Collaborative on Health and the Environment
"is a nonpartisan partnership of individuals and organizations
concerned with the role of the environment in human and ecosystem
health. CHE seeks to raise the level of scientific and public
dialogue about the role of environmental contaminants and other
environmental factors in many of the common diseases, disorders
and conditions of our time..."
FAILURE OF CHEMICAL REGULATION: THE CASE OF MERCURY
By Peter Montague, From: Rachel's Democracy & Health News #840, Feb.
Why tunafish sandwiches can make children -- and not only kids -- sick.
pollution offers us a well-lit window into the failed system of chemical
regulation in the U.S."
It Yourself A worried mother discovers the secrets of pesticide
By Audrey Schulman
01 Dec 2005
Three years ago, while my extended family was vacationing at my dad's
cranberry farm, he mentioned that one of his fields would be sprayed
that evening. There were five children under 10 in the house, and I
was eight months pregnant. The field was 100 feet away. I asked my dad
about the pesticides, but he said, "Don't worry. The government runs
tests on the chemicals. They make sure they're safe."
From the Science News section of the CHE
E – Newsletter July 18, 2005:
bans chemical use in toys
BBC news, 5 July 2005
The European Parliament has voted to permanently ban the use of a group
of chemicals to soften children's toys following health concerns.
have been linked to damage to the reproductive system, and an increased
risk of asthma and cancer.
They are also used in the manufacture of lubricants and solvents, and
are found in cosmetics, medical equipment, paints and packaging...
A temporary ban had been in place in Europe since 1999...
elements found in infants' cord blood
Christine Stapleton, Palm Beach Post. 14 July 2005
In a benchmark study released today, researchers found an average of
200 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals in the umbilical
cord blood of newborns, including seven dangerous pesticides — some
banned in the United States more than 30 years ago.
The report, Body Burden — The Pollution in Newborns, by the Washington,
D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, detected 287 chemicals in the
umbilical cord blood of 10 newborns...
Read the report's Executive Summary here: "Body
Burden — The Pollution in Newborns"
Environment & Health News: an excellent e-newsletter
on all aspects of health and chemical pollution from the
Research Foundation "News and resources for environmental justice."
Recently in Rachel's:
Toxicants and Developmental Disabilities, July 07, 2005
..."Developmental disabilities such as autism, attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and uncontrollable aggression
currently affect an estimated 12 million U.S. children under age 18
-- almost one child in five. A group of public health scientists led
by Dr. Susan Koger estimates that between 3 and 25% of all developmental
disabilities result from exposure to neurotoxic chemicals in the environment.
These disabilities ultimately impact all aspects of human development
-- our ability to learn, socialize and become productive members of
society..." (click on title for full report)
#820 - Isn't
It Time We Regulated Chemicals?, June 23, 2005
..."You might ask yourself, isn't the government regulating dangerous
chemicals? Unfortunately, the answer is No, not in any effective way.
About 1700 new chemicals are put into commercial use each year,
almost entirely untested for their effects on humans and the natural
(click on title for full report)
#819 - A
New Way to Inherit Environmental Harm June 9, 2005 by Tim Montague
"New research shows that the environment is more important to health
than anyone had imagined. Recent information indicates that toxic effects
on health can be inherited by children and grandchildren, even when
there are no genetic mutations involved. These inherited changes are
caused by subtle chemical influences, and this new field of scientific
inquiry is called "epigenetics."... (click on title for full report)
articles of interest:
Deficit by Richard Louv, Orion Magazine July/August 2005. Is
'nature' a cure? (Didn't we know -- or guess?)
"AS ANY PARENT OR TEACHER PROBABLY KNOWS, the number of children
diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has skyrocketed—by
33 percent from 1997 to 2002...
A 2003 study by researchers at the New York State College of Human Ecology
reached similar conclusions. Nancy Wells, the lead researcher, said
that exposure to nature resulted in "profound differences" in children's
attention capacities and that "green spaces may enable children to think
more clearly and cope more effectively with life stress." That, in turn,
could strengthen a child's attention and potentially decrease the symptoms
If a greener environment can play a role in curing ADHD, few if any
studies have explicitly examined whether the converse is also true:
that ADHD may be a set of symptoms initiated or aggravated by lack of
exposure to nature. By this line of thinking, many children may benefit
from medications, but the real disorder lies in the society that has
disengaged children from nature and imposed on them an artificial environment
for which they have not evolved. Viewed from this angle, children and
adults alike would suffer from what might be called nature-deficit disorder,
not in a clinical sense, but as a condition caused by the cumulative
human costs of alienation from nature, including diminished use of the
senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional
Hazards by P.W. McRandle, Green
Guide 109 | July/August 2005
"In America we invest heavily in children's learning—from Baby
Einstein toys to SAT prep—but we also should examine hazards, such as
lawn pesticides, that may affect their ability to learn. 'Given that
we know the developing fetus and children are far more vulnerable to
environmental contaminants than adults, we need to do everything we
can to reduce toxic exposures,' says Elise Miller, M.Ed., executive
director of the Institute for Children's Environmental Health..."
is poisoning us: How many studies does it take?
research from France has confirmed previous studies that Monsanto's
Roundup, the most commonly used herbicide in the world, is much more
toxic than Monsanto admits. The study indicates that at levels 100 times
lower than the recommended use in agriculture, Roundup herbicide causes
reproductive damages and endocrine disruption. Roundup is widely used
in conjunction with genetically-modified crops, such as corn. But it
is also in general use: see Joan
Baxter's report on the spraying of glyphosate (in the herbicide
Roundup -- called ‘Vision’ in Canada).
In other related news, the FDA Office of Plant and Dairy Foods has stated
that half of the non-organic produce they have tested in grocery stores
contains traceable residues of various pesticides, including Roundup.
story at Organic Consumers' website.
Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells and Aromatase,"
by Sophie Richard, Safa Moslemi, Herbert Sipahutar, Nora Benachour,
and Gilles-Eric Seralini in the monthly Environmental