Double jeopardy: exposure to PFAS and social stress leads to elevated CRH, a biomarker leading to preterm birth

Everyone in the United States is exposed to hundreds of environmental chemicals every day. One class of chemicals has recently become more concerning, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are chemicals found in nonstick cookware and food packaging materials, such as pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags. Historically, chemical companies dumped PFAS into lakes and … Continue reading Double jeopardy: exposure to PFAS and social stress leads to elevated CRH, a biomarker leading to preterm birth

Formaldehyde and EPA – time for a change

The 30-year story of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempting to regulate formaldehyde reads like a tragic relationship that may finally be changing. Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly found in building materials, insulation, furniture, and clothing, and shown to have negative health effects related to asthma and fertility. EPA’s doomed attempts to regulate formaldehyde … Continue reading Formaldehyde and EPA – time for a change

From your deodorant, across the ocean, and back to your plate: siloxanes stay in our environment

Deodorant, shampoo, and other personal care products often contain siloxanes—chemicals that contaminate the environment as soon as they wash down the drain, migrate into fish, and wind up back on your plate. Siloxanes are a group of silicon-based compounds that are used as carriers in personal care products and as intermediates in the production of … Continue reading From your deodorant, across the ocean, and back to your plate: siloxanes stay in our environment

What Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memo means for EPA and public health

President Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memorandum foreshadows important changes to come in how the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory agencies are able to conduct business. The memo indicates an intention to reduce institutional constraints on regulatory agencies, enabling them to issue regulations more quickly and with less second-guessing from other parts of … Continue reading What Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memo means for EPA and public health

How EPA’s method for assessing study quality is designed to exclude critical evidence

Rules and regulations that govern our air, water, food, and the products in our homes should be based on the best available scientific evidence. EPA, however, is using a faulty systematic review method that can exclude critical evidence and have negative consequences for public health. One vital step in a systematic review is to assess … Continue reading How EPA’s method for assessing study quality is designed to exclude critical evidence

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

Fluoride exposure among pregnant women in California

Water fluoridation has been cited as one of the dental field’s most successful interventions to improve dental health. Since 1945, when the United States implemented community water fluoridation, rates of cavities have declined. Also, providing fluoridated tap water to most residents, regardless of income, education, or socioeconomic status, can reduce disparities in dental health. Fluoride … Continue reading Fluoride exposure among pregnant women in California

So many chemicals—how do we decide which ones to study?

The question is no longer whether environmental chemical exposures produce adverse health effects in children, but rather which chemicals have the most harmful impact. Fetuses and children are especially susceptible to environmental influences. Scientists and physicians are concerned that over the last 10-30 years, the prevalence of certain childhood diseases has increased, including adverse birth … Continue reading So many chemicals—how do we decide which ones to study?

Bridging communities and science

La importancia de la intencionalidad al incluir poblaciones subrepresentadas en investigaciónes clínicas Las versiones de este post aparecen en Español e Inglés a continuación. The importance of intentionality when including underrepresented populations in clinical research Versions of this post appear in both Spanish and English languages below. Coordinadores de estudios investigativos tienen un papel importante … Continue reading Bridging communities and science