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

PRHE finds evidence of 55 new chemicals in people

Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment's scientists used new technology to detect 109 chemicals in pregnant women and newborns, including 55 chemicals never before reported in people and 42 “mystery chemicals,” whose sources and uses are unknown. The study was published in the March 17, 2021, Environmental Science & Technology journal. The chemicals include … Continue reading PRHE finds evidence of 55 new chemicals in people

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

The researchers behind the headlines: Who are PRHE’s Clinical Research Coordinators and what do they do?

Versions of this post appear in both English and Spanish languages below. Research is a major focus of the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, and a big part of our research focuses on data collected from pregnant women and children. But where does that data come from? Who collects all of it … Continue reading The researchers behind the headlines: Who are PRHE’s Clinical Research Coordinators and what do they do?

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

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

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

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