Environmental contaminants interfere with our metabolism

We know that all humans are exposed to some mixture of contaminants through consumer products and contaminated food, air, and water, but how do we determine which ones interfere with our metabolism and compromise our health? Scientists develop analytical methods to identify and measure the quantities of chemical compounds in people and in the environment. … Continue reading Environmental contaminants interfere with our metabolism

How does wildfire smoke affect pregnancy outcomes?

As wildfires blaze in the U.S., Canada, and other places around the globe this summer, millions of people are gearing up yet again to protect themselves and their families from the health risks of wildfire smoke. And as wildfires have become more intense over the years—quadrupling in size over the last four decades—researchers have begun … Continue reading How does wildfire smoke affect pregnancy outcomes?

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?

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

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