Monthly Archives: July 2017

Dr. Shanna Swan featured in Washington Post article “Sperm concentration has declined 50 percent in 40 years in three continents”

Dr. Shanna Swan

P30 Center Member, Dr. Shanna Swan, was interviewed by the Washington Post regarding the decline of male reproductive health.


The quality of sperm from men in North America, Europe and Australia has declined dramatically over the past 40 years, with a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration, according to a study published in the Human Reproduction Update. The research — the largest and most comprehensive look at the topic, involving data from 185 studies and 42,000 men around the world between 1973 and 2011 — appears to confirm fears that male reproductive health may be declining. The state of male fertility has been one of the most hotly debated subjects in medical science in recent years. While a number of previous studies found that sperm counts and quality have been falling, some dismissed or criticized the studies over factors such as the age of the men included, the size of the study, bias in counting systems or other aspects of the methodologies.


Dr. Shanna H. Swan, one of the authors of the new study published in the Human Reproduction Update, said that the new meta-analysis is so broad and comprehensive, involving all the relevant research published in English, that she hoped it would put some of the uncertainty to rest. Then the scientific community could move forward into putting its resources into figuring out the why of what is going on, she said. “It shows the decline is strong and that the decline is continuing,” Swan said in an interview. To read the full article click here.

Dr. Wright featured on Environmental Health Perspectives “Mixed Metals Exposures in Children” Podcasts

In this podcast host Ashley Ahearn discusses the neurodevelopmental effects of metals mixtures with researcher P30 Center Director, Robert O. Wright.


In our daily lives we’re rarely exposed to just one chemical at a time. Metals, for example, are ubiquitous in the environment, and most of us are exposed to different combinations of metals each day through air, water, and food. Simultaneous exposures to different metals may have synergistic effects in children, whose developing brains are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects from these potentially neurotoxic agents. To listen to the full podcast click here.

Dr. Perry Sheffield featured in Yale Climate Connections Article “More asthma attacks expected in warmer climate”

On July 19, 2017, Dr. Perry Sheffield was interviewed by Yale Climate Connections to weigh in on how longer and hotter summers, associated with continued climate change, are creating hotspots of bad air across the nation. Dr. Sheffield stated “As a pediatrician, I worry most about children, because their lungs are still growing and because they breathe faster than adults. Because of those reasons, they are more affected by bad air quality like ozone and ragweed pollen.” To read the full article click here.

Dr. Perry Sheffield featured in USA today Article “127M Americans at risk of air-quality ‘double whammy’ of smog, ragweed pollen”

Dr. Perry Sheffield

On July 2017, Dr. Perry Sheffield was featured in the USA Today article “127M Americans at risk of air-quality ‘double whammy’ of smog, ragweed pollen.” Dr. Perry Sheffield discussed why clean air is so important for human health since it doesn’t just impact the lungs, it also affects the brain, heart and skin. To read the full article click here.


“Using Team Science to Understand the Exposome and Children’s Health” Featured as NIEHS Story of Success

P30 Center Director, Bob Wright, M.D.

Dr. Robert Wright’s exposome work, “Using Team Science to Understand the Exposome and Children’s Health”, work was featured as an NIEHS Story of Success. As director of the NIEHS-funded Transdisciplinary Center on Health Effects of Early Environmental Exposures (TCEEE), Wright promotes the team science approach. He also advocates the need for investigators in multiple disciplines to perform exposomics research, including experts in molecular biology, genetics, exposure science, biostatistics, analytical chemistry, and environmental modeling. To read the full NIEHS article click here.

Drs. Reichenberg and Arora’s Autism Research highlighted in the NIEHS Environmental Factor

Dr. Avraham Reichenberg (Left) with Dr. Arora (Right)

P30 Center Members, Drs. Reichenberg and Arora, research “Fetal and postnatal metal dysregulation in Autism” was highlighted by NIEHS’s Environemental Factor. Baby teeth from children with autism contain more toxic lead and less of the essential nutrients zinc and manganese than baby teeth from children without autism, according to Drs. Reichenberg’s and Arora’s study. The findings, published June 1 in Nature Communications, suggest that differences in early-life exposure to metals, and more importantly, how a child’s body processes them, may affect the risk of autism. “Autism is a condition in which both genes and environment play a role, but figuring out which environmental exposures may increase risk has been difficult,” said lead researcher Manish Arora, Ph.D., an environmental scientist and dentist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Some scientists have proposed that events before we are born may increase our risk of autism, but what is needed is a window into our fetal life — which baby teeth provide,” he added. Dr. Arora and his colleagues developed and validated this innovative use of baby teeth with NIEHS support. They previously showed that the amount of lead in dentine formed around the time of birth was strongly correlated with lead levels in umbilical cord blood. To read the full story click here.