The need to study multiple chemical exposures, not one at a time

Worldwide, communities near industrial operations, major highways, freight terminals and ports are highly exposed to multiple sources of chemical pollution. Historically, scientists have investigated hazardous exposures using a single-chemical approach that does not capture the health impact of cumulative exposures. Communities, health researchers, and the National Academies of Science are calling on scientists to use … Continue reading The need to study multiple chemical exposures, not one at a time

Launching the UCSF EaRTH Center to Reimagine Environmental Health Science

To transform current approaches to studying harmful environmental pollutants that undermine health and human development, and contribute to chronic disease, today we launched the new UCSF Environmental Research and Translation for Health (EaRTH) Center. It is critical that we accelerate the pace of discovery of harmful chemical exposures and improve strategies for prevention, particularly for … Continue reading Launching the UCSF EaRTH Center to Reimagine Environmental Health Science

Wolf in sheep’s clothing, part 2: How EPA’s TSCA systematic review method is threatening public health

UPDATE: EPA is considering dropping TSCA systematic review’s study scoring system, according to Inside EPA. Deputy Director of the Risk Assessment Division within EPA’s toxics office, Stan Barone, criticized the numeric scoring system during an August 24 meeting of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) committee that is peer reviewing EPA’s systematic … Continue reading Wolf in sheep’s clothing, part 2: How EPA’s TSCA systematic review method is threatening public health

10 ways to avoid toxic chemicals

Versions of this post appear in both English and Spanish languages below. The science is clear: harmful chemicals in our environment put healthy pregnancies and fetal development at risk. To help health-care professionals and their patients better understand how chemicals affect health—and what they can do about it—UCSF’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment … Continue reading 10 ways to avoid toxic chemicals

Yesterday’s flame retardants in today’s bodies

Versions of this post appear in both English and Spanish languages below. Although phased out about 15 years ago, toxic flame-retardant chemicals, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), are still showing up in high levels among pregnant women and their fetuses in California, according to our study published on July 22, 2020, in Scientific Reports. In … Continue reading Yesterday’s flame retardants in today’s bodies

Texas ignores dangers of ethylene oxide in flawed report

In 2016, after careful analysis, and extensive internal and external peer review, and public comment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that inhalation of ethylene oxide is “carcinogenic to humans.” Despite no new evidence that would alter EPA’s findings, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) just finalized a dangerously flawed report claiming that … Continue reading Texas ignores dangers of ethylene oxide in flawed report

TSCA is 4

Congress amended the law that is supposed to protect people from dangerous chemicals. EPA’s current leadership is exploiting the law’s loopholes and making a mockery of it. Four years ago, Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation to amend the nation's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that regulates chemicals in commerce, changes that were 40 … Continue reading TSCA is 4

EPA’s “transparency” rule undermines its own mission to protect public health

The current federal administration, in the middle of a pandemic, is pursuing EPA rule changes that could undermine the Agency’s ability to protect public health. Under the guise of “science transparency,” the new rules would allow the EPA to disregard studies that provide the evidence and rationale behind critical regulation such as clean air and … Continue reading EPA’s “transparency” rule undermines its own mission to protect public health

Wolf in sheep’s clothing, part 1: EPA’s TSCA systematic review method

How do you know whether you can trust a conclusion reached in a scientific review assessing the harms of an environmental exposure? In part one of this two-part series, we will explain how scientists evaluate an entire body of evidence to answer a specific research question using systematic review methods and look at why this … Continue reading Wolf in sheep’s clothing, part 1: EPA’s TSCA systematic review method

How climate change and air pollution affect pregnancy and human development

To recognize the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) has partnered with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) to produce a series of infographics for health professionals to communicate with their patients about the adverse impacts of climate change, … Continue reading How climate change and air pollution affect pregnancy and human development