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Your Environment. Your Health.

News and Highlights

NIEHS/EPA Children's Environmental Health & Disease Prevention Research Centers

two doctors looking at a computer
Center Develops New Method for Characterizing Chemical Exposures

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco Pregnancy Exposures to Environmental Chemicals Children’s Center have developed a new screening method that enables detection of hundreds of chemicals in blood samples. This method may help researchers assess chemical exposures in different populations, including pregnant women, and prioritize specific chemicals for future studies.

  • Science Highlights
  • UCSF News
Study in Rats Shows Developmental Exposure to Phthalates Lowers Number of Neurons, Impacts Cognitive Ability

Researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Children’s Center discovered that rats exposed to an environmentally-relevant mixture of phthalates shortly before and after birth experienced a reduction in neurons, synapses, and size of their medial prefrontal cortex. They also found that exposure led to a deficit in rats’ cognitive ability to process or adapt to new or unexpected conditions.

  • Science Highlights
  • EurekAlert
house with Dirty Little Secret About House Dust written on it
Center Launches Informational Webpages to Help Protect Children from Leukemia

Investigators at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment launched two new webpages using colorful infographics and relatable story-telling to share tips about protecting children from leukemia. The webpages, “Rosa and Carlos Plan a Family” and “Dirty Little Secrets About House Dust,” are available in in English and Spanish.

  • Community Engagement
  • UC Berkeley CIRCLE News
Know Better, Live Better logo
Center Launches Social Impact Campaign and Video, "Know Better, Live Better"

Investigators at the Emory Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, the Microbiome, and Metabolomics launched a social impact campaign called “Know Better, Live Better.” Geared towards African American women, the campaign shares educational resources, videos, and tips to help protect mothers and their children from harmful chemical exposures.

  • Community Engagement
  • C-CHEM2 Know Better, Live Better
group of children
Childhood Exposure to Flame Retardants Declines After Phase-out

Researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health are the first to show that levels of childhood exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a flame retardant once widely used in consumer products, significantly decreased over a 15-year period (between 1998 and 2013).

  • Publications
  • NIEHS Papers of the Month
60 Minutes Toxic screenshot
Center Uses Creative Video Series to Describe Challenges in Environmental Health Policy

Investigators at the University of California, San Francisco Pregnancy Exposures to Environmental Chemicals Children’s Center created a series of short videos featuring puppets as correspondents from 60 Minutes. The purpose of these videos, called “60 MiNueTs,” is to introduce the general public to issues and challenges related to environmental health policy.

  • Community Engagement
  • UCSF PEEC on YouTube
coal power plant
Center Investigators Show Air Pollution May Shorten Telomeres in Newborns

A recent study from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health indicated that prenatal exposure to air pollutants, specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, may be associated with shorter telomere length in a cohort of Chinese newborns. Researchers conducted a study of newborns born before and after the 2004 closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang, China. Results showed that children born before closure of the plant had shorter telomeres than those who were conceived and born after the plant’s operations.

  • Science Highlights
  • CCCEH News
Todd Whitehead
Investigator Recognized As Pioneer Under 40 in Environmental Public Health

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D., career development investigator for the University of California, Berkeley Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment, was recognized as one of 20 pioneers under 40 in environmental public health by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. As part of this recognition, Whitehead was given an opportunity to present during a webinar where he shared more about the Center’s research.

  • Career Development
  • UC Berkeley CIRCLE News
Pregnant Woman
The Womb Is No Protection from Toxic Chemicals

An op-ed article about the risks that different exposures pose to the fetus and developing children by Frederica Perera, Dr.P.H., director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, was published in The New York Times.

  • News & Media
  • NY Times
EHP Children's Health EHP News logo
Investigators Co-author Paper on Small-magnitude Epigenetic Changes for Children's Environmental Health Research

A group of Children’s Centers investigators co-authored a paper about the importance of small-magnitude effect sizes in epigenetic points for children’s environmental health research. The paper was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

  • Science Highlights & Publications
  • Environmental Health Perspectives
business park
Parks, Pollution, and Obesity Conference

The Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center organized and hosted a “Parks, Pollution, and Obesity” conference which was attended by more than 200 community, academic, and decision-making stakeholders with expertise in environmental health, urban design, and parks planning.

  • Community Engagement
Rosa and Carlos get Married Illustration
Shadow-puppet Play and Graphic Novel: Creative Messaging on Children's Environmental Health

Investigators at the UC Berkeley Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) developed educational materials that involve creative messaging about the role of pre-conception and prenatal environmental influences on health, and positive actions to take in mitigating risk of exposure.

  • Community Engagement
  • UC Berkeley CIRCLE, Western States PEHSU
Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D.,
Society of Toxicology Recognizes Young investigator with Award

Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D., investigator at the University of Michigan Children’s Center, received the Outstanding Young Investigator award from the Society of Toxicology, Women in Toxicology group in spring 2017.

  • Awards
  • Environmental Factor
spoons of rice
Ways to Reduce Dietary Arsenic Exposure

Margaret Karagas, Ph.D., director for the Dartmouth Center for Children’s Environmental Health was interviewed by about ways to reduce dietary arsenic exposure .

  • News & Media
toddler feet on a scale
Asthmatic Children May be More Susceptible to Obesity

Researchers from the Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center determined that children with asthma may be more likely become obese later in childhood or adolescence.

  • Science Highlights & Publications
  • EurekAlert! Science News
Animal Study Shows Potential for Harmful Effects of Tobacco Smoke Before Pregnancy

Findings from an animal study at the Duke Center on Neurodevelopment and Improving Children’s Health following Environmental Tobacco Smoke exposure (NICHES) showed harmful effects of secondhand smoke even before pregnancy, which raises caution for women of childbearing age.

  • Science Highlights & Publications
  • Duke Health
NIEHS 2016 Papers of the Year
Dartmouth Study Named NIEHS 2016 Paper of the Year

A paper authored by investigators at the Dartmouth Center for Children’s Environmental Health was named as one of several NIEHS 2016 Papers of the Year. This paper, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, is one of the first to report an association between low-level arsenic exposure during pregnancy and birth outcomes.

  • Science Highlights & Publications
  • NIEHS 2016 Papers of the Year
industrial building expelling exhaust
Report on the Effects of Policy-driven Air Quality Improvements for Children's Health

Researchers from the Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center authored a comprehensive report, “The effects of policy-driven air quality improvements on children’s respiratory health,” which was published by the Health Effects Institute (HEI). A synopsis of the report is also available from the HEI.

  • Science Highlights & Publications
  • Health Effects Institute
Child riding piggyback on mother
Short Documentary Shares Children's Environmental Health Topics with African American Communities in Metro Atlanta

Researchers at the Emory Center for Children's Health, the Environment, the Microbiome, and Metabolomics (C-CHEM2) and community collaboratorscreated a short documentary to introduce their Center and children’s environmental health topics to the African-American community in metro Atlanta.

  • Community Engagement
  • Emory C-CHEM2
Pregnant woman on the beach
Study Reports Measurements of Toxic Chemicals in Pregnant Women and Newborns

Researchers from the UCSF Pregnancy Exposures to Environmental Chemicals Children’s Center measured exposure to 59 toxic chemicals in pregnant women and their newborns, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

  • Science Highlights & Publications
  • UCSF News
Environmental Health: What Speech Speech-Language Pathologists who work in early intervention need to know
Center Holds Continuing Education Event for Speech-Language Pathologists

The Northeastern Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development (CRECE) in Puerto Rico held a continuing education event to enhance speech language pathology pratictioners’ and graduate students’ knowledge about the effects of environmental exposures on children.

  • Community Engagement
  • Northeastern CRECE
children holding hands
Podcast on Creating Healthy Environments in Child-care Settings

Barbara Fiese, Community Outreach and Translation Core lead for the Children’s Environmental Health Research Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was featured in a NIEHS-sponsored podcast on ways to reduce harmful exposures and create a healthy environment in the child-care setting.

  • Community Engagement
  • Partnerships for Environmental Public Health
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