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Section Newsletter
Fall 2003


The theme of the 2003 Annual Meeting (San Francisco, Nov. 15-19) is "Behavior, Lifestyle and Social Determinants of Health." This fits well with our Section as social determinants, including socioeconomic status, neighborhood factors, and cultural variables, are often precursors to and can result in multiplication of chemical and physical environmental exposures. Differences in social determinants have been implicated as contributing to inequities in health status among population groups. A number of this year’s sessions highlight this theme. Near the end of the San Francisco APHA Annual Meeting, we will begin planning for the 2004 annual meeting in Washington, DC – with the theme of “Environment.” We, in the Environment Section, are excited to be in spotlight. I hope that you’ll be able to join us and spread the word about the Section’s activities to your fellow public health colleagues.

Many of the events planned for San Francisco are described in this newsletter, but a few highlights include:

• More than 35 Environment Section sessions, ranging from children’s health to nursing to social determinants. Neal Rosenblatt and Robin Lee, our program planners par excellence, have demonstrated incredible commitment and energy in organizing this year’s program. They’ve been ably assisted by many of you as abstract reviewers, session moderators, organizers and presiders. All of your efforts have been very fruitful and provide further evidence of the growing interest in environmental health.

• A special Built Environment Institute, a series of back-to-back sessions on Tuesday, November 18, examining: 1) how human-modified places--homes, schools, workplaces, parks, industrial areas, farms, roads and highways—impact our health; 2) how improvements in the design and construction of these places can result in improvements in health; and 3) how we can encourage engineers, planners, developers, architects, economists, scientists, physicians and public health practitioners to work together to address these issues.

• Our Calver Award will be presented to Michael Lerner, PhD, who will discuss, "New Developments and Strategies in the Emerging Movement for Health and the Environment." Michael is president and founder of Commonweal, a health and environmental research institute in Bolinas, California. He is co-founder of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, the Health and Environmental Funders Network, and Health Care Without Harm: The Campaign for Environmentally Responsible Health Care. He has helped launch numerous other initiatives for health and the environment. Michael received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship for contributions to public health in 1983. He is the author of numerous essays including "The Age of Extinctions and the Emerging Environmental Health Movement."

• A Section field trip is being planned for the afternoon (2-5:30 p.m.) of Sunday, Nov. 16. These trips have proven to be very successful in providing us all with a glimpse of a current environmental health issue of concern in the local vicinity and some real insight into how the public health community is dealing with the issues. Marni Rosen and Neal Rosenblatt are assembling this trip in order to address environmental justice, toxic contamination and approaches for sustainable environments.

• We will sponsor our first student award poster session on Monday, Nov.17, 8:30-10 a.m. Robin Lee has organized this session so that students will present their posters, and a small group of “judges” will evaluate them and choose a set of winners, who will be recognized at our social event that evening. This session is just one means of encouraging more students to join the Section and participate in Section activities.

As usual, we will hold business meetings on:
• Sunday, Nov. 16, 8-9:30 a.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 16, 6-7 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 17, 6:30-8 a.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 18, 6:30-8 p.m. (program planning for 2004)
If you haven’t attended these previously, they’re a great way to meet colleagues who share similar interests and to become more active in ongoing, year-round Section efforts.

As usual, we will hold our always fun and entertaining social on Monday, Nov. 17, 6:30-8 p.m.

Monthly Section conference calls continue to take place on the third Thursday of each month, 2-3 p.m. Eastern time. Call-in information can be obtained from me. These are another good way of participating, regularly, in the Section’s activities.

I thank all of you for your continued interest and great work on behalf of environmental health and our Section.

Allen Dearry


• Olden To Step Down As Director of NIEHS and The National Toxicology Program - Will Continue His NIEHS Research
Kenneth Olden, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is an Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Toxicology Program, today announced his intention to step down from both posts. He said he will remain in the positions until a replacement can be found.
Dr. Olden said, "I want to spend more time with my family and again become more directly involved in directing my research program," which he has continued while also directing the agencies. "Twelve years is enough as NIEHS/NTP director - the longest I have stayed in any position. That I have remained this long as director is the best indication of how much I have enjoyed the scientific and public health challenges of leading these great institutions."
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said, "Dr. Olden has been the kind of federal scientific leader we are proud to have in this department. He is known for his vision and his outreach and communication efforts. He has been an articulate and compelling spokesperson on the need for better scientific information for making important public policy decisions."
National Institutes of Health Director Elias Zerhouni, M.D., said, "Ken's commitment to the advancement of science has been a model to us all at the NIH. He has helped young, minority scientists and called attention to the excessive health burdens borne by the poor. Under his leadership, the Institute's research portfolio has broadened from primarily basic biology into such human studies as the 50,000-woman the Sister Study - the largest study of its type seeking to find both environmental and genetic clues to breast cancer. He has also promoted the use of genetic tools to determine our varying susceptibility to environmental hazards."
Born in poverty in the eastern Tennessee farming community of Parrottsville, Dr. Olden rose to conduct frequently cited cancer-related studies and to become, in 1991, the first African American named to head an institute of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Olden recalls, as a child, hearing his grandmother, who was born in slavery, relate vivid accounts of those days. He said that this heritage fueled his efforts on behalf of community-based research on health disparities and environmental justice.
At NIEHS/NTP, he proved to be an innovative scientific manager. He conducted Town Meetings around the country to help inform his decisions regarding NIEHS' future research activities. He promoted the use of new genetic tools to determine how the environment helps or harms human health. He developed the NIEHS journal Environmental Health Perspectives as a monthly publication along with a new quarterly Environmental Health Perspectives-Toxicogenomics section. What he has called his mantra - the observation that human diseases are generally the product of a triangle of environment, genetics and age - has become widely accepted.
At the National Toxicology Program, the first federal chemical screening using genetically modified rodents has begun - a process Dr. Olden has supported because he believes it will provide more safety with fewer animals and at less cost. The changes, he hopes, will also help bring needed products, such as new prescription drugs, to market quicker.
The NTP serves the federal regulatory health agencies with its findings and the publication of the federal Report on Carcinogens, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. Under Dr. Olden, NTP's Report on Carcinogens has declared the safety of saccharin and announced the carcinogenicity of dioxin, of second-hand smoke and sun lamps and of a number of industrial compounds.
Olden earned a B.S. at Knoxville College, an M.S. from the University of Michigan and, in 1970, a doctorate in biology from Temple University in Philadelphia. He did much of the research for that doctorate at the University of Rochester, where he was presented a second doctorate - the honorary degree of Doctor of Sciences - this past May 18.
A cell biologist and biochemist, Olden was active in research into the properties of cell surface molecules and their roles in human cancer at Harvard University and the National Cancer Institute. In 1985, he became director of the Howard University Cancer Center and professor and chairman of the Howard Department of Oncology. While serving there he was appointed to NIEHS.
His honors include appointment by President George H. W. Bush to membership on the National Cancer Advisory Board, membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; the Calver Award from the American Public Health Association; the HHS Secretary's Distinguished Service Award; the President's Meritorious and Distinguished Executive Awards, and the American College of Toxicology's First Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Olden and his wife, Sandra L. White, Ph.D., and daughter Heather live in Durham, N.C. He also has three grown children.
--Reprinted with permission from NIEHS

• NACCHO – APA Partnership Aided by CDC
Karen Roof and Valerie Rogers, NACCHO
Chris Kochtitzky, CDC

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the American Planning Association (APA) have joined together to bridge the health gap in land use planning and community design. Compelling research shows public health issues such as obesity, respiratory illnesses and mental health among others can be directly related to land use and community design. As such, NACCHO and APA are collaborating to further facilitate sharing/learning among planners and local public health officials about these connections. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NACCHO and APA will bring together planners and local public health officials to begin to address the interconnections in a variety of forums. NACCHO and APA are developing educational materials and will hold a series of joint conference presentations, and a national symposium with the aim of building the capacity of both disciplines to identify ways local public health officials can work with planners and other stakeholders to encourage more health conscious community design and smart growth. To learn more about the relationship between public health and land use planning visit NACCHO's website, <> and <>.

• Primary Health Care Leaders Chart Action Plan for Improving Environmental Education & Training
More than 100 leaders in medicine, nursing, and environmental health have set a course for action to achieve a national, interdisciplinary vision for environmental health outreach to health care providers, as part of The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation’s (NEETF) 10-year National Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides Initiative.

Meeting at the Initiative’s National Forum June 10-11, 2003 in Washington, DC, participants identified strategies and specific action items to expand the emerging nationwide network of health care providers committed to incorporating environmental health into primary care education and practice.

“We are excited by the partnership among a diverse group of stakeholders, who are now even more committed to preparing health care providers to protect Americans from the health effects of pesticides—in agricultural, urban and suburban settings,” said Leyla Erk McCurdy, NEETF’s Senior Director, Health & Environment Programs. “Through the National Forum, we also have identified dynamic opportunities for building on the Pesticides Initiative to expand efforts to integrate broader environmental health issues into health care provider education and practice.”
Participants identified a range of strategies for integrating environmental health into primary health care provider education and practice, as well as opportunities for expanding existing provider resources on the topic. In particular, commitments were obtained from several individuals to seek national professional associations’ endorsements of the Initiative’s companion documents National Pesticide Competency Guidelines for Medical & Nursing Education and National Pesticide Practice Skills Guidelines for Medical & Nursing Practice The Guidelines were published earlier this month. Additional action items included pursuing consumer-based promotion of environmental health/pesticides messaging in tandem with primary health care provider continuing education; initiating discussion and coverage of the issue with leading physician and nursing societies; and creating educational opportunities through credentialing bodies and professional societies who influence providers’ continuing education. A conference report is scheduled to be available in fall 2003.

The National Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides Initiative is a partnership of NEETF and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor and a wide range of other stakeholders. The National Forum was co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Association of Academic Health Centers, Migrant Clinicians Network and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. National Forum Supporting Organizations included the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
During the past decade, health professional groups, academic institutions, and government and community organizations have called for improved health care provider training in environmental health. A number of related reports were published in the 1990s. For example, the Institute of Medicine published its recommendations that environmental health issues be integrated into the various stages of training and clinical practice for health care providers. The American Medical Association provided backing by adopting a resolution urging Congress, government agencies, and private organizations to support improved strategies for assessing and preventing pesticide risks. These strategies include systems for reporting pesticide usage and illness, as well as educational programs about pesticide risks and benefits. In addition, the National Strategies for Health Care Professionals: Pesticides Initiative has called for all primary health care providers to acquire basic knowledge of the health effects of pesticides and the treatments and preventive public health strategies to address them. The goal is to improve the way primary health care providers assess and respond to potential pesticide exposure cases seen in their daily practice.

Practitioners must be prepared to respond to exposures from a range of sources—everything from household and lawn care products to agricultural chemicals. Primary health care providers must be prepared to take an environmental history and be prepared to: “problem solve” with patients who may have been exposed to pesticides; readily diagnose if appropriate; provide timely treatment for pesticide-related health conditions; provide prevention education; and consult with local authorities, where appropriate.

For more information, visit <> or contact: The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation, National Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides Initiative; 1707 H Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC, 20006-3915; 202-833-2933, x535; <>.
--Reprinted with permission from NEETF

• County of Santa Clara Selected 2003 Crumbine Award Winner

A jury of leading environmental health officials and public health sanitarians selected the County of Santa Clara’s (CA) Department of Environmental Health, to receive the 2003 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection. The Crumbine Award is usually awarded annually for excellence in commercial food education & inspection. The Crumbine Award remains one of the most prestigious recognitions that a public health agency can receive. Agencies honored with the Crumbine serve as models for other public health and safety programs across the nation.

• The APHA Network on Globalization and Health Report, Fall 2003
Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD MPH

How does the global economy affect health status and disparities in health status, public health systems and policy, access to coverage within private and public health care systems, occupational health and safety, injury control, environmental health, and access to pharmaceuticals and to safe water and social and economic equality? What do international trade agreements have to do with public health?

Members of the APHA Network on Globalization and Public Health will address these and other issues during the APHA annual meeting in November 2003. A Town Hall meeting on November 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center will offer brief presentations, and a chance to network with some local and national research and advocacy groups based in the Bay Area. The meeting will include observers from the upcoming September meeting of the international World Trade Organization ministerial in Cancun, Mexico, and members of international Public Health Associations. Join the planning with an email to Ellen Shaffer, <>. (Please see final schedule for exact room location.)

This year’s Annual APHA Meeting takes place just before the international gathering of trade ministers in Miami planning the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). FTAA would extend NAFTA to the entire western hemisphere (except Cuba). The Network will help sponsor a press conference and other FTAA-related events.

APHA has been actively involved in support of its 2001 resolution, which opposes including health care, water, and other vital human services in international trade agreements. Along with the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH) and the American Nurses Association, APHA alerted members of Congress in July that smaller scale nation-to-nation trade agreements were setting dangerous precedents for international agreements such as FTAA. The letter, which was circulated to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Sherrod Brown, explained that U.S. agreements with Singapore and Chile will:

Impede access to life-saving medicines, contradicting Congress’ earlier support for policies that would modify the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). They will: allow patents to be extended beyond the 20-year term required by TRIPS; require a 5-year waiting period before governments can provide generic producers access to the test data produced by pharmaceutical companies, delaying affordable access to medicines; and restrict how governments provide marketing approval and sanitary permits for medicines. Pharmaceutical companies could block production of generic medicines.

Ease the terms of trade on tobacco products, reducing tobacco tariffs for Singapore to zero. While public health protections have reduced tobacco use in the United States, this provision will make it easier to dump tobacco products in Singapore.

Open the door to further privatization and deregulation of vital human services including standards for health care professionals, and provision of health care and water, sectors better addressed through open international collaboration rather than through commercial trade negotiations. While some services and some professions are exempted from coverage by some trade rules, these exemptions are too narrow to assure full protection. The United States has no exemptions for water and sanitation, leaving the country open to challenges from foreign private corporations and their subsidiaries.

Grant foreign private investors greater rights than U.S. investors. Under NAFTA, similar provisions have led to lawsuits by private companies that overturned important health and environmental protections. Again, this contradicts the negotiating objectives of the Trade Act of 2002.

Other social and public services are poorly defined, leaving trade tribunals rather than elected officials and regulators to decide whether basic public health protections are barriers to trade. Covered services include income security or insurance, social security or insurance, social welfare, public education, health, and childcare. Trade panels are not required to have any expertise in health care or public health.

The letter urges Congress to advocate for trade agreements that exclude vital human services such as health care and water, that improve access to life-saving medications, and that do not threaten efforts to reduce exposure to dangerous substances. Further, it encourages support for enforceable commitments to advancing population health, and to achieving universal access to health care and to safe, affordable water in the United States and internationally. The U.S.-Singapore and U.S.- \Chile Free Trade Agreements do not meet these objectives, and therefore should not serve as models for other trade agreements, including the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) or the Central America Free Trade Area of the Americas (CAFTA).

The CPATH website <> provides additional background information on economic globalization and health. APHA groups involved with the Network include: Medical Care Section, Mental Health Section, Environmental Health Section, International Health Section, Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section, Occupational Health and Safety Section, Peace Caucus, Socialist Caucus, Spirit of 1848, DisAbility Forum, Hawaii’s Public Health Association, and the Public Health Association of New York City.


Neal Rosenblatt and Robin Lee
Environment Section Program Planners

This year’s Environment Section APHA program reflects a range of topics including:
• The built environment and health
• Children’s environmental health and vulnerable populations
• Innovative topics in environmental health
• Public health collaborations and infrastructure
• Public health nursing in environmental health
• Public health and policy
• Social determinants of health
• Spotlight on regional environmental health issues indigenous to the San Francisco,
Metropolitan area
• Terrorism
• Environmental toxics

More than 60 scientific and poster sessions will be presented, including a number of co-sponsored sessions partnering with Community Health, Community Health Planning & Policy Development, Epidemiology, Food & Nutrition, Gerontological Health, Occupational Health & Safety, Maternal & Child Health, Mental Health, Public Health Nursing, Public Health Student Caucus and Vietnam Caucus. Our panelists represent a wide range of organizations and government agencies from the United States and abroad. And don’t forget to include the Homer N. Calver lecture/luncheon in your APHA Personal Scheduler scheduled for Monday, Nov. 17 at 12:30 p.m. The winner of the Calver award is mentioned in the above “Message from the Chair” article. Other events include the launching of the Built Environment Institute – a series of sessions identifying approaches for building sustainable environments that actively improve human health, a Built Environment & Health Field Trip on Sunday, November 16 at 2:00 – 5:30 p.m., a Student Achievement Award poster session on Monday, Nov. 17 at 8:30 a.m., and the Environment Section Social Hour on Monday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. All Environment Section scientific, roundtable and poster sessions will be presented in the Moscone Convention Center.

The online program is available at <>
As program chairs, we want to thank so many of you for all your contributions, ideas, and advice over the past several months as the program planning process has unfolded and continues to roll along. We would especially like to thank our Track Teams and Session Organizers – Brenda Afzal, Wendy Blumenthal, Laureen Burton, Andrew Dannenberg, Allen Dearry, Kevin Delaney, Stefanie DeOLLoqui, Rebecca Head, Polly Hoppin, Paul Locke, Russ Lopez, Rebecca Love, Susan West Marmagas, Leyla Erk McCurdy, Kevin McNally, Daniela Quilliam, and Beth Resnick. Without your tireless support and leadership, none of this would have been possible to the extent we were able to accomplish. The depth and strength of our program this year speaks volumes for your efforts. Thank you!
See you in San Francisco Nov. 15-19!

Selected Sessions:

• The Built Environment Institute – Health by Design: Identifying approaches for building sustainable environments that actively improve human health.
In 2003, the Environment Section continues the Built Environment Institute and its associated programs. At the Annual Meeting sessions, participants will discuss issues about the built environment and its impact on the public’s health – biologically, psychologically, and socially. The Institute’s overall goal is to identify what combinations of planning, design, and lifestyle choices should be prescribed for healthy and sustainable living and more human-focused growth. Each year, the Built Environment Institute will offer several scientific sessions, and a best practices field trip. In 2004, focus groups will be initiated toward developing an urban health agenda and tool-set about the impact of the built environment on the public’s health.

The core Institute objectives are to identify mechanisms by which the built environment adversely impacts health and appropriate interventions that can reduce or eliminate harmful health effects. The Environment Section’s Built Environment Institute will also offer an annual Health by Design & Stewardship Award for the best planning and design proposals that depict potential healthy community designs. Individual researchers and whole communities will be applauded for their development and implementation of measures, tools-sets, design plans and quality of life indicators that span health and environmental quality and that integrate these into generative land use plans, building designs, and policy processes. Future Institute work will focus on creating national competency guidelines for public health education to address built environment issues.

This year’s Built Environment Institute’s sessions identify approaches for building sustainable environments that actively improve human health including:

Health by Design: A Public Health Framework
4128.0 - SCI: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2003: 12:30-2:00 p.m.
Diagnosis and Treatment: Measuring and modeling the impact of the built environment on the public’s health
4194.0 - SCI: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2003: 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Making it Possible at the Community Level – Identifying successes and challenges toward healthy community design and sustainable growth from multiple perspectives – Policy, Research, Development, and Economics.
4258.0 - SCI: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2003: 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Characterizing the Impact of the Indoor Built Environment on Human Health.
3345.1 - SCI: Monday, Nov. 17, 2003: 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Interactive Roundtable Discussion – The Impact of the Built Environment on the Public's Health: Selected issues
3272.0 - RT-SCI: Monday, Nov. 17, 2003: 2:30-4:00 p.m.

The Institute’s Built Environment & Health field trip is scheduled for Sunday, November 16 at 2:00 until 5:30 p.m. We will tour at-risk communities and see examples of healthy buildings and healthy community development in and around the San Francisco Metropolitan area.

• Abstract: Infrastructure Development: Strategies for Incorporating Environmental Health into Health Care
Primary health care providers are not well prepared to diagnose, treat and prevent health effects due to environmental exposures. At a national forum held in Washington DC many leaders in medicine, nursing, and environmental health identified strategies and specific action items for integrating environmental health into primary health care education and practice. This session will highlight these strategies and action items, and describe specific initiatives aiming to integrate environmental health throughout various stages of education and clinical practice for health care providers.
Moderator: Allen Dearry, PhD
Presenters: Lillian Mood RN; Leyla Erk McCurdy, M Phil; Patricia Butterfield PhD, RN; Mark Robson PhD, MPH; Jerome Paulson MD

• Abstract (Plenary): Innovative Health Systems: Performing in Times of Challenge and Change
Tuesday, November 18th, 10:30 a.m.-noon

Health systems at the local, state, and federal level continue to face declining resources accompanied by significantly increased demands for the capacity to provide a range of prevention and response activities. This session acknowledges the challenges, and provides inspiring examples of public health leaders and agencies at all levels that are performing with excellence during these times of change through innovation and collaboration.
Moderator: Sarah Kotchian, PhD
Speakers: Kelly Taylor, IHS; Patricia Elliott, ASTHO; Tyler Norris, Community Initiatives; Jonathan Fielding, County of Los Angeles Public Health

131st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association-Program Highlights

There are many exciting general sessions at this year’s Annual Meeting, but we would like to call your attention to the following three:

· President’s Session (3256.1) Monday, Nov. 17, 2:30 P.M.-4:00 P.M.

· Critical Issues in Public Health (4088.1) Tuesday, Nov. 18, 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

· APHA Closing Session (5190.0) Wednesday, Nov. 19, 4:30 P.M.-6:00 P.M.

Each session will include presentations on issues of great importance to the fulfillment of the public health mission in the 21st century by panels of outstanding experts. The panels are designed to provoke participants to view the future of their profession and to develop strategies for assuring public health effectiveness in the future.

Brief descriptions of these Sessions are provided below. For further information on the Sessions, go to <>.

President’s Session

This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing public health in the 21st century. Topics to be discussed are: the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations on the future of public health practice and education; strategies to eliminate health disparities; mobilizing public support for universal health care; and a summary of the present state of public health as a “starting point” for the future.

Critical Issues in Public Health

This Session will further amplify the discussion of issues of central concern in the 21st century. The topics to be covered in this session are: new strategies to reduce the prevalence of substance abuse; approaches towards controlling the epidemic of obesity; strategies to reduce the high incidence of traffic accidents; and dealing with the threat of emerging zoonotic infections.

Closing General Session

For the first time, the Closing General Session will feature a panel discussion. Three areas of central concern to public health in the 21st century will be discussed. The topics to be covered are: the impact of the rapidly advancing science of genomics on public health; the threat of new and emerging infectious diseases; and the promise of technology in helping disabled people to overcome their physical limitations.


Patrick Bohan Past Chair 10/02 11/03 (580) 310-5658
Allen Dearry Chair 10/02 11/03 (919) 541-3068
Nse Obot Witherspoon Chair Elect 10/02 11/03 (202) 543-4033, xt. 14
Beth Resnick Secretary 10/02 11/03 (202) 783-5550, xt. 221
Section Councilors        
Dan Boatright   10/01 11/04 (405) 271-2070
Michael Reiss   11/02 11/05  
Jill Litt   10/01 11/04 (303) 315-1535
Marni Rosen   11/02 11/05 (415) 561-2182
Barbara Sattler   11/00 11/03 (410) 706-1849
Bernard Weintraub   11/00 11/03 (213) 382-1881
Governing Councilors        
Jerald Fagliano   10/01 11/03 (215) 242-6221
Heidi Klein   10/02 11/04  
Susan Marmagas (West)   10/01 11/03 (202) 667-4260
David Wallinga   10/02 11/04 (612) 870-0453


Immediately prior to publication of this newsletter, the editor received, for review, a copy of the recently released Dioxins and Health, Second Edition edited by Arnold Schecter & Thomas Gasiewicz (Publisher: John Wiley & Sons' Scientific, Technical, and Medical Division). An in-depth review was not possible, but a short assessment of the book shows it to be extensive. Numerous well-known scientists are contributors (to mention a very few: Barry Commoner, Linda Birnbaum, William Farland, Gary Kimmel, Christopher Portier and many others). The book begins with an overview on the issues and concerns surrounding the topic, followed by chapters that provide a thorough description of dioxin’s toxicological aspects and a review of epidemiologic evidence and other reported health consequences. It looks to be a comprehensive and interesting treatment of the subject.

This written consideration (review) does not serve as guidance for or against purchase of the book. Ordering information: Wiley's customer service, 877-762-2974 or <>.


1. The Second International Conference on Urban Health, sponsored by the newly formed International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) and the New York Academy of Medicine, will take place in New York, NY from October 15 to 18. The event is co-sponsored by a number of SPHs. Overarching themes include the Urban Environment, Themes in Urban Health and the Healthy City. The event coincides with the formation of ISUH, whose goal is to facilitate the exchange of perspectives, research methods, and data on the study of disease in urban areas and the effects of urbanization on health. For more information and to register, see <>.

2. The CDC National Center for Environmental Health is sponsoring the Sixth National Environmental Public Health Conference, "Preparing for the Environmental Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century," to be held at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel, Dec. 3-5, 2003. More information can be found at: <>. Conference goals are to prepare the public health workforce for the environmental public health challenges of the 21st century, promote the need for an all-hazards approach to preparedness and response that encompasses terrorism, natural disasters, and other environmental challenges, and promote the development of emerging environmental public health leaders. The conference will feature a number of outstanding keynote speakers such as Dr. Richard Jackson and William McDonough. Environment Section members are strongly encouraged to attend.

3. NEW REPORT on ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & PRECAUTION from Rachel's Environment & Health News, #770, May 29, 2003 (Published July 31, 2003) by Peter Montague, The Environmental Research Foundation, P.O. Box 160, New Brunswick, N.J. 08903, Fax (732) 791-4603; E-mail: <>

“In the U.S., we all live in the same country, but we do not all live in the same environment. For example, a report just released by the Environmental Justice & Health Union in Oakland, Calif. examines U.S. government data and concludes that blacks and Hispanics are exposed to exotic industrial poisons more often and with greater intensity than whites.”
  • Available on the Web at <>

  • Read the San Francisco Precautionary Principle law at <>

  • Learn how the law came about in Rachel's #765 at

  • The July 11, 2003 Draft Cal/EPA EJAC report is available at

  • 4. The Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning has changed its name to the Alliance for Healthy Homes <>, as the work focus has expanded to address other housing-related health hazards (CO, cockroaches, dust mites, mold, pesticides) in addition to on lead poisoning prevention.

    5. View an online book about indoor air, from NIEHS called Crabby Kathy: A True Story -- Kathy is the teacher and the kids go about finding out what makes Kathy crabby at school (and it's not them), and what makes her crabby is "in the air." <>

    6. Congratulations to Dr. Allen Dearry, the Associate Director of Research Coordination, Planning & Translation at NIEHS; to Mr. Chris Kochtitzky in his new position at CDC as Deputy Director-Division of Human Development and to Dr. Dick Jackson, now the Senior Advisor to CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding and a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

    7. The Environment Section strongly supports mentoring and encourages emerging environmental health leaders to join us! We are looking for new people to attend our business meetings and to play key roles in the Section activities and welcome your participation at the Section’s Business meetings (see below). The Program will list the locations.
    • Sunday, Nov. 16, 8-9:30 a.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 16, 6-7 p.m.
    • Monday, Nov. 17, 6:30-8 a.m.
    • Tuesday, Nov. 18, 6:30-8 p.m. (program planning for 2004)

    The Environment Section Social Hour will be Monday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m.


    Claire Barnett, Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network,,

    (July 30) After federal studies in the 1990's revealed that America's decaying schools were harming an estimated one-third of the 50 million children enrolled in some 115,000 facilities, state-wide task forces or reform coalitions have emerged, focused on improving the conditions of schools. Indoor air quality and more generally indoor environments are a major public health capacity issue in the states and locally; Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors; there are virtually no standards for indoor air, and no agency is clearly responsible for child environmental health at school. Building on the example of New York State, nonprofit networks in Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and the District of Columbia are promoting policy reforms for school indoor environments and providing information to parents, schools, and personnel. The groups are collaborating on IAQ information and most have worked to secure Integrated Pest Management (IPM) legislation to reduce children's exposures in schools.

    "Healthy and High Performance Schools": Jump-Starts Federal Agencies and New Federaly Strategy

    With APHA support, advocates secured the enactment of 'Healthy and High Performance Schools' features in federal education law in 2002. Federal agencies jumped to promote healthier indoor environments at school. Most significantly, the U.S. Department of Education hired a consulting group to lay the ground work for a study on the impacts of decayed schools on child health and learning. Education is required to report to Congress on its findings. EPA and Education then developed a one-stop, crosslinked website for healthy school environments. In the works is a federal strategy on school environments being developed by a 'schools committee' within the President's Interagency Task Force on Risks to Child Health, a committee co-chaired by EPA, CDC and education. CDC led a federal investigation of the outbreak of school rashes last year, and reported outbreaks in over 100 schools in 27 states that began before 9/11. Last year, APHA published "Schools of Ground Zero," a documentary report in children's environmental health, from the morning of 9/11 through the re-occupancy of contaminated schools. While NIOSH could protect school personnel, no agency could intervene for children.