A Story of Health: Something for Everyone March 6, 2015Posted by Nancy Hepp in Letters.
Tags: asthma, environmental health, A Story of Health, continuing education
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We all know there are multiple contributors to health and disease, but let’s say you want to figure out what the latest science says on environmental links to, say, asthma? Or learning disabilities? Or childhood leukemia? Pretty daunting, isn’t it? Which websites have the most evidence-based science? Which articles are accessible without paying a subscription or membership fee? What do those research findings mean for your patients, your family, and community? And many other pressing questions. Most health care professionals can’t begin to keep up with the emerging scientific literature, much less the rest of us.
Fortunately, A Story of Health is a brilliant, innovative new resource that can help you find out how various environments interact with our genes to influence health across the lifespan. Based on the latest peer-reviewed research, it’s more than a bunch of scientific facts thrown together with fancy graphics. It’s a story, or really—multiple, interactive, and interconnected stories that touch us and teach us not only about risk factors for disease, but how to prevent disease and promote health and resilience.
Get a Grip on Toxic Chemicals August 31, 2010Posted by Nancy Hepp in Letters.
Tags: body burden, brain development, breast milk, cadmium, cancer, carcinogens, children's health, disability, disease, flame retardants, green chemistry, immune system health, lead, learning and behavior problems, PBDEs, PCBs, preterm births, reproductive health, Toxic Chemicals Safety Act, toxics
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Reps. Doyle and Murphy are well positioned to help protect us
CHE Partner and Director of the Healthy Children Project for the Learning Disabilities Association of America
This letter was originally published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s republished here with the author’s permission.
Imagine all the chemicals used in televisions, computers, upholstery, car seats, building materials, even children’s pajamas. Imagine that some of these chemicals migrate from products into dust and dirt, and build up in our bodies. They are found in the cord blood of newborns and in breast milk. Imagine that these chemicals are similar in structure to the notorious PCBs – carcinogens banned from use in the late 1970s.
Now wouldn’t you also imagine that these chemicals were tested and found to be safe to human health before they were allowed into our products and homes?
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Polybrominated diphyenyl ethers are flame retardant chemicals that persist in the environment and build up in the food chain and in people. Laboratory studies link exposure to PBDEs with lowered IQ and attention problems. This summer, a study of pregnant women found that those with higher levels of PBDEs had reduced levels of thyroid hormone, which is essential to a baby’s brain development.
But despite growing scientific evidence linking toxic chemical exposures to serious disease and disability, our government does not require that PBDEs – or any of the other 80,000 chemicals on the market – be tested for effects on human health.
That could be about to change, and two Pittsburgh members of Congress are in key positions to help make it happen.