, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. “This study now shows that the cardiovascular toxicity of lead extends down to lower levels than were previously examined.” To read the full CNN article click here.
In this interview with Living on Earth host Steve Curwood, Pediatrician Philip J. Landrigan MD connects the dots between exposure to environmental toxins and disease and shares strategies parents and child advocates can use to keep kids safe in a world filled with pollution and thousands of chemicals. Dr. Landrigan warns the vast majority of toxic chemicals have not been appropriately tested for impacts to children’s health. To read the full interview click here.
On February 6th, Dr. Allan Just, presented on “Using Molecular Epidemiology to Understand Chemical Threats to Early-Life Children’s Health” as part of the 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health Webinar Series. Dr. Just discussed why DNA methylation may be a useful biomarker to reconstruct complex environmental exposures and link these to subsequent health outcomes. He also discussed the many challenges of measuring, analyzing, and interpreting this new type of big data for environmental studies. To watch the webinar click here.
On January 17th, Dr. Luz Claudio weighed in on whether indoor plants can help with indoor air quality in Time Magazine. “There are no definitive studies to show that having indoor plants can significantly increase the air quality in the home to improve health in a measurable way,” says Luz Claudio, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Claudio has reviewed the research on the air-quality benefits of indoor plants. She says there’s no question that plants are capable of removing volatile chemical toxins from the air “under laboratory conditions.” But in the real world—in your home, say, or in your office space—the notion that incorporating a few plants can purify your air doesn’t have much hard science to back it up. To read the full Time article click here.
On Janaury 10th, Dr. Shanna Swan was featured in Health Day to provide insight on study that found toddlers whose mothers used acetaminophen early in pregnancy may have a heightened risk of language delays. According to Shanna Swan, the senior researcher on the study, “There really is no good alternative to acetaminophen.” Yet evidence is growing that there can be risks from taking the drug during pregnancy, especially more than occasionally, Swan said. To read the full Health Day article click here.
On January 10, 2018, Dr. Ruth Loos and researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and other institutions of the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium found 13 genes that carry variations associated with body mass index (BMIIn a study published in the January issue of Nature Genetics, ). This was the first large-scale study to pinpoint genetic variations that may directly impact the function of the genes. To read the full press release click here.
On Dec. 13th, Dr. Rosalind Wright was featured in the HealthDay News article “Teens Acting Badly? Smog Could Be to Blame.” A study from Los Angeles found that younger kids exposed to increased levels of air pollution tended to have delinquency scores similar to teens three or four years older, the study authors said, though the study did not prove that pollution actually caused delinquent behavior. Dr. Rosalind Wright, P30 PSCAF Director, weighed in on the study and said the researchers “did a reasonable job of substantiating the potential plausibility of this effect, and it rings true for me.” Air pollution might have a direct toxic effect on the brain. Or bad air might promote inflammation and immune response in other parts of the body that indirectly affect brain function. To read the full article click here.
According to research from a consumer advocacy group, some fidget spinners may contain many times the legal limit for lead in children’s products. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund, which did the research, points out that the problem exists because of a loophole: technically the products are not made or marketed for children, so they’re not subject to the same safety standards as kids’ toys. But given that children are typically the ones who play with spinners, the results are concerning, particularly since lead exposure is known to be extremely harmful to kids’ developing nervous systems. Dr. Maida P. Galvez, P30 CEC Co-Director, says that she finds the high lead levels in spinners concerning. “Lead exposure during vulnerable periods—pregnancy and early childhood—have long-lasting effects into adulthood, on IQ, attention, and behavior,” she says. “And the fact that it can be on the market without premarket safety testing is absurd. The public is totally unaware. I’d recommend that concerned parents call the manufacturers. The real intervention is policy intervention.” To read the full article click here.