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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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A Sum Greater than the Parts: WHO Collaborative Network Aims to Improve Children’s Environmental Health

WHO Collaborating Centre Map

The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centres Network for Children’s Environmental Health, coordinated by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), has a long name but a singular mission — to improve children’s health by preventing or reducing environmental threats. Each member institution within this network conducts research and serves as a hub to strengthen national or regional capacity in the field of children’s environmental health. Similar to NIEHS, the members have relationships with the WHO as collaborating centers. A network of institutions already active in the field facilitates sharing of expertise and helps build global capacity, according to William Suk, Ph.D., Chief of the Hazardous Substances Research branch and an NIEHS WHOCC Focus Area Lead. “In this day of needing to link and communicate, the intent is to develop a network specifically to improve the health of children from environmental exposures,” he explained.

Full Article (244KB)

GEH Chat

GEH Podcasts

A Global Network to Advance Children’s Health (2-part series)

Children around the world face serious health consequences from harmful environmental exposures. The Children’s Environmental Health Collaborating Centres Network is a global collaboration among research institutions with a focus on reducing this important health burden. NIEHS is involved in this network as part of the Institute’s role as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. In this podcast series, we explore how the network helps to advance research and interventions to improve children’s health around the world.

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Science Spotlight

Exposure Assessment Study Encourages Safer Agricultural Work Practices in Egypt

Pesticide Applicator

Results from a pesticide exposure assessment study are being used to develop and encourage safer work practices in Egypt’s agricultural sector, which employs approximately 40 percent of the Egyptian workforce. The study, funded in part by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), was designed to measure exposure to two common organophosphorus (OP) pesticides among Egyptian cotton field workers. These pesticides are some of the most widely used chemical insecticides in the world, and a growing body of evidence links OP exposure to neurotoxic effects in humans. The scientists set out to clarify the OP exposure among these workers in Egypt. Their findings have been translated into ways to protect Egyptian agricultural workers from harmful environmental exposures.

Full Article (284KB)

Training & Capacity Building

Innovative Climate Tools Now Feature Themes on Public Health & Resilience

On April 7, NIEHS Senior Advisor for Public Health, John Balbus, M.D., joined climate change experts from federal agencies, academia, and the private sector at the White House to launch the health theme of the Climate Data Initiative. This initiative was developed as part of President Obama's climate action plan and executive order to better prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change. As part of the launch event, the U.S. government unveiled datasets that can help individuals and communities plan for the impacts of climate change on the public’s health.

Full Article (140KB)

Other Research

  • Obesity, Diabetes, and Associated Costs of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union Full Text
  • Male Reproductive Disorders, Diseases, and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union Full Text
  • Estimating Burden and Disease Costs of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union Full Text
  • Elucidating the Links between Endocrine Disruptors and Neurodevelopment Full Text

GEH Extras

The NIEHS WHO Collaborating Center for Environmental Health Sciences celebrated its first complete year as a Collaborating Center in February. Explore the new Annual Report to find a detailed description of Centre activities.

Funding Opportunities


  • WHO Report: Preventing Diarrhea Through Better Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
    The World Health Organization released a report on the global burden of diarrheal disease showing that deaths of children under five years old was down from 1.5 million in 1990 to 622,000 in 2012. Of these, 361,000 could be prevented with improved water, sanitation, and hygiene. Achieving universal access is an essential first step. The findings are based, in part, on collaborative research undertaken by WHO, the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and 13 other institutions. In addition, raising the quality of service levels through Water Safety Plans, household water treatment and safe storage, and well-managed sanitation systems is expected to yield substantial additional improvements in health.
  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
    The new "Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030" was agreed upon in March at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. The new framework includes seven global targets and notes the importance of resilience in a changing climate.
  • White House Climate Change - Ask Dr. Holdren
    As part of an outreach effort from the White House, the President's Science Advisor Dr. John Holdren has been answering questions about climate change sent using the Twitter hashtag #AskDrH. In this short YouTube Video, Dr. Holdren responds to many questions submitted.

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Climate Justice Conference

June 8-9, 2015
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (NIEHS)

International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health

August 10-13, 2015
Depok, Indonesia

35th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organize Pollutants (DIOXIN2015)

August 23-28, 2015
São Paulo, Brazil

27th Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE)

August 30-September 3, 2015
São Paulo, Brazil

9th World Congress of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD 2015)

November 8-11, 2015
Cape Town, South Africa

21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

November 30-December 11, 2015
Paris, France