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Your Environment. Your Health.

Global Environmental Health Newsletter

May 2013

 
Global Environmental Health

Feature

Arsenic: Learning the Effects, Lessening the Impacts in Bangladesh

Arsenic: Learning the Effects, Lessening the Impacts in Bangladesh

In the world of global environmental health, good intentions can sometimes have unintended consequences. In Bangladesh in the 1970s, aid organizations and international agencies promoted a program to install tube wells to reduce diarrheal morbidity and mortality caused by drinking unsafe surface water. But many of the wells, which reach between 30 and 180 feet underground, tapped into naturally occurring inorganic arsenic as they provided supposedly safer water to tens of thousands of villages throughout the country.

 

Climate Change at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference

On March 16, NIEHS sponsored a panel on climate change as part of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).  The panel featured four prominent speakers on global climate change adaptation, and explored perspectives on the role of local data, partnerships with the private sector, and how organizations are addressing climate change.

 

e-Factor Article

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2013/4/spotlight-panel/index.htm

 

GEH Podcast

Feeding the World in a Changing Climate, with Dr. Pamela Anderson 

 

Meeting website and presentations

http://www.cugh.org/ 

 

Members of the Climate Change and Global Health Using Science to Protect Populations panel
"Members of the Climate Change and Global Health Using Science to Protect Populations panel agreed on the urgency of the climate change issue, and the need to collaborate across disciplines and with local communities, to have an impact on health. Shown, left to right, are Dr. John Balbus, Dr. Kristie Ebi, Dr. Pamela Anderson, Dr. Gueladio Cisse, and Dr. Rao Aiyagari.
(Photo courtesy of Paula Whitacre)

Research and Remediation: Working with the Dhaka Community Hospital Trust

Beginning with identification of the first arsenic cases in 1996 in a village about 130 kilometers from Dhaka, the Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCHT) has been at the forefront of efforts to educate communities, find alternative water sources, and treat those presenting with negative effects.

Science Spotlight

New Plant Research Discoveries May Help Solve Global Food Deficiencies

Julian Schroeder, Ph.D.

With the global population predicted to grow by two billion people in the next four decades, increased nutritious and sustainable food production is essential for human and environmental health. New plant research is offering potential solutions for meeting agricultural demand. An international group of scientists led by Julian Schroeder, Ph.D.  , professor of biology and an NIEHS grantee at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has collectively discovered important properties about the ways plants grow and upload nutrients that could beneficially affect global agriculture.

 

Other Research

  • Thiamine Nutritional Status and Depressive Symptoms are Inversely Associated among Older Chinese Adults. Zhang, G., Ding, H., Chen, H., Ye, X., Li, H., Lin, X., Ke, Z. Journal of Nutrition 143 (1), pp. 53-58.[Abstract ]
  • Protective Benefits of Deep Tube Wells Against Childhood Diarrhea in Matlab, Bangladesh. Winston JJ, Escamilla V, Perez-Heydrich C, Carrel M, Yunus M, Streatfield PK, Emch M. Am J Public Health. 2013 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print][Abstract ]
  • Association Between Maternal Use of Folic Acid Supplements and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children. Surén P, Roth C, Bresnahan M, Haugen M, Hornig M, Hirtz D, Lie KK, Lipkin WI, Magnus P, Reichborn-Kjennerud T, Schjølberg S, Davey Smith G, Øyen AS, Susser E, Stoltenberg C. JAMA. 2013 Feb 13;309(6):570-7. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.155925.[Abstract ]
  • Comparing Exposure Metrics for Classifying 'Dangerous Heat' in Heat Wave and Health Warning Systems. Zhang K, Rood RB, Michailidis G, Oswald EM, Schwartz JD, Zanobetti A, Ebi KL, O'Neill MS. Environ Int. 2012 Oct 1;46:23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.05.001.[Abstract ]
  • Pit Latrines and Their Impacts on Groundwater Quality: A Systematic Review. Jay P. Graham, Matthew L. Polizzotto.  Environ Health Perspect. 121:521-530 (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1206028[Abstract ][Full Text ]

Treatment and Refill Kiosks Provide Communities with Cleaner Drinking Water

A water filtration system in Indonesia

A new study by a team at Yale University has shown that consumption of water from community-scale water treatment and refill kiosks decreased the risk of diarrhea in an urban slum in Jakarta, Indonesia. Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among young children. “People assume that you need very low-tech and cheap solutions for low-income people, but we saw a reduction in diarrhea rates for people living in very low-income areas in Southeast Asia that were using these novel technologies,” says lead author Laura Sima, Ph.D. “This solution is about one-fourth the price of bottled water in Jakarta and is showing similar reductions in diarrhea risk for the population of children we monitored.”

Training & Capacity Building

Focus on Fellows: Randi Bertelsen

Randi Bertelsen, Ph.D.

An interest in epidemiology and an opportunity to conduct breakthrough research on environmental exposures and childhood asthma and allergies brought Randi Bertelsen, Ph.D., from Oslo, Norway to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina to work with NIEHS researcher Stephanie London, M.D., Dr.P.H. "I really wanted to get more epidemiology training, and I knew that some of my colleagues already had an ongoing collaboration with [London]," said Bertelsen, who is a visiting fellow in the epidemiology branch. "Because I knew of all the good research that comes out of NIEHS and because I was interested in environmental risk factors for disease, NIEHS was an easy choice."

Funding Opportunities

Resources

Contact Info

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Email feedback: NIEHSGEH@mail.nih.gov (mailto:NIEHSGEH@mail.nih.gov)

Website: www.niehs.nih.gov/geh (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/programs/geh/)

Events

NIEHS/IOM Global Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Innovation Collaborative Webinars 

May 23: Health in the Context of Sustainable Economic Frameworks Webinar
June 27: Health in the Context of Global Climate Change

World Environment Day 2013   

June 5, 2013

International Meeting on E-Waste and Children's Health

Geneva, Switzerland
June 10-12, 2013

Introduction to E-Waste 

Bonn International Cooking Energy Forum

Bonn, Germany
June 26-28, 2013

International Congress of Toxicology 

Seoul, South Korea
June 30-July4, 2013

Fifth International Conference on Climate Change 

Port-Louis, Mauritius
July 18-19, 2013

Eleventh International Conference on Mercury as A Global Pollutant 

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
July 28 - August 2, 2013

2013 Conference Environment and Health – Bridging South, North, East, and West 

Basel, Switzerland
August 19-23, 2013


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