I am very pleased to announce that I will be serving my MPH internship at my first choice institution: The Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health (PEHSU) at UIC’s School of Public Health. The Center is our region’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, supported by the EPA and the ATSDR. I will be conducting an educational outreach on children’s environmental health.
In advance of this work, I am piloting a survey about people’s perceptions of their children’s environmental health in their specific neighborhoods. I would be very grateful if people would give this survey a try. I am new both to Survey Monkey and to the discipline of Public Health; please save your energies for a more complete measure someday in the future! 🙂
Feel free, even if you do not have children but have an opinion about environmental health in your area, to answer on behalf of the children in your life, or in your neighborhood.
Top Ten Easy Ways to Avoid Childhood Cancer, Autism, ADHD, and Lower IQs from Environmental Chemicals
- Remove shoes before entering the home, and if exposed to chemicals at work, wash work clothes separately from family laundry.
- Filter home tap water and carry and store in stainless steel, glass, or BPA- and phthalate-free containers. Microwave food and beverages only in ceramic or glass.
- Reduce exposure to pesticides by choosing organic foods or washing thoroughly. Choose free-range meat raised without medications and avoid eating process, charred, or well-done meat.
- Make informed choices about purchases by consulting the Household Products Database (USDHHS 2016).
- Choose non-toxic and environmentally safe chemicals, eliminate landscape pesticide and fertilizer use, and dispose of toxic chemicals safely.
- Cut down on fossil-fuels consumption by turning off lights, driving a fuel-efficient car, and walking and biking when possible.
- Avoid second-hand tobacco smoke.
- Limit electromagnetic energy when using cell phones, check radon levels, and weigh risks of medical radiation against diagnostic benefits.
- Wear protective covering and sunscreen to limit ultraviolet radiation.
- “Each person can become an active voice in his or her community. To a greater extent than many realize, individuals have the power to affect public policy by letting policymakers know that they strongly support environmental cancer research and measures that will reduce or remove from the environment toxics that are known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Individuals also can influence industry by selecting non-toxic products and where these do not exist, communicating with manufacturers and trade organizations about their desire for safer products” (PCP 2010, p. xx).
These tips are adapted from the President’s Cancer Panel‘s recommendations for what individuals can do to reduce their cancer risk from environmental causes. That’s President Bush, BTW, just so you know.
President’s Cancer Panel (PCP). (2010). Reducing environmental cancer risk: What we can do now. Retrieved from http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf
Please take a moment to sign. If you regularly read this blog, you know that pesticides are linked not only to childhood cancer but to autism, ADHD, lower IQs, birth defects, auto-immune disease, and more.
“Nearly every American would agree that we should do everything possible to keep our children healthy and safe. Ironically, our children’s schoolyards and athletic playing fields are typically covered in poisons – a toxic mixture of pesticides used to kill fungus, weeds, and insects. There are currently no federal laws to prohibit pesticides used to improve the cosmetic appearance of lawns on school grounds.
“Of the 36 most common pesticides used in lawn care, 14 are probable carcinogens, 15 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 24 with neurotoxicity, 22 with liver or kidney damage, and 34 are irritants.
“Children are especially sensitive to the harmful effects of pesticides. Children between the ages of 6-11 show higher levels of pesticides in their blood than people of any other age category. Unfortunately, their developing organ systems make them less able to detoxify chemicals than adults. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that exposure to home and garden pesticides increases the risk of childhood leukemia by 7 times. Even low levels of exposure to lawn pesticides are linked to nervous and endocrine system disruption, immune suppression, and asthma.
To read the full petition and put your name to it, please visit http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/626/012/933/?taf_id=29541445&cid=fb_na
I have made some connections with the EPA, Dr. Maryann Suero for one, and got first word of this good news on triclosan Friday.
FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps
Rule removes triclosan and triclocarban from over-the-counter antibacterial hand and body washes
FDA News Release:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products…”
More at http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm517478.htm
“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Here is the pre-publication notice- the list of 19 (which includes triclosan and triclocarban) begins on page 15: