How do PFAS and PBDEs affect telomeres and what does that mean for our health?

Every day we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals in the food we eat, the water we drink, and products we use in our homes. But what makes some chemicals more problematic than others and what does that mean for our health? Our new study sheds light on what PFAS and PBDEs are doing to … Continue reading How do PFAS and PBDEs affect telomeres and what does that mean for our health?

How EPA can improve identifying and reducing environmental health inequities

Advancing health equity through environmental health science and policy is a core mission of PRHE. Inequities in exposures to environmental contaminants are an important contributor to health inequities and can have a significant effect on the quality of life in at-risk communities. A potentially important step toward addressing inequities came with President Biden’s Executive Order … Continue reading How EPA can improve identifying and reducing environmental health inequities

New study unveils more worker deaths from methylene chloride than previously reported

Growing up in urban poverty with working-class parents subjected to occupational exposures taught me that where you live and work affects your health. I was raised with the conviction that one should not have to choose between work and health. So, when I learned about the dangers that methylene chloride posed to human health (e.g., … Continue reading New study unveils more worker deaths from methylene chloride than previously reported

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