Air Pollution and Pregnancy Study Highlighted by News Outlets

Dr. Rosalind Wright and researchers at Mount Sinai published a new study in Environmental Health Perspectives that found a mother’s exposure to particulate air pollution during pregnancy is associated with reduce cardiac response to stress in 6-month-old infants. This study is the first to find that particulate air pollution exposure in utero can affect heart rate variability, which is a known risk factor for health issues. Senior author Dr. Rosalind Wright, said: ‘These findings, in combination with increasing worldwide exposure to particulate air pollution, highlight the importance of examining early life exposure to air pollution in relation to negative medical development and psychological outcomes.’

News Articles:

Dr. Luz Claudio Speaks to Reuters about Chemicals in Soaps

Dr. Luz Claudio

Dr. Luz Claudio, an environmental medicine and public health researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, spoke to Reuters about a new study that suggests women exposed to triclosan, a chemical often found in soaps and hand sanitizers, may be more likely to develop osteoporosis than women who don’t have this exposure. “Luckily, triclosan is rapidly excreted from the body after exposure, so in theory, it should be possible to reduce the amount of it we have on our bodies by avoiding continuous exposure,” Claudio, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “People who are concerned can avoid products that contain triclosan by reading the labels,” Claudio advised. To read the full article click here.

Dr. Homero Harari Speaks to The Guardian about Crumb Rubber Safety

Thousands of playgrounds and sports fields around the country have been covered with crumb rubber from recycled tires, and some experts and lawmakers are concerned about possible health effects on children. Dr. Homero Harari, with the Institute for Exposomic Research at Mount Sinai in New York, spoke to The Guardian about the chemicals found in used tires. “The main concern is that there was a lack of safety testing prior to the introduction of the material in playing surfaces,” Harari said. “As scientists, we normally apply the precautionary principle – when we know that there’s concern about a substance or chemical, we normally try to avoid it.” Crumb rubber often breaks apart, spreading into the air children breathe and getting swallowed when kids put their hands in their mouths. To read the full article click here.

Dr. Lauren Petrick Presents at NIEHS EHSRC Annual Meeting

Left: Lauren Petrick, PhD; Right: Linda Birnbaum, PhD, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Lauren Petrick, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at Public Health and member of the TCEEE was one of 11 investigators who presented their research during the “Early Stage Investigator Poster Presentations” session at the 30th annual meeting of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Environmental Health Science Research Centers (EHSRC). The meeting was held at the University of Iowa from June 19-21st, 2019.  Dr. Petrick’s presentation “Prospective exposomic analysis of archived newborn blood spots in childhood leukemia” highlighted her study examining approximately 300 childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases and controls that used remainder blood spots from neonatal screening tests. They had been archived for up to 35 years to look for biomarkers of later development of leukemia. Dr. Petrick found metabolites at birth that were predictive of developing childhood leukemia years later and that point to maternal and neonatal nutrition as potential risk factors.

Dr. Wright Speaks to The Guardian about everyday environmental exposures

Dr. Wright spoke to Emily Holden from The Guardian about synthetic chemicals in plastics, cosmetics, and food every day. Emily Holden came to Mount Sinai where she dropped off a urine sample that was studied for 81 chemicals in the lab and wore for fives days a silicone wristband designed to measure dangerous chemicals in the environment. After analyzing the results, Dr. Robert Wright explained how we can test for a small number of chemicals but won’t necessarily know where they came from. In the US, Wright says, companies start using new chemicals and don’t stop using them unless people get sick and can prove how it happened. Medicines are tested before market, but most other products aren’t. To read the full article click here.

Dr. Maida Galez featured in NIEHS PEPH Newsletter

Congrats to Dr. Maida Galvez on being highlighted by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences! Dr. Galvez is an NIEHS-funded researcher and an associate professor of environmental medicine, public health, and pediatrics at Mount Sinai. Dr. Galvez strives to increase awareness of the link between environmental exposures and health. By forging partnerships and translating science on pediatric environmental health, she is helping clinicians and families take action to protect children’s health. “Seeing connections between substandard housing, poverty, and neighborhood health led me to think about community-level concerns, and how that impacted children’s health,” said Galvez. To read more click here.

Dr. Rosalind Wright Shares her Journey of Trauma and Resilience in “Road to Resilience” Podcast

Dr. Rosalind Wright shares her journey of trauma and resilience in the “Mount Sinai Road to Resilience” podcast. The podcast features Saturday Night Live veteran Darrell Hammond, filmmaker Michelle Esrick, and Mount Sinai psychologist Jacob Ham, PhD, where they discuss childhood trauma, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and healing. To listen to the full podcasts click here.

Dr. Luz Claudio speaks to Bustle about Climate Change and Health

Dr. Luz Claudio

The scale of climate change can be difficult to comprehend. Five leading scientists who work on different aspects of environmental science tell Bustle that there’s a lot individuals can do to help. Dr. Luz Claudio, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine tells Bustle, “The environmental challenge that I am focusing on in my research is to try to identify, prevent, and reduce the effects of environmental pollutants in vulnerable human populations, especially children. “On an individual level, people have more control about their indoor air,” Dr. Claudio tells Bustle. “Being aware of the role that indoor air can play on children’s health is a great step towards addressing this issue”. To read the article click here.

Dr. Laura McGuinn’s Study on Possible Link Between Air Pollution and Higher Cholesterol Levels Highlighted by EPA

On February 26, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency published an article highlighting an air quality study led by Dr. Laura McGuinn from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Ward-Caviness colleagues. The researchers observed that long-term exposure to PM2.5 increased the number of small, cholesterol particles in the bloodstream of the individuals who underwent cardiac catheterization and therefore may make susceptible populations more prone to cardiovascular disease. The study is the first of its kind to describe these new cholesterol biomarkers that focus on size rather than total cholesterol in the blood. The results are published in the January issue of the journal Environmental International.  To read the full article click here

Dr. Roberto Lucchini Speaks to Vox about Climate Change & Kidney Disease

On February 15, 2019, Dr. Roberto Lucchini spoke to Vox about the rise of chronic kidney disease in Central America and how it could be linked to the rise in temperatures. When people are exposed to long stretches of extreme heat, they sweat more. If they don’t rehydrate, or don’t have access to clean drinking water, the kidneys, which are supposed to filter waste and regulate fluid in the body, get stressed. Over time, that stress can lead to kidney stones and chronic damage. Dr. Lucchini, an environmental and public health professor at Mount Sinai, who’s been studying the phenomenon, calls this the first epidemic that’s directly attributable to climate change. “It was not recognized before the rise in temperatures,” he said, “and the epidemic of these cases is currently observed in the countries that are more affected by [global warming] in the last decades,” from Central America to India and Southeast Asia. To read the full article click here.