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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News March 2016

Volume 7, Issue 3: March 2016

PEPH E-News Header

CEHN to Promote Healthy Child Care Environments at the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN), a PEPH partner organization focused on promoting healthier environments for children, was recently awarded a grant to educate and train child care professionals in the U.S.-Mexico border region on environmental health best practices. The project, funded through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's (CEC) North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action program, will build upon CEHN's already successful Eco-Healthy Child Care® (EHCC) Program.

"We at CEHN are thrilled to have this unique opportunity to promote the importance of healthy child development, neurodevelopment, and early learning environments by educating child care professionals about children's environmental health," said Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, M.P.H., Executive Director of CEHN.

The Eco-Healthy Child Care® Program is CEHN's award-winning training and endorsement program for child care educators and facilities across the nation. The program is framed around a checklist of 30 best practices in environmentally healthy child care, such as using non-toxic pesticides and cleaning products and prohibiting vehicles to idle in parking areas. EHCC offers training to child care providers on how to incorporate these low-to-no-cost improvements into their practice. Child care providers who comply with at least 24 of the 30 best practices are endorsed as "Eco-Healthy" by the program for two years before going through the renewal process. Parents then can choose a safer and healthier environment for their child by selecting an EHCC-endorsed facility. To date, more than 2,200 child care facilities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia have been endorsed by EHCC.

The new CEC grant will allow CEHN to expand its work in child care to the U.S.-Mexico border. Former NIEHS grantee Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland School of Public Health is teaming up with CEHN to assist in the Spanish delivery of the EHCC training program.

"This grant will help us expand the EHCC program to key communities on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the capacity to provide Spanish translated trainings and educational materials," said Witherspoon. "This is a critical population that will benefit greatly [from] this program effort and we are honored to be a part of it."

Visit CEHN's Web page to learn more about the EHCC program.

New Video Highlights the Impact of Toxins on Preterm Birth

A new video from NIEHS grantee Bruce Lanphear, M.D., and colleagues focuses on the impacts of environmental exposures on preterm birth. The short video highlights scientific evidence that air pollution, lead, and other environmental exposures may play a role in the approximately 15 million preterm babies born around the world each year. The video emphasizes that many women are exposed to more than a single toxin at once, further contributing to the high rate of preterm birth. The video closes with ways to reduce or avoid toxins in your diet, around the house, and in your community. We encourage you to watch Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxins on Preterm Birth and share it with you colleagues and partners.

New Podcast Series Highlights Environmental Health Scientists

The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) in the Center for Translational Environmental Health Research (CTEHR) at Texas A&M University has launched an environmental health podcast series to help the public connect to environmental health science and the people behind the research. In each episode, CTEHR co-director and podcast host Tim Lightfoot, Ph.D., talks with an environmental health scientist about his/her work. To date, the series has covered a wide range of environmental health topics and fields of study, including cell and developmental biology, oncology, respiratory biology, and pharmacogenomics. Visit the CTEHR COEC podcast Web page to listen to the new series!

Webinar: NIH Fellowships and Career Development Awards

We encourage all trainees to join an upcoming webinar that will highlight NIEHS grant opportunities for trainees. Many young investigators have their eyes set on academic careers. An early challenge they will face is applying for and getting their first funded grant. In this webinar, Drs. Michael Humble and Carol Shreffler, program administrators in the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training, will give important tips on how to write successful, competitive fellowship and career development applications, as well as a few common missteps that should be avoided. The goal is to shed light on grantsmanship issues for junior investigators/postdocs who are planning to write F31, F32, or K99/R00 applications. The webinar will take place March 3, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Visit the NIEHS WebEx registration page to register.

Emory to Host Weeklong Exposome Summer Course

The Emory Exposome Summer Course is designed to provide a comprehensive and intensive overview of the emerging science of the exposome. The exposome is defined as the cumulative measure of environmental influences and associated biological responses throughout the lifespan, including exposures from the environment, diet, behavior, and endogenous processes. This meeting will bring together investigators from across various disciplines to discuss, network, collaborate, and work toward a greater vision of lifelong health through the lens of the exposome. Leading experts from top institutions will provide updates on scientific progress on the exposome and related areas. In addition, interactive laboratory sessions will allow the participants to use cloud-based programs to analyze exposome-related datasets. There will also be two poster sessions to highlight relevant research, including environmental health science research that is not presently taking advantage of current exposome approaches.

The interactive, weeklong course will be held June 12-17, 2016 on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Poster abstracts are due April 22. Meeting registration closes May 1. See the Emory Exposome Summer Course Web page for more information.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

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Do you know what's in your cleaning supplies, automotive and home improvement products, garden supplies, and craft or hobby supplies? Many common household chemicals contain potentially harmful ingredients. Exposure to these ingredients can be hazardous to your health. They can be acutely harmful when inhaled or swallowed, but they also present health risks from chronic low-level exposure. In this new podcast, Safe Use of Household Chemicals, Dr. Paul Blanc discusses the health impacts of some common household chemicals and how to protect your family.

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:

Research to Action program gets results. Community and academic partners in the NIEHS Research to Action program met January 12-13 to share results and form new collaborations.

Two new studies need volunteers – puberty, e-cigs and smokers. Scientists at the NIEHS Clinical Research Unit seek Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area residents to volunteer for two new health studies.

Congressional briefing highlights NIEHS endocrine disruptor research. The NIEHS director and two grantees briefed congressional staff on health risks from early-life exposures to endocrine disruptors.

Microbiome and environmental health highlighted at workshop. At a workshop convened by the National Academy of Sciences, scientists explored the microbiome and its role in environmental health.

NIEHS reaches out to earth systems scientists. The January meeting of the American Meteorological Society included a focus on earth sciences and health, thanks to NIEHS involvement.

Arsenic uptake discovery could lead to safer rice. An international team of researchers has made a key discovery in the mystery of how environmental arsenic ends up in grains of rice.

APHA Webinar Series on Lead and Public Health

Join the leadership of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in a three-part webinar series about the impact of lead exposure on health:

March 16, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. EDT - Flint and Lead: The Water/Public Health Connection. Join APHA and the American Water Works Association for an interactive discussion about the current state of science related to the health risks posed by lead and the value of engaging the water systems sector. One CPH continuing education credit is available for this webinar. Register.

April 5, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EST - Public Health's Legal Authority and Safe Drinking Water. This webinar will examine the regulation of drinking water quality as a health equity issue and identify some potential ways public health practitioners can address it. Specifically, presenters will describe the Flint water crisis and explain what role public health can help play in maintaining the quality of drinking water. Register.

Week of April 25, 2016 (Date/Time: TBD) - Working Together to Address Lead Exposure in our Communities. This webinar will provide information about lead exposure, focus on community solutions to lead exposure, and provide tools for preventing lead exposure in the home. This webinar will highlight healthy homes interventions and offer ample opportunity for discussion. Check back later for more information.

EPA Announces 2014 Toxics Release Inventory Report

EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program is a resource for learning about toxic chemical releases and pollution prevention activities reported by industrial and federal facilities. TRI data support informed decision making by communities, government agencies, industries, and others. This year, EPA's annual TRI report is available on a dedicated website, giving users easier access to key information, including analyses and interactive maps showing data at a state, county, city, and zip code level. Other new features of the 2014 Analysis include integrated demographic information, profiles of federal facilities and the automotive manufacturing sector, and a discussion forum where users can share feedback about the report. To access the 2014 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit the EPA TRI website.

OSHA Seeks Nominations for National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it is accepting nominations for six positions on the 12-member National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA is seeking nominations for two public representatives and one representative from each of the following categories: management, labor, occupational safety, and occupational health. Members serve a two-year term and may be appointed to successive terms. Nominations may be submitted electronically at, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Nominations may also be sent by mail or facsimile; see the Federal Register notice for submission details. The deadline for nominations is March 22, 2016.

International Network Offers Children's Environmental Health Modules

INCHES, a global network of people and organizations interested in promoting the protection of children from environmental and safety hazards, offers a free children's environmental health training manual. The manual, created through the Children's Health, Environment, Safety Training (CHEST) project, is broken up into 24 different modules covering various topics, including consumer products, pesticides, indoor air pollution, risk communication, and more. The WHO Europe and WHO Headquarters participated in the CHEST project. You can access the training modules on the INCHES Web page.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Events

April 7, 2016: Children's Environmental Health Symposium in Sacramento, California. Join the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at the University of California (UC) San Francisco, and the UC Berkeley Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia (CIRCLE) for this symposium exploring the latest science in children's environmental health. The symposium is free to attend; please register.

May 3 - 4, 2016: Environmental Public Health Tracking Virtual Conference. This virtual conference will serve as a platform to raise awareness and inform state health department chronic disease directors and appropriate staff of the value and usage of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. Conference topics will include asthma, air quality, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, heart disease, health equity and the environment, and others. The Conference is free of charge for all attendees.

May 11 - 13, 2016: NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Adminstration in Baltimore, Maryland. The NIH Regional Seminar offers a comprehensive program for the NIH extramural community about the NIH grants process and related policies.

May 11 - 14, 2016: 14th International Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The annual CCPH conference will bring together community partners, faculty members, students, funders, and policymakers to highlight partnerships and research collaborations addressing health equity through social justice. Register.

June 11 - 12, 2016: Epigenetics and Environmental Origins of Cancer in Lyon, France. Hosted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the goals of this meeting are to evaluate the recent scientific knowledge in the field of epigenetics and environmental origins of cancer, to determine future research needs in this area, and to assess the implications of such studies in cancer causation and prevention.

June 19 - 23, 2016: Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists 2016 Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Attendees from across the country will meet to share expertise in surveillance and epidemiology, as well as best practices in a broad range of areas, including informatics, infectious diseases, immunizations, environmental health, occupational health, chronic disease, injury control, and maternal and child health. Register.

August 25 - 26, 2016: Advancing the Science of Community Engaged Research Conference Series in Washington, D.C. This year's conference theme is "Innovative and Effective Methods of Stakeholder Engagement in Translational Research." Poster abstracts are due April 30.

September 8, 2016: Disaster Health Education Symposium in Bethesda, Maryland. Save the date for the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health's (NCDMPH) "Disaster Health Education Symposium: Innovations for Tomorrow." The symposium will bring together health professionals from across the country to learn about training approaches in disaster medicine and public health. There is no cost to attend this workshop. News on registration and poster submission will be available in the near future on the NCDMPH Web page.

October 29 - November 2, 2016: American Public Health Association (APHA) 2016 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. This year's conference theme is "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health."

December 5 - 8, 2016: NIEHS Environmental Health Science FEST in Durham, North Carolina. Save the date to join NIEHS in celebrating 50 years of environmental health science research! Please RSVP if you plan on attending the meeting and stay tuned for more information.

Funding Opportunities

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

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Health Communications Internship Program. The Health Communications Internship Program gives highly qualified graduate students and recent graduate degree recipients the opportunity to participate in vital health and science communications projects in one of the many offices that make up the NCI. Interns will select an area of emphasis: health communications or science writing. Six-month and one-year internship terms are offered. Deadline: March 14, 2016.

RWJF Policies for Action. Research funded under this call for proposals from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation should inform the significant knowledge gaps regarding what policies can serve as levers to improve population health and well-being and to achieve greater levels of health equity. Experts from healthcare, public health, early childhood development, education, transportation, housing, architectural design, built environments, economics, and beyond are encouraged to apply. Deadlines: March 15, 2016 (letter of intent); June 17, 2016 (application).

Gulf Research Program Exploratory Grants. The Gulf Research Program is now accepting applications for innovative research projects that address one of the following topics: 1) Scenario Planning to Advance Safety Culture and Minimize Risk in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations or 2) Informing Coastal Community Planning and Response to Environmental Change in Regions with Offshore Oil and Gas Operations. Deadline: April 13, 2016.

Integrating Human Health and Well-Being with Ecosystem Services. The EPA seeks applications for community-based research that will foster better understanding of how ecosystems support human health and well-being. Specifically, this research should examine how communities can integrate ecosystem services with human health and well-being to inform their decision making and management practices. Partnerships and community engagement are strongly encouraged. Deadline: April 21, 2016.

Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01). The purpose of this FOA is to develop, adapt, and test the effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention interventions in Native American populations. Deadlines: May 12, 2016 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.

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 health public action plan based on research findings. Deadline: June 5, 2016.

Education and Health: New Frontiers (R01, R03, R21). Supports research that will further elucidate the pathways involved in the relationship between education and health outcomes and in doing so to carefully identify the specific aspects and qualities of education that are responsible for this relationship and what the mediating factors are that affect the nature of the causal relationship. Deadlines: June 5, 2016 (R01); June 16, 2016 (R03, R21).

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: June 5, 2016.

Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males (R21). Specifically, this initiative is intended to (1) enhance our understanding of the numerous factors influencing the health promoting behaviors of racial and ethnic minority males and their subpopulations across the life cycle and (2) encourage applications focusing on the development and testing of culturally and linguistically appropriate health-promoting interventions designed to reduce health disparities among racially and ethnically diverse males and their subpopulations age 21 and older. Deadline: June 16, 2016.

Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01, R03, R21). Encourages methodological, intervention, and dissemination research for understanding and promoting health literacy. Deadlines: June 5, 2016 (R01); June 16, 2016 (R03, R21). Learn more about NIEHS areas of interest.

Evidence for Action. Evidence for Action is a National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) committed to developing the evidence base to align with RWJF's vision of building a Culture of Health by supporting investigator-initiated research. RWJF is especially interested in research that will help develop the data and evidence necessary to improve health and equity in communities across the country. Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; applicants must first submit a letter of intent.

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