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Your Environment. Your Health.

Visionary Ideas: Route or Source of Exposure

New Strategic Plan

Visionary Ideas

NIEHS established a special website for visitors to submit, vote on, or comment on Visionary Ideas, as well as discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for NIEHS. Visionary Ideas are as submitted, unedited for grammar or spelling.

Idea 1: Development of Occupational Exposure Assessment

Many organisations carrying out research projects on development of tools for modelling and measuring exposure limits. Exposure to hazardous substances can affect all human organ systems. It’s an important aspect of public health protection is the prevention or reduction of exposures to environmental agents that contribute, either directly or indirectly, to increase rates of premature death, disease, discomfort or disability.


Set up a series of conference-webinars to better understand chemical and non-chemical environmental exposures and effectiveness of risk management measures with participation of professionals in such areas as: REACH, toxicologists, epidemiologists, public health specialists etc

Idea 2: Effect of environmental pollutants in water, food, and air

Effect of environmental pollutants from agriculture, chemical, and other industries and other human activities enter the fresh water bodies and our drinking water, our food chain, the soil, and air. The effect of such chemicals and compounds on human physiology and the physiology and ecology on wild flora, fauna, fungi, microorganisms, etc. is largely unknown. This is especially true when they act at very low doses on the endocrine system and when they act synergistically with other anthropogenic or natural compounds in the environment. Considering the number of such anthropogenic compounds (over 80,000), lots of work is needed to find out their possible negative effects on humans and ecosystems.



This should be #1 on our list. Use this data to then formulate an informed plan of action. The data will show us our way.

Idea 3: Fund Exposure Science Research Centers

In many of our epidemiological studies, our understanding of exposure whether it be acute, chronic, lifetime, historical, multipathway, multi-agent, cumulative, synergistic, spatiotemporal is really limited, not accurate, or has high uncertainty. NIEHS should fund exposure science proposals where the research team has the power to focus on developing good exposure science and reliable and accurate exposure estimates. This should be one of the primary foci of NIEHS to fund exposure science research instead of forcing investigators to always have a health outcome or intermediate health outcome. For many communities impacted by a large number of environmental hazards which leads to exposure to multiple chemical agents, across multiple pathways, there is a major concern about cumulative impacts. In addition, many of these communities are highly exposed to psychosocial stressors. Members of these communities would be empowered by NIEHS research if it was able to provide a more complete exposure profile for local residents. In addition, for populations exposed to both environmental and social determinants of health, exposure science can play an important role in providing them with data that they need to advocate for policy change, enforcement of environmental regulations, or changes to the built environment to improve health outcomes. Its important that NIEHS fund exposure science research centers and partner with other Institutes including the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Environmental Protection Agency, and nontraditional partners like HUD, USDA, and DOT.

Idea 4: Health Impacts of Indoor Exposures

We will likely continue the trend of spending more time indoors. Treat the insides of buildings as a zone of multiple human exposure paths (skin, sinus, lungs, eyes, etc.), involving multiple environmental agents (molds, nanoparticles, EMF, artificial UV light, etc.), having a wide variety of potential acute of long term health impacts (ocular, psychological, pulmonary, etc.). Consider potential interactions among indoor environmental influences, especially when one factor may amplify the risk of negative impacts from another factor.


An excellent source of baseline information and data for such a focus will be CDC's National Reports on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, and the efforts under the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Idea 5: How Does Water Fluoridation affect Ecosystems?

Water fluoridation allows the disposal of commercial grade, contaminated, untreated toxic fluoride waste chemicals into thousands of ecosystems throughout the US. What are the effects of this contamination on plant life, commercial crops, fisheries, grazing farm animals, wild animals, etc? In light of this deliberate pollution of the ecosystems, should US government policy be to encourage water fluoridation or to stop it? This question needs to be evaluated by an agency that is NOT historically tied to promotion of fluoridation - especially including any division of the US CDC.

Comment 1

My community put 37,905 pounds of Hydrofluosilicic Acid into the water supply in 2009. The Material Safety Data Sheet supplied by Univar USA Inc. says: "Prevent entry into storm or sanitary sewers, ground water, or soil."


Is that not where the majority of this material went?

Comment 2

I agree that we need to monitor the disposal of Toxic Fluoride.


I feel we need to monitor all chemicals being dumped into our Waste Streams from Hospitals, Doctors, & Drug Manufactures.


A Simple solution like a 5,000 gallon Underground Tank might save thousands of Lives Yearly. The cost of pumping the tank twice a month outweighs the possible Law Suits of Contaminating our Water System.

Idea 6: Make illness-causing toxic substances illegal

This would all be a moot point if we address the root cause of it all and make it illegal - enforceable with stiff penalties and lengthy mandatory prison terms - to use the toxic substances that cause these illnesses.

Idea 7: Research on the Current Vaccine Schedule

There is growing public crisis in the confidence in the US Vaccine Program. One of the areas of concern is the number of vaccines infants receive in the first year of life and whether one environmental trigger of autism and auto-immune disorders is due to the number of vaccines an infant receives while his/her immune system is under-developed.

Idea 8: Birth Defects

What is the most imp. reason for environmental ideas? YOUR HEALTH, yes? EVERYONE needs to start now to put pressure on all restaurants to buy seafood from America or we will all proably wind up with cancer from the Asian (mainly China & Thailand) seafood that is being served in all the major chain restaurants--Red Lobster, China; Fridays, Thailand, Rainforest Cafe, Thailand, etc. Ask the manager & dont eat that seafood. It's filled with sewage & poison chemcals. Some TV stations have had it tested, & even the head of FDA stated on TV recently that it is unsafe to eat, and yet none of our govt. agencies is doing anything to stop serving these most dangerous foods in our restaurants. Did you know that only 1% of imported foods are even tested, & proably not for the germs they have in Asia--one major cause of death in Thailand is an Amoeba found in their seafood. I KNOW, because I got it from BOILED shrimp in one of the best tourist hotels. A Dr. had to be called to our hotel as we were passing blood & he told us this is a common cause of death there & the boat people have a shorter life due to the filth in the waters. We were told that if the Amoeba got up to our lungs or liver we would die & had to take 4 medicines until we returned to the US>YOU ARE NOW EATING THIS SEAFOOD & taking this chance. If you died, doctors would probably say you had a virus, as they'd never think to test for some foreign germ in our food. The wealthy Asians get their seafood from OUR OWN ALASKA. 50% fo Alaskan seafood goes to Asia. They buy our good & sell us their BAD at lower prices & our shrimpers are going out of business (in our clean waters of Galveston). We also NEED TO SUPPORT AMERICAN WORKERS, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY IS YOUR not coming down with cancer later on from eating these seafoods full of chemicals & sewage. PLEASE TAKE A STAND AND MAKE THIS YOUR CAUSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECT YOURSELF, YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS.


I see the point of your suggestion---Very well taken. We need to set up better monitoring of all Sea Food and Foods coming into this Country. When Sea Food comes through Customs they could test the Fish for 100’s of Possible Toxins. The Cost Benefit speaks for itself. This Idea should be on the Top of the List.

Idea 9: Water Research

NIEHS has provided limited funding for research to study human exposure to chemical and microbial agents through water. With the increased use of antimicrobials and antibiotic resistance, the use of nanomaterials, the amount of hormones and other pharmaceuticals used by humans, and run off chemicals from agricultural areas and urbanized environmental to our waterways. NIEHS should contribute more to funding this type of research. For example, many residents who live in rural areas use well water as their primary water source. This water supply is threatened by the use of pesticides and animal waste from confined animal feeding operations. NIEHS should fund more of this research. In additional, NIEHS should be the primary Institute that funds research on exposure to microbial agents via drinking water and infectious disease. Over 30 percent of the US is on well water and many urban residents have poor public water infrastructure meaning that the water supply may be contaminated by fecal waste, have high microbial load, high levels of lead or other agents, or just be of poor quality. We made progress in the early 20th century through environmental engineering and the sanitation movement to improve the quality of our drinking water. Current infrastructure problems, agricultural activities, chemical use, use of antimicrobials, urbanization, and climate change means we should have a new age of water research. This research should not only focus on the quality of potable water supplies but the supplies of at-risk and vulnerable populations to contaminated water and contaminated food collected from polluted aquatic food webs.


The NG article below is as true in 2011 as it was in 2008; perhaps even more critically, so based on infrastructural introduction of nanowater and nanofilters. “Water Mafias Put Strangehold on Public Water Supply”

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