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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News October 2015

Volume 6, Issue 10: October 2015

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NIEHS Grantees Gauge Clinicians' Perceptions of Environmental Contributions to Children's Cancer

As trusted sources of health information, it is important that clinicians are comfortable and confident talking about environmental contributors to disease with patients and their families. With a growing body of evidence showing the role environmental exposures play in the development of childhood cancers, this skill is especially needed for clinicians who care for children with cancer. Yet many pediatric oncologists and hematologists struggle to integrate environmental health knowledge into clinical practice. To understand these challenges, a group of researchers, supported in part by NIEHS, surveyed pediatric oncologists and hematologists to assess their perceptions of environmental health and their history-taking practices. The results represent the first characterization of pediatric oncologist/hematologist perceptions of the importance of environmental exposures to their patient care responsibilities.

"Very little of the knowledge about environmental impacts on human health [is] taught in medical or nursing education. Clinicians have the opportunity to educate their patients, at times uncover new health impacts, and advocate for children's health. To do this they need to understand the science," said Mark Miller M.D., director of the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and an author on the paper.

A majority of the clinicians surveyed agreed that environmental exposures are important contributors to childhood cancers. Additionally, a large majority reported that they routinely received questions from parents and families about the potential role of workplace or environmental exposures in their child's disease. However, clinicians also indicated that they were uncomfortable discussing disease implications of environmental exposures with patients and their families, and few take an environmental history. Over 90% of survey respondents stated that they would find it helpful to have more information about environment-cancer associations to answer questions from parents, patients, or family members.

These results highlight the necessity of increased awareness of environmental health research among health professionals working in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology. To meet this need, the study authors call on the environmental health research community to publish their relevant findings in clinical journals, which are widely read by pediatric hematologists/oncologists and nurse practitioners. A better grounding in environmental health research could ensure that physicians are prepared to respond confidently and accurately to questions about environmental contributors to childhood cancer.

"Acknowledgement by the medical community of the accumulating evidence that environmental exposures are associated with risk of developing childhood cancers is the first step towards developing programs to address prevention," noted Miller.

To learn more about survey results and the author's conclusions, read the full article, which was recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

In addition, be sure to explore and share the multimedia eBook, A Story of Health, which uses a case-based approach to explain the multiple environmental factors that influence health across the life span and how they interact with genetics and each other. Stephen's story is a chapter on the environment and childhood leukemia. The eBook offers free continuing education credits for health professionals through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). A Story of Health was developed by ATSDR, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, the Western States PEHSU at UCSF, the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the Science and Environmental Health Network.

NIEHS Grantees Featured in Science Friday Video

As you may recall, our July 2015 Newsletter featured a story about an NIEHS-funded community-based project using personal monitors to better understand how much air pollution New York City cyclists are exposed to and how this exposure affects their cardiovascular health. To help raise community awareness about the study, the project co-PIs, Columbia University's Darby Jack, Ph.D., and Steven Chillrud, Ph.D., partnered with their local public radio station, WNYC. Recently, WNYC's Science Friday produced a short video, Pedaling through Pollution, outlining the project. Visit the Science Friday Web page to watch Jack and Chillrud as they cycle through the city, discuss exposure issues surrounding urban exercise, and explain their long-term goals for the project.

CHAMACOS Study Highlighted in Mark Bittman's Video Series

The CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas) Study, led by NIEHS grantee Brenda Eskenazi, Ph.D., of the University of California, Berkeley, was recently featured in California Matters, a video series created by journalist and author Mark Bittman. CHAMACOS, funded by the NIEHS/EPA Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Program, is a community- based longitudinal birth cohort study examining the effects of pesticides and other environmental chemicals on children's health. In the short video, Bittman heads into the field with Eskenazi to discuss what the researchers have found since the study began in 1998, the importance of timing of exposure, and issues of environmental justice. Before watching the video, check out Bittman's op-ed for the New York Times introducing the video.

UA SRP Responds Quickly to Inform Communities near Colorado Mine Spill

The University of Arizona (UA) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center responded quickly to the August 2015 mine waste spill in Colorado by publishing a bulletin, Understanding the Gold King Mine Spill, to inform affected communities about the extent of the accident, the effects of the spill, and what is being done to control it. Read more about the UA SRP Center's involvement to inform communities about the mine spill on the SRP news page. The UA SRP Community Engagement Core is also putting together Mining and Environmental Educational Modules for Tribal Colleges, focusing on mining and its environmental and social impacts on tribal lands.

New NIEHS Fact sheet on Obesogens

What are obesogens and how might they contribute to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions? Find answers to these questions and more in a new NIEHS fact sheet, Obesity and the Environment(862KB). The fact sheet also provides tips people can use to reduce their exposure to obesogens.

If you want more information on obesogens, check out the Obesity and the Environment PEPH Podcast in which we talk with Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., who, with his colleagues, originated the obesogen hypothesis.

Call for PEPH at APHA Sessions

Each year, before the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference, we compile a "PEPH at APHA" booklet. This document is meant to help you navigate the large meeting so you can quickly and easily find the sessions in which our PEPH colleagues are participating. If you are an NIEHS grantee or community partner presenting at APHA this year, let us know! We sent out a request in September through the PEPH Network listserv to collect session information. We will continue to collect session information through mid-October, so it's not too late to make sure you and your colleagues are listed in the booklet! If you will be participating at APHA, please send the information below to with "APHA Info" in the subject line:

  1. Name of presenter(s)
  2. Presentation/poster title
  3. Date of presentation/poster
  4. Link to the abstract (optional but very helpful)
  5. Any awards or honors you or your partners may be receiving at the meeting

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

Environmental health chat logo

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Many factors are known to raise the risk of heart disease, including diet, smoking, inactivity, and genetic factors. According to a growing body of research, air pollution also plays an important role in the development of heart disease and in triggering cardiac events. Check out PEPH's latest podcast to hear about this research, as well as tips to reduce your risk.

You can find more podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page or subscribe to the series on iTunes. We want your feedback! Send comments and ideas for future podcasts to

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The latest issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor features several stories highlighting topics and activities of interest to the PEPH community. Take a moment to catch up with some of the latest projects, events, and activities happening in the PEPH Network:

Environmental justice featured in new NIEHS report. A new NIEHS report analyzes the role of the Institute's grant funding in reducing environmental disparities and promoting environmental justice.

Phil Brown receives environmental sociology award for outstanding work. The American Sociological Association recognized the work of NIEHS grantee Phil Brown, Ph.D., with the Practice and Outreach Award.

Fracking in Pennsylvania linked with increased hospitalizations. NIEHS-funded scientists have linked increases in hydraulic fracturing activity and hospitalization rates in Pennsylvania.

Two SRP grantees selected as prestigious AAAS Fellows. Two SRP researchers began prestigious appointments as American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Technology policy fellows.

Global collaboration to combat e-waste. NIEHS and international collaborators focused on strategies to combat e-waste at a conference and workshop in Indonesia

EPA Releases New Air Monitoring Citizen Science Videos

EPA recently released six new air monitoring training videos developed to help citizen scientists conduct air monitoring projects. The videos feature presentations given at a July 2015 training workshop hosted by EPA to share tools used to conduct citizen science projects involving Next Generation Air Monitoring technology and to educate interested groups and individuals on best practices for successful air monitoring projects. The short videos are part of the Air Sensor Toolbox for Citizen Scientists and provide an overview on topics that can help citizens plan and implement a successful air monitoring project. Visit EPA's Web page to view the videos and be sure to share them with citizen scientists in your community who are interested in learning more about monitoring air quality!

EPA's Tribal Science Webinar Series Kickoff

The EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities Seminar Series presents the Tribal Science Webinar Series Kickoff. This free monthly series will serve as a forum for discussing the complex environmental issues facing many tribal and indigenous communities by featuring a wide variety of expert guest speakers from government, academic institutions, and other organizations. The topic for the October 2015 Tribal Science Webinar is "Native Science and Environmental Health: Discussions on Research, Traditional Knowledge and Community Health." The webinar will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. EDT. Please register in advance to attend. The Tribal Science Webinars are co-hosted by the National Center for Environmental Research and the Office of Science Policy.

NIOSH Releases Illustrated Materials for Spanish-Speaking Immigrant Workers

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a series of illustrated communication products for organizations serving Spanish-speaking immigrant workers. The family of products, Protéjase en el trabajo (Protect yourself at work), includes print and video materials that present a family of workers and cover a basic orientation to occupational safety and health, common types of hazards, suggestions for how to address safety concerns at work, as well as basic safety recommendations for hotel and construction workers. The materials are the result of a multi-faceted project that includes a partnership with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To learn more about the materials, visit the CDC Newsroom Web page.

CCPH Seeking the Next Editor for

The Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) is seeking an experienced professional to serve as Editor of, a peer-reviewed online repository of products of community-engaged scholarship that are in forms other than journal articles. Products include videos, manuals, curricula, and products developed through service-learning, community-based participatory research, and other community-engaged work. The deadline to apply is November 9, 2015. Review the Request for Applications for more information.

Tenure Track Position in Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences at Tulane University

The Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine invites applications for a tenure track faculty position in the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences. The successful candidate will join the graduate program in Environmental Health and participate in research and teaching in the areas of global environmental health science and disaster management. Applicants should demonstrate strong interest or experience in interdisciplinary environmental public health research and teaching in one or more of the following areas of disaster management: planning, response, and/or recovery. See the job announcement for more information and to apply.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Events

September 30 - October 1, 2015: Interindividual Variability: New Ways to Study and Implications for Decision-Making, in Washington, D.C. This workshop will focus on recent scientific advances that could help elucidate the sources of interindividual variation. On-site and webcast registration is required. If you plan on attending in person or watching the webcast, use the Twitter hashtag #NASvariability to join the conversation!

October 6, 2015: Institute of Medicine Meeting on Obesity in the Early Childhood Years: State of the Science and Implementation of Promising Solutions in Washington, D.C. Register to attend in person or via webcast.

October 12 - 14, 2015: Pathways into Health Conference - Achieving Excellence, Harmony, and Balance in Seattle, Washington. The purpose of this conference is to bring together a diverse group of individuals and organizations to contribute to the cultivation of a robust American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) healthcare workforce.

October 14 - 16, 2015: NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in San Diego, California. These seminars are intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest of concern. The seminars are appropriate for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students. Register.

October 18 - 22, 2015: International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) in Henderson, Nevada. The theme of the 25th Annual ISES Meeting is "Exposures in an Evolving Environment." Register.

October 19, 2015: NIH Digital Summit: Optimizing Digital to Reach Patients, Scientists, Clinicians, and the Public in Bethesda, Maryland. This digital summit will explore how patients, health professionals, and researchers are getting and sharing health and science information. The summit is designed to encourage discussion, so use the hashtag #NIHDigital to join the conversation online! Registration is required for in-person attendance.

October 29 - 30, 2015: 2015 NIEHS/EPA Children's Centers Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. This meeting will feature the Children's Centers' researchers and senior scientists, the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) North American network, scientists from federal agencies, and others through interdisciplinary presentations and discussions that explore connections between research findings, clinical and community practice, and child protective policies. Speakers also will discuss approaches for communicating with the scientific community and for sharing research findings and technical information with parents and the public. Please register by October 9, 2015.

October 31 - November 4, 2015: American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. This year's theme is "Health in All Policies." Register.

November 2 - 3, 2015: 7th Annual Health Literacy Research Conference (HARC) in Bethesda, Maryland. The HARC is an interdisciplinary meeting for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. Register.

November 9 - 10, 2015: 2015 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit in Austin, Texas. The Impact Summit is the premier gathering for those involved in the field of community measurement. The conference will highlight successes, tools, and how to use data to build equitable communities. Pre-conference workshops are also being offered on November 8 for an additional fee. Register.

November 12, 2015: Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN) Tenth Annual Child Health Advocate Award Reception in Washington, D.C. Join CEHN in celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Annual Child Health Advocate Award Reception! This event will honor and celebrate key leaders, including youth, for their tireless efforts to promote safe and healthy environments for all children. The reception will be held on November 12th from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. EST. Visit CEHN's Web page for more information and to register. This year's award recipients are: Science Award - Dr. Walter Rogan, NIEHS Epidemiology Branch (retired); Policy Award - Carol Stroebel, long-time advocate for policies protecting public interest / public health, most recently CEHN Director of Training and Policy; Child Health Advocate Awards - Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (invited) and Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Policy and Senior Advisor, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (invited); Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (N.O.W.) Youth Leadership Award - Annie Willis, Leader with Global Kids, Inc.

November 17 - 20, 2015: Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The theme for this year's meeting is "SRP Collaboration for Innovation." Register.

December 3 - 4, 2015: Tribal Ecological Knowledge Workshop in Bethesda, Maryland. This workshop will explore the contributions that Native American (NA) and Alaskan Native (AN) tribal communities bring to the research enterprise. The workshop is intended for those with an interest in research with NA/AN communities, academic investigators, federal staff, and members of tribal communities to give them the opportunity to contribute to the desired dialogue. The workshop is open to the public; registration is required.

December 14 - 15, 2015: 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Washington, D.C. This meeting is ideal for researchers, evaluators, and implementers who are interested in identifying opportunities, challenges, and strategies for disseminating the findings and implementation of research to key stakeholders. Registration is now open.

May 11 - 14, 2016: 14th International Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Save the date for the CCPH conference, which will bring together community partners, faculty members, students, funders, and policymakers to highlight partnerships and research collaborations addressing health equity through social justice. Session and poster proposals are due October 15, 2015. See the CCPH proposal submission Web page for more information.

Funding Opportunities

Visit the PEPH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.

Spatial Uncertainty: Data, Modeling, and Communication (R01). To support innovative research that identifies sources of spatial uncertainty in public health data, incorporates the inaccuracy or instability into statistical methods, and develops novel tools to visualize the nature and consequences of spatial uncertainty. Deadline: October 5, 2015.

Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01, R03, R21). To encourage methodological, intervention, and dissemination research for understanding and promoting health literacy. Deadlines: October 5, 2015 (R01); October 16, 2015 (R03, R21). Learn more about NIEHS areas of interest.

Advancing Implementation Science in Community/Academic Partnered Research. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Donaghue Foundation have partnered to offer an opportunity for academic medical centers to engage collaboratively in research that has the potential for a near-term impact to improve population health outcomes. The research should facilitate collaborations among researchers, community organizations, and health system leaders. For more information, download the Request for Proposals. Deadline: October 16, 2015.

NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research on Chronic Disease Prevention (U54). The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites applications to establish specialized Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for health disparities research focused on chronic disease prevention, with an emphasis on developing, implementing, and disseminating community-based multilevel interventions. Deadlines: November 16, 2015 (letter of intent); December 16, 2015 (application).

Academic-Community Partnership Conference Series (R13). This FOA encourages Research Conference Grant applications to conduct health disparities-related meetings, workshops, and symposia. The purpose of the FOA is to bring together academic institutions and community organizations to identify opportunities for reducing health disparities through the use of Community-Based Participatory Research. Deadline: November 17, 2015.

Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health through Community-Based Participatory Research (Limited Competition R03). To support community-based participatory research projects planned and developed by recipients of the Phase I Academic-Community Partnerships Conference Series awards under PAR-09-092 and PAR-12-102. Deadlines: November 20, 2015 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.

Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Exploratory/Developmental (R21). The mission of CounterACT is to foster and support research and development of new and improved therapeutics to mitigate the health effects of chemical threats. Chemical threats are toxic chemicals that could be used in a terrorist attack or accidentally released from industrial production, storage, or shipping. They include traditional chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and pesticides. The scope of the research includes target/candidate identification and characterization, through candidate optimization, and demonstration of in vivo efficacy. Deadlines: January 26, 2016 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application.

International Research Scientist Development Award (K01) The purpose of the International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) is to provide support and protected time to advanced postdoctoral U.S. research scientists and recently appointed U.S. junior faculty for an intensive, mentored research career-development experience in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) leading to an independently funded research career focused on global health. See the IRSDA Web page for more information. Deadline: March 2, 2016.

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (Admin Supp). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hereby notify Program Director(s) / Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) holding specific types of research grants that funds are available for administrative supplements to improve the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting students, postdocs, and eligible investigators from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research. This supplement opportunity is also available to PD(s)/PI(s) of research grants who are or become disabled and need additional support to accommodate their disability in order to continue to work on the research project. Deadline: Due dates vary by awarding IC; see table of IC-specific information, requirements, and staff contacts for more details.


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