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Environment
Section Newsletter
Fall 2007

I. Message from the APHA Environment Section Chair

    I wanted to dedicate this space in our Section newsletter to thank the Section membership for its continued dedication to public environmental health matters and to its endless amount of support to further the work of the Section and support one another on matters related to environmental health advocacy and action.  It has been a pleasure to serve the Environment Section as its chair over the past two years, and I look forward to continuing my involvement as past chair and supporting Rebecca Head as she transitions into this leadership role.  It has also been a pleasure to work with the APHA and its dedicated staff on these matters. 

    For those of you who would like to become more involved in the Section and figure out what APHA and the Environment Section are all about, I encourage you to attend our member meetings at the Annual Meeting (schedule below).  There are many other ways to become more involved as well – serve on the leadership council via elected positions, lead a Section committee, assist in committee matters as a committee member, manage our Web site, write articles for our newsletter or develop a policy resolution on an issue that is timely and absent in the body of policies at the APHA.  The policies serve as an information base for APHA staff and members and are used to inform advocacy strategies related to the specific topic area. 

    To learn more and get involved, please consider attending some, if not all, of our networking events at the Annual Meeting. Please see the highlights section below for these exciting events.  A copy of the Section’s program is included in this newsletter. For more information about the scientific program, please visit <www.apha.org/meetings>.

In Peace and Action,

Jill Litt, Chair, Environment Section

jill.litt@uchsc.edu

 

II. Highlights for the 2007 Annual Meeting

 

  • Meetings for Environment Section Members

Come catch up on current activities in the Section, hear committee updates, meet the leadership and get involved!

Sunday, Nov. 4, 8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. (157.0), 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. (186.0)

Monday, Nov. 5, 6:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m. (292.0)

 

  • Informal Section Dinner

This dinner, to be scheduled at a local restaurant, is a time to gather with Section membership and reconnect.  Please let me know if you are interested in attending by e-mail at jill.litt@uchsc.edu or by phone at (303) 315-7595.

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007, 7:00 p.m. (Location to be determined)

 

  • Environment Section Homer Calver Award Luncheon:
    • Ms. Peggy Shepard, Plenary Speaker
    • Calver Seminar Title: Advancing Environmental Health Policy through Research and Organizing

Monday, Nov. 5, 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (3212.0)

Complimentary for members

 

Abbreviated Speaker Bio: Peggy Shepard is executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT).  Founded in 1988, WE ACT was New York’s first environmental justice organization created to build community power to improve environmental health, policy and protection in communities of color. She is a recipient of the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment, and the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in 2004. A former Democratic district leader, she represented West Harlem from 1985 to April 1993, and served as president of the National Women’s Political Caucus-Manhattan from 1993-1997.

 

  • Environment Student Poster Sessions

Find out what the upcoming generation of leaders are working on!  There were so many fantastic submissions this year that we have added an additional poster session to showcase the students’ research! Student poster award finalists will feature their work at the Section Social Hour.

Monday, Nov. 5, 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (3264.0, 3265.0)

 

  • Environment Section Social Hour

This is a must for members!  Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new colleagues, and to share in the celebration as section awards are presented. 

            Monday, Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. (332.0)

 

  • Recognition Ceremony: Joseph LaDou

Joseph LaDou is the former editor of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. Location: AAAS Building,1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 11th Floor

Monday, Nov. 5, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

 

  • Joint Social Event, featuring sustainable food issues

We all know how important diet is to overall health. What about the way our food is produced? How do food and agriculture systems impact on the health and environment of communities? How can hospitals promote sustainable and healthier food for patients and staff? Is the Farm Bill a piece of public health legislation? Do these questions excite you? To learn more and meet colleagues, while enjoying free locally produced hors d’oeuvres, join APHA's Food & Nutrition and Environment Sections and other sponsors for this second annual joint social event at Clyde's of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

    • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

****Please RSVP to kstillerman@ucsusa.org as space is limited.

III. Environment Program for 2007 Annual Meeting

APHA 135th Annual Meeting

Environment Section Scientific Sessions and Events

Nov. 4 - 7, 2007, Washington D.C.

 

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007

 

8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

·         157.0 Environment Section Meeting for Members I

10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

·         186.0 Environment Section Meeting for Members II

2:30 p.m.

·         Environment Section Tour showcasing “green” housing solutions in Washington, D.C.

 

Monday, Nov. 5, 2007

 

6:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

·          292.0 Environment Section Meeting for Members III

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

·          3024.0 Strategies to Build Community Capacity to Engage in the Environmental Health Research Process (Oral)

·          3024.1 Using Science to Inform Air Pollution Policy (Oral)

·          3030.0 Community Innovations for Sustainable Food Systems (jointly-organized by the Food and Nutrition & Environment Sections) (Oral)

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • 3115.0 Global Climate Change and the Public Health Community: Mobilizing for Precautionary Action (Oral)
  • 3116.0 Leadership in Action: Results from the National Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (Oral)
  • 3122.0 Community Based Approaches to Address Disparities in Food and Activity Environments (jointly-organized by the Food and Nutrition & Environment Sections) (Oral)

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

·        3212.0 Environment Section Homer Calver Award Luncheon (Social)

·        3219.0 Community Based Approaches to Address Disparities in Food and Activity Environments (jointly-organized by the Food and Nutrition & Environment Sections) part 2 (Oral)

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

  • 3264.0 Environment Section Poster Session I -- Student Posters (Poster)
  • 3265.0 Environment Section Poster Session II -- Student Posters (Poster)
  • 3266.0 Environment Section Poster Session III (Poster)

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

  • 3314.0 Health Impact Assessment and U.S. Environmental Policy: Novel Strategies for Addressing Public Health Within the U.S. Environmental Regulatory System (Oral)
  • 3315.0 Twenty Years After Toxic Wastes and Race: Its Legacy for Environmental Health (Panel Discussion)

4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

  • 3405.0 New Support for Community-Based Environmental Health Initiatives through Improved Collaboration among Federal Agencies, States, and Health Organizations (Oral)
  • 3406.0 Built Environment I: Health in the Greenhouse: Global Climate Change and the Built Environment (Oral)
  • 3407.0 The Use of Biomarkers to Assess Environmental Health Risk (Oral)

6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

  • 332.0 Environment Section Social Hour

8:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

  • 3447.0 Occupational Health Disparities Institute: Environmental Justice for Immigrant Workers: Research Methods to Promote Public Health (Oral) (endorsed by Environment Section)

 

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007

 

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

  • 4020.0 Bugs, Drugs, and Flu: Human Health Impacts of Intensive Animal Agriculture (jointly organized by the Environment and Food & Nutrition Sections) (Oral)
  • 4021.0 Built Environment II: Housing and Health: Patterns of Residential Health and Safety Hazards and Successful Intervention Strategies in Urban and Rural Communities (Oral)
  • 4022.0 Using the National Environmental Public Health Performance Standards to Improve Agency Capacity (Oral)
  • 4023.0 Environmental Epidemiology (Oral) (endorsed by Environment Section)

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • 4077.0 Climate Change: A Challenge to Public Health (Oral) (an APHA Special Session)

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

  • 4123.0 Environmental Public Health Tracking: Information to Guide Practice and Policy (Oral)
  • 4124.0 Children's Environmental Health: Toward Sustainable Understanding, Interventions, and Policies Worldwide (Oral)
  • 4125.0 Meeting the Environmental Health Needs of Native American and Alaska Native Communities (Oral)
  • 4125.1 The Common Ground of Food, Nutrition, and Ecological Health (jointly organized by the Environment and Food & Nutrition Sections) (Oral)

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

  • 4211.0 Built Environment III: Community Design, Physical Activity and Quality of Life (Oral)
  • 4212.0 Consequences of Global Change on Human Health (Oral)
  • 4213.0 Intensive Animal Agriculture, Environmental Injustice, and Public Health (Oral)
  • 4214.0 Increasing Environmental Health Literacy of the Public, Policymakers, and Health Professionals (Oral)

4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

  • 4301.0 Environmental Justice: Partnerships, Communication and Public Health (Oral)
  • 4302.0 Making Housing Healthy for Children Through Medical-Legal Partnerships and Financing Strategies (Oral)
  • 4303.0 Sustainable Seafood: Optimizing Health and the Environment (jointly organized by the Environment and Food & Nutrition Sections) (Oral)

6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

  • Social hour featuring sustainable food issues and free hors d'oeuvres made with healthy, locally produced ingredients.  Jointly organized by the Environment and Food & Nutrition Sections. Clyde's of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

 

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007

 

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

  • 5006.0 Environment Section Poster Session IV (Poster)
  • 5007.0 Environment Section Poster Session V (Poster)
  • 5008.0 Environment Section Poster Session VI (Poster)

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

  • 5041.0 Contaminants in Freshwater Fish: Toxicity, Sources and Risk Communication (Oral)
  • 5043.0 Environmental Epidemiology Late Breaker Session (Oral) (endorsed by Environment Section)

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • 5090.0 Farm & Food Policy: Challenges in the 21st Century (Oral) (an APHA Special Session)

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

  • 5105.0 Clearing the Air to Reduce Asthma Risks at School (Oral)
  • 5106.0 The Role of Environment in Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (Oral)
  • 5107.0 Uranium, Navajo, Policy and Health (Oral)

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

  • 5161.0 Emerging Environmental Health Challenges (Oral)
  • 5162.0 Environmental Risk Reduction in the Home and Childcare Setting (Oral)

 

IV. Joint Social Event: Healthy Food Environments

We all know how important diet is to overall health.
What about the way our food is produced? How do
food and
agriculture
systems impact on the health and environment of communities? How can hospitals promote sustainable and healthier food for patients and staff?
 Is
the Farm Bill a piece of public health legislation?

 

If these questions excite you, join

APHA's Food & Nutrition and Environment Sections

and other sponsors for this second annual joint social event.


 Healthy Food Environments:

 

Celebrating Local, Sustainable Food

Clyde's of Gallery Place
707 7th Street NW

SPACE LIMITED: RSVP to kstillerman@ucsusa.org

 

*** Free hors d'oeuvres & Cash bar ***


      Enjoy local, organic, antibiotic-free food.
     
Network and meet one another.
    
Explore together how to improve public health by bringing better food, more sustainably grown, to families, schools, hospitals and communities.

 Brief remarks by:
-       Patricia Risica, DrPH, RD, Chair, Food and Nutrition Section
-       Jill Litt, PhD, Chair, Environment Section
-       Chef John Guattery, Clyde's Restaurant Group, on the company's local
farm-to-restaurant program

 

SPONSORS:   APHA Environment Section *** APHA Food & Nutrition  Section*** Union of Concerned Scientists *** Humane Society of the United States *** Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future *** Keep Antibiotics Working: The Campaign to End Antibiotic Overuse *** Health Care Without Harm *** Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Submitted by Michelle Gottlieb, MEM, New England Coordinator, Healthcare Food Project, Health Care Without Harm

V. APHA Environment Section’s Committee Reports

 

A.   Policy

        1.      Outline of the Policy Submission Process and Timeline

    The following is a brief outline of the policy submission process and timeline.  Policies are reviewed by the Joint Policy Committee (JPC), an instrument of the Governing Council with 12 members (four from each of the Science, Action, and Education Boards).  In January, the intention to submit a resolution is expressed to the JPC to help provide guidance or reference to any similar policies. By mid-March a draft is due to the JPC, and the proposed policy is available online for review, with comments submitted by Sections and SPIGs. In April after comments are in, the JPC submits their formal recommendation to the Governing Council to approve the resolution, approve with some conditions, or reject (which can be appealed), and authors can resubmit their revisions by mid-June.  Upon revisions and endorsements from other sections by July, it is posted online and put to a final vote by membership by the end of August, and will get a public hearing and vote at the Annual Meeting.

    Please feel welcome to send policies to John Balbus, our Environment Section Policy Committee Chair, and he can help with policy suggestions, revisions and the policy process: jbalbus@ed.org .

            2.       Subcommittees and Chairs                

·           Built environment initiative committee: Peter Ashley Peter.J.Ashley@hud.gov

·           Climate Change Committee: Kyle Kinner and John Balbus  jbalbus@ed.org

·           Committee on 2011: Leyla McCurdy mccurdy@neetf.org

·           Green Meeting Committee: Maureen O’Neill oneill.marueen@epa.gov

·           Healthy Food Systems Committee: Jill Litt  jill.litt@uchsc.edu 

 

 

B.   Program Planning

    Many thanks to Barbara Glenn and Bill Daniell and all of the Section members who helped plan this year’s program!  They have been working hard reviewing abstracts, designing tracks and planning fantastic social events!  The Program for the Environment Section sessions and events for the Annual Meeting is included in the newsletter. Further details about the program and the meeting can be found at the APHA meeting Web site at www.apha.org/meetings.

    Barbara and Bill are looking to recruit session moderators, and future program planners.  Please contact them if you are interested: Glenn.Barbara@epa.gov and bdaniell@u.washington.edu.

C.   Student Involvement Committee

    We are pleased to announce that the Student Involvement Committee received many applications for the Student Scholarship Program Awards. The Award winners will be announced at the Section Social at the Annual Meeting. As interest in this opportunity grows, so must our network of support.  We realize the importance of encouraging students to get involved in the environmental health field, and how difficult it can be for them to find resources to explore these opportunities. We would like to enlist your support of the Student Award process, by asking you to encourage your training institutions to sponsor the Environment Section Student Awards.  The awards are used to fund student posters, travel and participation in the annual conferences, at which students are required to participate in Section meetings and events.  A template letter is available. If you are able to assist, please contact Nse Obot-Witherspoon at nobot@cehn.org .

D.  Communications Committee

    The Section Web site will be migrating to the APHA web site soon! We are in search of a new Webmaster. Generously, Chuck Treser has served as the Section’s Webmaster for many years since its inception and has graciously offered to continue this service to the Section. If you are interested in getting more involved, please contact Jill Litt at jill.litt@uchsc.edu .

E.  Membership Committee 

    Robin Lee and the Committee would like to welcome new and returning members! To help you customize your Section membership with updates based on your interests, you may update your professional interests and expertise at the APHA Web site: www.apha.org .  To access your member profile: 1) click on the ‘About Us’ drop down menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, 2) click on ‘Member Information’, and 3) click on ‘Update Your Member Profile.’  Enter your username and password to access your member profile.  Update all fields and click Submit Changes at the bottom of the screen. 

    The Membership Committee has created a table with opportunities for you to get involved in Section and committee activities.  Please look for this table in this edition of the newsletter!

F.   Nominations Committee

    Interested in getting involved in the leadership aspects of the Section?  Would you like to nominate someone who inspires you in environmental health?  If so, please contact Nse Obot Witherspoon at nobot@cehn.org . 

 

VI. Note from Environment Section Communications Chair/E-News Editors

    We want to hear what you or your organization are working on! Or you can also submit some interesting news or opportunities that you know of to share with fellow Section members.  It has been a wonderful experience serving as the Section Secretary and getting to work with so many of you.  Join me in welcoming Rebecca Love as our new Environment Section Secretary! Please send ideas for contributions to the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to Rebecca Love at < RLove@dhmh.state.md.us>. 

    The Section Newsletter is published quarterly and is available through the APHA Web site at http://www.apha.org/membergroups/newsletters/sectionnewsletters/environ/.

The next e-newsletter submission date is January 1, 2008.  The submission deadlines will be publicized through the APHA monthly e-newsletters for the two months prior to deadline.  A final notice is then sent to the Section’s primary members about a week in advance of the deadline by APHA at our request.

    Please send ideas or contributions for the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to Rebecca Love, the incoming Environment Section secretary, at RLove@dhmh.state.md.us,  or to the outgoing secretary, Andrea Wismann, at andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu. 

 

Submitted by: Andrea Wismann, MSPH, communications chair and E-News editor <Andrea.Wismann@uchsc.edu>.

VII. Opportunities for Participation in the Environment Section

    The Membership Committee has created a table showing many opportunities and areas for you to participate in the Section.  Please get involved in our activities and help this section continue to be one of the best at APHA.  For contact information for committee chairs, please e-mail Environment Section Secretary Andrea Wismann at andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu or Environment Section Chair Jill Litt at jill.litt@uchsc.edu .

 

Committee

Areas for Assistance

Chair

The Built Environment

Is interested in the connection between the built environment and public health.  Activities include but are not limited to: planning sessions for the Annual Meeting, advising APHA staff, developing policy positions, and commenting on proposed legislation.

Peter Ashley

Climate Change & Health

The Global Climate Change and Health Committee is seeking persons interested in the medical and public health impacts of global climate change associated with heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.  The committee intends to engage in informal peer-education and advocate for sustainable policy.

Kyle Kinner

The 2011

Seeking ideas and support in planning of the 100th anniversary of the Environment Section.

Leyla McCurdy

The Program Planning

Seeking persons to help organize the scientific program for the Annual Meeting.

Barbara Glenn

Bill Daniell

The Membership

Seeking people willing to engage the membership and help improve communication among members.

Robin Lee

The Policy

Seeking assistance in developing APHA polices on environmental public health issues

John Balbus

Awards

Seeking help in planning the 2007 Homer N. Calver Award Lecture that recognizes a national leader from the field of environmental health.

Leon Vinci

Student Involvement

Seeking aid in bolstering student recognition and in coordinating the student poster and student scholarship awards.

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

Section Web site

In need of someone with Web skills to update the section Web site.

Jill Litt

Communications

Looking for news to be included in the next edition of the Section newsletter.

Andrea Wismann

Nominations

Is seeking individuals interested in nominating and holding Section leadership positions.

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

 

VIII. APHA Environment Section “Student Corner”

    A. Letter from Student Liaisons

Dear Environment Section Student Members:

    Welcome to the APHA Environment Section for those of you who are new, and hello again to the veterans.  My name is Rebecca Tave Gluskin, and Taylor Anderson and I are the Environment Section student liaisons. This is our second year on the committee, and we have lots of great things planned. We are also a resource for you. Please contact us with ideas, questions and introductions.

    By joining this APHA section you have taken a step in the right direction down the environmental health career path. But it is not enough to just have your name on a list - we encourage everyone to get involved: volunteer for committees, write for the Section Newsletter, review abstracts and help plan for the Annual Meeting. Through these actions, you will enhance your membership and make important contacts in the field. Active involvement also makes you a desirable candidate for the Section travel scholarships.

    Check out the Student Lounge Web site and the Links section at http://depts.washington.edu/aphaenv/students.htm for further information about opportunities in the field of environmental health and in the APHA Environment Section. We look forward to working with you and hopefully seeing you at the November Annual Meeting in D.C.

Best regards,

Rebecca Tave Gluskin (New York University) and Taylor Anderson (Portland State Univeristy)

    B.   Solicitation for Future “Student Corner” contributions

    The “Student Corner” portion of our seasonal newsletter is intended for use by and for the benefit of our student members.  We encourage student members to send text by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to Andrea.Wismann@uchsc.edu.   We encourage short update reports from our section’s Student Involvement Committee and news pertaining APHA’s Student Assembly of interest to our section membership.

IX. New Collaborations and Professional Opportunities

    A. New Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute, Fourth Cohort

    Applications will be accepted for the fourth cohort of CDC's Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ephli from Sept. 1-Oct. 31, 2007. Please help us spread the word about the Institute to emerging leaders who may be in your organization or region. I would like to challenge each of you to get one person from your department or state to apply to be a part of the next cohort. The Institute is also interested in reaching participants from states that have not yet participated in the Institute. States that have not been represented are Wyoming, South Dakota, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and Hawaii.

    EPHLI application instructions and promotional materials can be downloaded from http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ephli/application.htm. You can also be linked to these materials on the EPHLI Web site at http://www.heartlandcenters.slu.edu:16080/ephli/admission.htm.

    If you have any questions, please visit the CDC Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ephli or contact Sharon Dickerson, MPA, by e-mail at SDickerson@cdc.gov or by telephone at (770)488-7069.

    Thank you for your continued support toward the development of leaders in the field of environmental public health.

Submitted by Nicole Kozma, Project Coordinator-EPHLI, Saint Louis University, School of Public Health.

    B. Brownfields Proposal Announcement

The US Enivironmental Protection Agency Brownfields Office has posted the FY08 Proposal guidelines to the Web site listing below.  The deadline for applications was Oct. 12, 2007.  In FY07, we announced awards of close to $70 million in grants and anticipate similar grant award totals this coming year. If you are eligible (see guidelines) and interested in applying for brownfield grant funds, we encourage you to work with an experienced brownfield grant recipient. Alternatively, you may want to partner with your environmental, planning, community or economic development agency in developing an application to assess and clean brownfields that support sustainable redevelopment in ways that seek to improve public and environmental health.

Our fact sheet about brownfields and public health and eligible health monitoring activities can be found under the tools and technical assistance portion of our Web site at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/tools/tti_pub_hlt.htm. To learn more about the brownfields program or potential brownfields partners in your area, please visit www.epa.gov/brownfields.

Submitted by Ann Carroll MPH, Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment, MC-5105T, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    C. Population Council Bixby Fellowship Program

Through a generous grant from the Fred H. Bixby Foundation, the Population Council has created the Bixby Fellowship Program to expand opportunities for recently trained population specialists and biomedical researchers.  These fellowships will allow developing country nationals to work with experienced mentors in the Council's network of offices.  Fellows will work on projects in one of the three of the Population Council's Programs: Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty, Gender and Youth.  A description of the program and details about application procedures are available on the Council's Web site at www.popcouncil.org.  The deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 2008.  For more information, please feel free to contact us at bixbyfellowship@popcouncil.org.

Submitted by Hannah Carter-Menn, Fellowship Coordinator, Fred H. Bixby Fellowship Program, Population Council

 

X. Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Meetings and Workshops

·         23rd Annual New York State GIS Conference, Collaborative GIS - Connected by Technology in AlbanyN.Y., from Oct. 1-2, 2007 Please visit:  http://www.esf.edu/nysgisconf .

·         National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) 15th Annual EHS Management Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from Oct. 24-25, 2007. Please visit:  http://www.naem.org/forum.html.

·         From Gray Areas to Green Areas: Developing Sustainable Practices in Preservation Environments in Austin, Texas, Nov. 1-3, 2007. Please visit: http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/kilgarlin/gaga/.

·         2007 National Conference on Agriculture & the Environment, by the Central Coast Agricultural Water Quality Coalition, in Monterey, Calif., from November 7-9, 2007. Please visit: http://www.agwaterquality.org/2007conference.

·         Environmental Markets Association 11th Annual Fall Conference, learn about Emissions Trading in San Diego from Nov.7-10, 2007. Please visit: http://environmentalmarkets.org/page.ww?section=Fall2007&name=Fall2007.

·         North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE): Explore New Horizons for Environmental Education in Virginia Beach, Virginia from Nov. 14-17, 2007. Please visit:  http://www.naaee.org/conference.

·         The Center for Health, Environment and Justice Southeast, Precautionary Action Conference: Mega Dumps, Nuclear Power and Sewage Sludge in GreensboroN.C., from Nove. 16-18, 2007.  Please visit: http://precautionaryaction.eventbrite.com.

·         Future Fuels 2007 in Washington, D.C., from Dec. 3-5, 2007. Please visit: http://www.thecwcgroup.com/conf_detail_home.asp?FP=1&CID=175.

·         2007 Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow: Where Business Meets the Environment! in Portland, Oregon, from Dec. 6-7, 2007. Please visit: http://www.nwec.org/about_nwec.html  

·         National Council for Science and the Environment 8th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 16-18, 2008.  Please visit:  http://www.ncseonline.org/2008conference.

·         2008 North American Environmental Field Conference & Exposition in Tampa, Florida, on Jan. 14, 2008.  Please visit: http://www.envirofieldconference.com.

XI. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health and Environmental Justice Topics

    

    A. Interesting Findings on Consumers of Organic Produce

    A recent study by John Stevens-Garmon et al. utilized Nielsen Homescan data from 2001 and 2004 to analyze consumer purchase patterns of fresh organic produce. Their findings seem to contradict the popular notion that organic produce is purchased primarily by Caucasians, but rather more than half the consumers are Asian and African American.  Also, they report households residing in the western region spent more on organic produce on a per capita basis than those residing in other regions. Contrary to popular opinion, they did not find any consistent positive association between household income and expenditures on organic produce.  The study also examined changes in premiums for certain organic produce from 2001 to 2004.  For example, the organic premium on oranges in 2004 was 9 percent above conventional produced carrots, whereas the organic premium for potatoes was 78 percent in 2001 and 2004. The top five most purchased organic vegetables in 2004 were: tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, and lettuce. The top five most purchased organic fruits in 2004 were: apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, and strawberries.

    For more about this study, see the article in CHOICES: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, 2nd Quarter 2007 - 22(2). Web site: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2007-2/grabbag/2007-2-05.htm.

 

Submitted by Karen Perry Stillerman, Senior Analyst, Food & Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

    B.  BACK TO SCHOOL Indoor Air Quality ALERT*

    The lack of maintenance and repairs is a major source of indoor air quality problem in many schools, but paint-up and fix-up projects can also cause poor indoor air quality.  The following cases illustrate this point. 

#1. A Nebraska parent wrote to Healthy Schools Network (www.healthyschools.org ) recently: "My 8th grade daughter's school underwent major renovations this summer, and as a consequence the building reeks of paint and glue.  After being inside for 15 minutes we developed headaches.  Worse yet, the building has no moving (operable) windows, and the construction is not complete.  School starts in 2 days, and I don't know if I can or should send her."

#2. A Massachusetts parent wrote to Healthy Kids: The Key to Basics  (www.healthy-kids.info)  "...Every September on the first day of school we are greeted ­with the heavy smell of fresh paint, cleaning solutions, ­ etc.  While I applaud the maintenance efforts certainly painting could be scheduled so the school would air out­ before school opens.  These smells permeate the building­ along with the usual heavy, humid and stale air associated­ with the summer.  During my daughter's second grade year she attended the first couple of days of school and missed the ­next two and a half weeks due to asthma -- the smell of­ paint was particularly strong that year....  

WHAT TO DO AT SCHOOL

    Most experienced parents and teachers know that sending kids back to school can lead to a sharp increase in common childhood illnesses and related symptoms such as a stuffy nose­, headaches, rashes, sore throat, red itchy eyes, restlessness, stomach aches, drowsiness, and serious asthma episodes.  These symptoms can be caused by unhealthy air in school.

    What can you do to prevent poor indoor air quality from making you or your child sick?

·         Visit your school. Are the renovations complete? Is the construction work (fumes, dust) cleaned up, aired out, or isolated from halls and classrooms?

·         Do a sniff test.  Be suspicious of harsh, musty, or odd odors.

·         Get a free online guide to "School Renovation and Construction: What you need to know to protect child and adult environmental health" from http://www.healthyschools.org/clearinghouse.html or get checklists from the fire department, National Safety ­Council, the National Parent-Teacher Association and local, state, and federal health ­agencies. 

·         Ask questions.  Don't be surprised if it requires some research to find out who is responsible for maintaining healthy conditions in your school. Ask for information about school air quality and voluntary programs such as the U.S. EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program.  What steps does your school take to ensure high quality indoor air? Many state laws now require regular audits of school conditions.  These school building inspection reports­ are available to parents, staff and other interested citizens on ­request.

·         Ask to see school district purchasing policies for art, science, cleaning and pest control supplies. Do they promote 'environmentally preferable purchasing' (nontoxic products) to protect students from hazardous chemicals?

·         Involve others. September is International School Safety Month and National Preparedness Month. It is a good time to involve parents, students and teachers in a school safety and­ injury prevention checkups.  Set up an "environmental health committee" for your school. Check for a healthy schools resource group nearest you at http://www.healthyschools.org/links.html.

·         Send your concerns or requests in writing to school administrators and the city or state health agency.  Keep a copy of your letter and share it with others.

·         Speak ­up.  Write letters and appear at school board and town meetings to let school administrators and town officials know that you care about healthy children and healthy/safe schools.

·         Keep the issue alive until the situation is remedied.  Your children and the community will thank you ­for it.  Write a letter to the editor and to the School Board to thank your school if the renovated school has good indoor air quality, good procedures in place, and is ready for full-time occupancy. Every school deserves a 'pat on the back' for a job well done!

QUICK TIP: Good indoor air quality depends on: 1) reducing/eliminating the use of toxic materials indoors; and 2) a supply of fresh air coming into school and an exhaust vent.  Look for the fresh air supply and the exhaust vents. Are they clean?  Are they working? Hint -- hold a paper ribbon or small tissue next to the vent. If the paper doesn't move, the air isn't moving.

    Ellie Goldberg, MEd, is the author of articles on healthy schools including "Clearing the Air in Schools" published in the National PTA Magazine, Our Children and "Guide to Protecting Vulnerable Students in Sick Schools" online at: http://www.healthyschools.org/clearinghouse.html.

Submitted by Ellie Goldberg, MEd, <healthykids@rcn.com> Healthy Kids: The Key to Basics and the Healthy Schools Network, Inc.

XII. Inter-Section and Governing Council Updates

A.  Request of Members to Review the Revised Bylaws

The Constitution and Bylaws Committee requests member comments on the revised bylaws that will be presented to the Governing Council at this year's Annual Meeting. The effort is in response to a charge from the Executive Board in 2006 for the Committee to merge the existing constitution and bylaws into a single, simpler set of bylaws. All members are encouraged to review the revised document at http://www.apha.org/about/gov/bylaws/; you will need you member login information. Please e-mail any questions, comments and suggestions to bylaws@apha.org.

Submitted by Natalie Raynor, APHA Governance Manager

B.  Candidates Biosketches Available in The Nation’s Health

The Nation's Health has short biosketches on candidates for positions Governing Councilors will vote on Nov. 7 at the Annual Meeting. If people have support or concerns to share at this time, then please email John Balbus at jbalbus@ed.org and Derek Shendell at dshendell@gsu.edu.

Submitted by Derek Shendell, APHA Governing Councilor

XIII. Legislative Alerts and Advocacy Updates

    

    A.  U.S. Senate passed the High Performance Green Buildings Act of 2007

The U.S. Senate has passed the High Performance Green Buildings Act of 2007 inside the Senate's energy bill, which includes provisions for EPA to work directly with the states on 'healthy school environments' and to develop federal guidelines for the siting of schools (away from hazards, safe walking distance, etc).  These provisions are consistent with APHA Policy #200010, which had broad support, not only from the Environment Section, but also from the Occupational Health and Maternal and Child Health Sections.  The House energy bill does not have the same school provisions; but we are very hopeful that the Senate version of the text will prevail in Conference Committee this month.

For more information on this bill, or to contact the subcommittee members, visit the Web site: <http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:217:./temp/~c110thnfAY. Members who are in the D.C. area and interested in learning more and possibly joining in Hill visits should contact Claire Barnett. Her contact information is cbarnett@healthyschools.org.

Submitted by Claire Barnett, Healthy Schools Network Executive Director

    B. APHA Supports Petition to Label Medical Equipment Containing DEHP

APHA supported Health Care Without Harm's petition to the FDA to require manufacturers to label DEHP-containing medical devices. We are now trying to encourage people to support the petition by writing to the FDA. Here is a letter explaining this and requesting support:

Health Care Without Harm, with support from a group of prominent health organizations, has submitted a formal petition to the Food and Drug Administration requesting that they require medical device manufacturers to consistently label all medical device products containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that may expose patients to DEHP. This effort is under way because this phthalate leaches out of vinyl plastic medical devices into patients, posing risks to developing reproductive systems – including reduced fertility – of boys.

The FDA’s Public Health Notification issued in July 2002,urged health care providers to reduce the use of DEHP-containing devices for certain patient groups. Since then, health care institutions nationwide have been struggling to follow FDA recommendations to adopt safer alternative products. The absence of a requirement for DEHP labeling on medical devices has made it difficult and time consuming for practitioners and supply staff to follow the FDA recommendations. DEHP labeling would help move this transition to healthier alternatives forward, and reduce DEHP exposures to patients.

Please join Health Care Without Harm and let the FDA know that you support this petition, and demand that manufacturers provide labeling so that hospitals can move toward readily available safer alternatives and avoid harmful exposures.  To learn more about this issue, read the petition, and to write to the FDA (see our sample letters), please visit the Web site at http://www.noharm.org/us/pvcDehp/fdapetition.

We appreciate your action on this important issue!

Submitted by Michelle Gottlieb, MEM, New England Coordinator, Healthcare Food Project and Health Care Without Harm

    C. APHA Advocacy Priorities for 2007

APHA is asking its members to schedule meetings with their legislators in their district offices and to participate in town hall meetings hosted by their legislators. This is a change to build a relationship with your member of Congress and his/her staff, and to advocate for issues within APHA's three priority areas:

        Increasing Access to Care;

        Eliminating Health Disparities; and

        Rebuilding the Public Health Infrastructure.

Members of our section/caucus/SPIG/affiliate (choose one) can take this opportunity to advocate for our top priority, which involves a wide range of environmental health issues, particularly as they relate to infrastructure capacity and the built environment.

It's easy to arrange a visit to your member of Congress! APHA has set up a special Web page with all the materials you need, including tips on arranging a visit, a sample letter requesting a visit and all the talking points and fact sheets you will need. Go to: www.apha.org/advocacy/  and click on the logo for the August PHACT campaign. After you make your visit, please fill out the report form and send it in, so staff can track the visits that were made and follow up on any additional materials that might be needed. Please contact me, Leon Vinci, at leon.vinci@jocogov.org, if you have questions or need assistance.

Thank you for advocating for public health!

Submitted by Leon F. Vinci, DHA, Environment Section Advocacy Liaison

XIV. In Memoriam

On behalf of the Environment Section, we would like to acknowledge an environmental health colleague, Dr. James A. Ruttenber, who died in a swimming accident this summer while on a business trip to Colima, Mexico.  Jim was 59 years old.  Jim, a PhD epidemiologist and a physician, served on the faculty of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver since 1991 and was a member of the Environmental Studies faculty at CU Boulder.  Jim completed his PhD in human ecology at Emory University in Atlanta in 1979 and earned his MD at Emory University in 1981.  Jim began working as an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and soon became involved in a radiation effects study at the Hanford nuclear weapons reactor complex in Washington state.  Most recently, he was lead author in 2003 of a 10-year study which concluded that for some cancers, including lung cancer, Rocky Flats workers suffered mortality rates higher than the general public.  His death is being deeply felt by family, friends, colleagues, students, and workers who regarded Jim as their advocate.  In honor of Jim’s passion for international matters and education, the University has established a fund to support an exchange program between the University of Colorado and Colima University in Mexico.  Please send donations to:  The Jim Ruttenber Colima University Exchange Fund; c/o the CU Foundation; University of Colorado;  Boulder, CO 80309.

 

Submitted by Jill Litt, Environment Section Chair

 

XV. APHA Environment Section Leadership Calls

    APHA Environment Section leadership calls are on the third Thursday of each month, from 3-4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Please e-mail the Section Chair Jill Litt at  Jill.Litt@uchsc.edu  to be on the e-mail list to receive each call’s agenda and dial-in information. 

XVI. APHA Environment Section Leadership

    This is a table of the current Environment Section leadership, councilors and committee officers.  For contact information for any of the following individuals, please contact Section Secretary Andrea Wismann at andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu .

Environment Section Leadership

Environment Section Chair

Jill Litt, PhD, Jill.Litt@uchsc.edu

Environment Section Chair-elect

Rebecca A. Head, PhD, DABT

Environment Section Immediate Past Chair

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH, nobot@cehn.org

Environment Section Secretary

Andrea Wismann, MSPH, andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu

Environment Section Secretary-elect

Rebecca Love, MPH, CHES

Environment Section Governing Councilors

Brenda M. Afzal, RN, MS
John M. Balbus, MD, MPH
Allen Dearry, PhD
Anthony J. DeLucia, PhD
Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH, AB
Peter J. Ashley, DrPH

Environment Section Councilors

Doug Farquhar, JD 
Michael J. Greene, MS, MPP
Amy D. Kyle, MPH, PhD
Robin Lee, MPH
Maureen O'Neill, MURP
Devon C. Payne-Sturges, DrPH

Environment Section Committee Chairs

Nominations Committee

Nse Obot-Witherspoon, MPH

Program Planning Committee

Barbara Glenn, PhD, and Bill Daniell, MD, MPH

Policy Committee

John M. Balbus, MD, MPH

Communications Committee

Andrea Wismann, MSPH

Student Involvement Committee

Nse Obot-Witherspoon, MPH

Built Environment Committee

Peter J. Ashley, DrPH

Climate Change Committee

Kyle Kinner, JD, MPA, and John M. Balbus, MD, MPH

Healthy Food and Environment Committee

Jill Litt, PhD

Committee on 2011

Leyla McCurdy, MPhil

Membership Committee

Robin Lee, Epidemiologist

Green Meeting Council

Maureen O’Neill, MA