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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News October 2017

Volume 8, Issue 10: October 2017

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Teen Researchers Study Pesticide Exposure, Share Results with their Community

In collaboration with scientists at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), a group of Latino high school students are investigating how teen girls living in California's Salinas Valley are exposed to pesticides.

The young researchers used silicone wristbands to measure personal exposures and detected nearly 70 different pesticides. They also discovered several factors associated with reduced exposure, including regular household cleaning or placing a doormat at the entryway of the home. The students are members of the Chamacos Youth Council (CYC), which has helped conduct several research projects in collaboration with scientists at the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH).

CYC members recently shared early study results in a KION TV news story (Spanish version, starts at 6:20). They are now exploring ways to use their findings to reduce pesticide exposure among teens in their community.

More than 9 million pounds of pesticides are applied to crop fields every year in the Salinas Valley, according to Kim Harley, Ph.D., who leads health effects research at CERCH. "Our study focuses on teenage girls because they are undergoing rapid reproductive development, and adolescence may be a time when they are particularly susceptible to endocrine disrupting or carcinogenic pesticides," explained Harley. "We assume that people who live in agricultural communities are exposed to pesticides, but there is a lot we don't know; there are hundreds of different kinds of pesticides with different toxicities, application methods, and propensities to drift off-site. We want to know more about which pesticides are making it into people's homes."

One hundred teen girls living in the Salinas Valley participated in the Chamacos of Salinas Examining Chemicals in Homes and Agriculture (COSECHA) study. For one week, each girl wore a silicone wristband to measure personal pesticide exposure and carried a GPS device to track how close they got to agricultural fields. The CYC also collected dust samples from the girls' homes.

CYC members are now sharing what they have learned so far with the Salinas community. "This study allows us to engage and empower local youth in environmental health research and uses a peer-to-peer model to disseminate study results to other youth in the community," said Harley.

The CYC is creating several radio skits to inform the community about potential exposures and ways to reduce exposure. Starting in late October, one radio skit will be released every week on the COSECHA study webpage and social media accounts. They also are developing an instructional video to show residents how to access and use maps of pesticide use around their homes.

"We believe everyone has a right to know about their potential exposures. Our goal is to inform our community but also teach them about alternatives to using pesticides and how to protect themselves from pesticides," said high school senior and CYC member Giselle Lazaro.

The COSECHA study is a community research collaborative funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program. Kim Harley of UC Berkeley and Jose Camacho of Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas lead the study. The silicone wristbands were developed by Kim Anderson, Ph.D., at Oregon State University.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

Environmental Health Chat

In our newest podcast, hear how researchers are studying windows of susceptibility throughout the lifespan and learn how to prevent potentially harmful exposures to environmental stressors.

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

PEPH Webinars: (1) Citizen Science and Ethics and (2) Healthy Schools / Healthy Daycares

Mark your calendars for two PEPH webinars happening this month:

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Phil Brown, Ph.D.

Phil Brown, Ph.D., is interested in understanding how social factors influence a community's risk of exposure to environmental contaminants. As founder of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI) at Northeastern University, he works to integrate social sciences into environmental health and expand collaborations between experts in these fields. Through NIEHS-funded training programs, Brown is helping prepare undergraduate and graduate students to be future leaders in social science - environmental health collaborations. "It [the training program] has really helped researchers understand the importance of looking at things beyond the laboratory. They are more equipped to address environmental health issues by working with community partners and looking at the community-level impacts of contamination." Brown is also the co-lead for community outreach, engagement, and translation efforts for two NIEHS-funded Centers, the Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) and the Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico (CRECE).

PEPH in the September NIEHS Environmental Factor

Spero Manson explores power of place in Native health. Medical anthropologist Spero Manson, Ph.D., drew on his research to describe how place can shape Native Americans' identities and health.

St. Lawrence Island welcomes full-time health clinics. Thanks to new full-time health clinics, residents of a remote island in the Bering Sea now have health care much closer to home.

New NTP website getting rave reviews. The newly redesigned site will help the National Toxicology Program better communicate with scientists and the public.

New Webinar Series Features Young Environmental Health Professionals

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) is excited to present 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health, a series of ten webinars that will feature the work of the next generation of environmental health scientists. Beginning October 4, the monthly series will feature cutting-edge work in topics such as climate change and health, chemicals linked to adverse birth outcomes and obesity, and disparities in toxic exposures between different social and racial groups. CHE's goal is to encourage new perspectives and creative discussions and to inspire students and young professionals as they hear from young researchers.

The first webinar, Chemicals in Consumer Products: Exposure Science at the Forefront of Regulation, features Simona Balan, Ph.D., Senior Environmental Scientist at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and Todd Whitehead, Ph.D., Career Development Investigator at the NIEHS-funded Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) at the University of California, Berkeley. The webinar will be held October 4, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Please register.

New Air Quality Course for Health Professionals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a new evidence-based training on air quality for healthcare professionals. The Particle Pollution and Your Patients' Health course describes the biological mechanisms responsible for the cardiovascular and respiratory health effects associated with particle pollution exposure. It also provides educational tools to help patients understand how particle pollution exposure can affect their health and how they can use the Air Quality Index to protect themselves. The course is designed for family physicians, internists, pediatricians, occupational and rehabilitation physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, asthma educators, pulmonary specialists, cardiologists, and other health professionals. Participants can earn continuing education credits for completing the course.

Hurricane Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Materials from CDC and ATSDR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have compiled their hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery guidance materials on a single webpage. The webpage contains materials to help communities prepare for hurricanes and floods and protect the health and safety of the public, responders, and clean-up workers during hurricane and flood response and recovery operations. Many materials are available in both English and Spanish.

Workshop Report: Translating the Results of Hurricane Sandy Research Grants into Policy and Operations

A new report summarizes a workshop focused on key findings from published Hurricane Sandy research, the impact of the scientific findings on disaster policy and operations, and opportunities to translate the research findings to future preparedness response and recovery efforts. The workshop, "Translating the Results of Hurricane Sandy Research Grants into Policy and Operations," brought together past Hurricane Sandy Research Grants recipients, policy makers, public health preparedness professionals, and the public to explore research findings and discuss opportunities for translation to policy and operations. The workshop, held July 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C., was convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Events

October 13 - 14, 2017: 4th International Moving Forward Network Conference in Carson, California. This free educational conference will provide data, insights, and shared practices to create effective policies and strategies for communities impacted by goods movement expansion activities, such as ports, rail yards, and trucking routes.

October 15 - 19, 2017: International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) Annual Meeting in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This year's meeting theme is "Integrating Exposure Science Across Diverse Communities." The meeting includes several PEPH-related sessions, including pre-conference courses on using handheld air monitoring sensors and science communication. There is a special reduced registration fee for community partners! Meeting organizers wish to encourage greater community participation and engagement at the annual event.

October 19 - 20, 2017: Tribal Environmental Health Forum in Chandler, Arizona. The Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center invites you to "Indigenous Environmental Stewards: Bridging Tribal Communities to Healthy Futures," an open forum for tribal community members, educators, and tribal environmental and health professionals.

October 22 - 25, 2017: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Meeting in Tampa, Florida. This year's theme is "Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future." NIEHS grantee Monica Ramirez-Andreotta is co-organizing and moderating a session titled "Community Engagement and Public Participation in Environmental Research."

October 30 - 31, 2017: Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative's 10th Annual Summit in Durham, North Carolina. This year's theme is "When Facts Are Not Enough: Getting from Good Science to Good Decisions in a New Age of Environmental Health Science."

November 4 - 8, 2017: APHA Annual Meeting & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. This year's theme is "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health." NIEHS Grantees and Partners: Let us know if you have a session or poster at the meeting by emailing

April 29 - May 2, 2018: Save the date for the 3rd International Conference on One Medicine One Science(iCOMOS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. iCOMOS will explore new ways to solve pressing health issues, facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, and promote science's role in influencing public policy at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment. The conference will feature NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. Poster abstracts are being accepted and must be submitted no later than January 15, 2018. A limited number of travel awards will be available for selected abstracts, with preference for students and trainees.

Funding Opportunities

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

Collaborative Minority Health and Health Disparities Research with Tribal Epidemiology Centers (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). The purpose of this initiative is to support collaborative research between Tribal Epidemiology Centers and extramural investigators on topics related to minority health and health disparities in American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

Addressing Health Disparities through Effective Interventions among Immigrant Populations (R01). Supports innovative research to develop and implement effective interventions to address health disparities among U.S. immigrant populations. Deadline: October 5, 2017.

Spatial Uncertainty: Data, Modeling, and Communication (R01). Supports 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, 2017.

Research to Action: Assessing and Addressing Community Exposures to Environmental Contaminants (R01). Encourages applications using community-engaged research methods to investigate the potential health risks of environmental exposures of concern to the community and to implement an environmental public health action plan based on research findings. Deadline: October 5, 2017. Check out the Research to Action Currently Funded Grantees webpage with project descriptions, which will provide you with a sense of the types of projects supported through this FOA.

Environmental Exposures and Health: Exploration of Non-Traditional Settings (R01, R21). Encourages interdisciplinary research aimed at promoting health, preventing and limiting symptoms and disease, and reducing health disparities across the lifespan for those living or spending time in non-traditional settings (i.e., playgrounds and nursing homes). Deadlines: October 5, 2017 (R01); October 16, 2017 (R21).

Health Disparities and Alzheimer's Disease (R01). Supports research to study health disparities in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related disorders. Health-disparities research related to AD should include the study of biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental factors that influence population-level health differences. Deadline: October 5, 2017.

NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13). To support investigator-initiated scientific meetings that will advance the field of environmental health sciences. Deadlines: December 12, 2017 (application); a letter requesting permission (LRP) to submit a conference application is required and must be received via email no later than six weeks prior to the application due date. See the NIEHS Conference Grant webpage for more information about the types of conferences and meetings the Institute is interested in supporting, as well as LRP guidelines.

Kresge Foundation Healthy Housing and Neighborhoods Initiative. This is an open grant opportunity for organizations working to address (a) policies, systems change, and communication to connect health and housing; (b) policies that promote healthy housing and mitigate the impacts of substandard housing and/or; (c) innovative investments that connect community development, health, and housing. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

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