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

UCSF medical students to deans: Prepare us for climate change and environmental hazards

There are an infinite number of ways that the environment affects health, from endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our food supply to warming temperatures driving infectious diseases to new territories. It can feel overwhelming to consider a patient’s environmental exposures during a 20-minute visit, while still learning the basic anatomy of the human body. As medical students … Continue reading UCSF medical students to deans: Prepare us for climate change and environmental hazards

Texas underestimates cancer risks of ethylene oxide

I know something about ethylene oxide. During my time at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I spent over 10 years on the team developing EPA’s cancer assessment of ethylene oxide, and for the last 5 of those years I was the project manager for the assessment.  Published in 2016, after careful analysis and extensive … Continue reading Texas underestimates cancer risks of ethylene oxide

Bringing the environment into the clinic

People trust doctors, such as their pediatricians and obstetricians/ gynecologists (OB/Gyns), to give them important health information about their pregnancy and children. But by and large, pediatricians and OB/Gyns nationwide are not doing their part to protect children from toxic environmental chemicals that increase risks of cancer, endocrine disruption, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and lower … Continue reading Bringing the environment into the clinic

Vulnerable populations bear the burden of EPA’s inadequate policy on industrial chemicals

In 2016 with bipartisan support, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act became law, updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Before the update, TSCA was widely seen as ineffective at protecting public health, especially for susceptible groups like pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and workers. Under the new Lautenberg … Continue reading Vulnerable populations bear the burden of EPA’s inadequate policy on industrial chemicals