Environment
Section Newsletter
Spring 2005

Message from the APHA Environment Section Chair

Greetings! Now that summer is beginning to arrive the reality of the APHA 133rd Annual Meeting is closing in quicker than we can imagine. We as a Section have a great deal to be proud of. Compared to just last year we have effectively stepped up our organization and defined our policies and processes even more. On April 6 we held our Mid-Year Meeting in Washington, D.C., which proved to be very helpful to the advancement of our Section goals and priorities. For the second year in a row we were able to include Section members who could not be in the D.C. area that day by teleconference. We were pleased to be joined by APHA’s Executive Director, Georges Benjamin, along with Susan Polan, Brian Williams, Fran Atkinson, Tracy Kolian, and additional staff members. All were very helpful in laying out APHA’s three program priorities, which are: (1) increasing access to health care, (2) infrastructure development, and (3) decreasing health disparities. A good amount of environmental justice work is now being done by APHA in an effort to address health disparities, resulting from efforts that came out of the 132nd Annual Meeting. It was suggested that as we continue to define our Section’s policy priorities in the future, we should be mindful of APHA’s priorities when we are looking to have APHA take an active stance within an issue.

It has been a great pleasure to see the value and benefit to the Section’s work by having the Chair take on a second term.

At the Mid-Year meeting we officially adopted our revised Section Bylaws (great thanks to Pat Elliott) and also accepted our Strategic Plan for the next two years! Our Policy Committee provided a list of suggested priorities for the next two years, which will also prove to be very helpful to the Section’s future direction.
(Editor Note: For copies of these documents, please contact Nse or Derek and/or visit our Section Web site at: <http://depts.washington.edu/aphaenv/index.htm>).

It has also been very encouraging to see additional articles focused on environmental health protection in the APHA newspaper, The Nation’s Health. The May 2005 edition covers the National Children’s Study and the new USEPA rule on mercury pollution from power plants, both starting on the front page!

Looking toward New Orleans this fall, the Environment Section has been keeping very busy. Our Program Planners have been working tirelessly to arrange another great scientific program. The Awards Committee has been researching and gathering potential candidates for the Annual Calver Award and the Distinguished Service Award. The Membership Committee has created a useful questionnaire to gather insight into how members view the work of the Section and, more importantly, how we can improve. The Field Trip Committee has been working to provide an incredible experience on our New Orleans tour, and the Newsletter Committee has received positive feedback on the quality and new format of our Section newsletters. The Student Involvement Committee has also been working very hard to find additional matching funds for the now Annual Student Scholarship Awards. The goal is to double the amount of awards provided last year so that an estimated 45 students can receive some financial assistance to attend the November Annual Meeting.

As always, thank you for your hard work, passion, and continuous dedication to the important work of environmental public health protection. If you are interested in joining one of the Environment Section’s active committees, please get in touch with any Section officer for more information.
In Peace and Health,
Nse

Timelines for upcoming e-newsletters

Please send ideas for contributions, for the subsections below or other ones we are happy to create, by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter (see below) to <dgshendell@earthlink.net> and <Rebecca_Head@monroemi.org>.

Summer/Fall 2005 (August-October and up to Annual Meeting):
Please submit by end of Wednesday before Labor Day weekend, 2005.

Membership Committee

With the inaugural New Members Orientation breakfast meeting at the APHA 2004 Annual Meeting, the Membership Committee started this year off with a bang and will continue forward to make it one of the best ever. Some of the things we hope to accomplish include, but are not limited to: (1) developing a secondary membership list, to keep our secondary members informed; (2) establishing a listserv for dynamic informational purposes; (3) refining New Members Orientation for the 2005 APHA Annual Meeting; and, (4) conducting a membership survey (NOTE: will be summer 2005).

We have met with APHA staff to discuss our activities, conducted several Membership Committee meetings in person and/or by conference call, refined our letters to new and lapsed members, and developed a new letter for secondary members.

We welcome Environment Section members to join us in undertaking any or all of our activities. Please contact us at <des0@cdc.gov> (Dorothy Stephens) and <Stone.Susan@epamail.epa.gov> (Susan Stone). We look forward to having you join us.

APHA Environment Section "Student Corner"


Folllow-up, 2004 Annual Meeting Student Poster Awards/Travel Scholarships


Student Poster Awards for the top three among 10 finalists, as judged by specific section leadership (Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, Jill Litt, Derek Shendell, Max Weintraub) and a representative of the Association of Schools of Public Health, were distributed with money and a certificate. In addition, student scholarships to cover or defray the cost of travel and/or registration for the APHA 2004 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., were awarded to 22 individuals. One of those recipients, Andrea Wismann, then a MSPH candidate at the University of Colorado at Boulder-Health Sciences Center in environmental public health tracking, wrote a nice thank you note of appreciation to Nsedu and Derek. Andrea agreed we could share it in the next e-newsletter; her thoughts clearly justify our reasons for providing the awards and the travel scholarships!

"Reprint" of thank you note, originally submitted by e-mail 2/11/05:

“Learning, building, networking, and disseminating are crucial features of a successful conference, as was exemplified by the American Public Health Association meeting this past November. This annual five-day gathering was held in Washington, D.C., where over 13,000 public health practitioners, researchers, and policy makers came together to exchange ideas. The theme of the conference was ‘Public Health and the Environment,’ providing a great synergy between all the sections of APHA. Through the generosity of the Environment Section, as a third year MSPH student at UCHSC, I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the national conference for the first time. I deeply appreciate the Section’s support for graduate students, both financially and professionally, and their role in developing a brighter future for environmental health.

If the people are the heart and soul, myriad presentations and high caliber information are the backbone of the APHA conference; there were over 20 presentations for each two-hour time block, with 4-8 presenters per block. The most difficult part was choosing which scientific sessions to attend, because so many seemed interesting or directly relevant to my current projects. There was a great plethora and diversity of excellent scientific sessions, and my interests in environmental health and school environments were well satisfied. This APHA conference was especially important for me, as a national survey of environmental public health tracking that I am a research assistant for was presented. Being at the conference was the first opportunity I had to meet the other members of our team in person after months of conference calls.

Social networking was an equally exciting part of the atmosphere, like bees buzzing in a hive, at each presentation there were fascinating people to talk with and learn from. Meeting people working in similar areas, or with like interests, to share ideas and strategies with was so inspiring! The Environment Section graciously invited me to their extracurricular events, such as the Section walking/bus tour of the Anacostia River. Walking beside the river and learning about the severe contamination was a powerful and sad experience, which was heartened by seeing the grassroots and city sponsored clean-up efforts. Attending the Section business meetings, dinners, and the delightful awards ceremony were great forums to talk with environmental health leaders about their work and recommendations. The social caucuses and Section events were great fun, and I met amazing students and professionals within the environmental health field.

An especially exciting aspect of the APHA meeting was jumping into the heart of D.C. activity--a rally on Capitol Hill. To assist in the advocacy efforts for increased funding for public and environmental health programs, I was delegated to take informational folders to the Colorado legislators. Stopping by Representative Bob Beauprez’s office, I was elated to have a lively discussion with his health policy analyst covering the APHA talking points, and discussing Colorado immunization rates and vaccine shortages. Truly, this APHA conference has been a catalyst in my desire to contribute in the field of environmental health. I would like to thank the exceptional people and students in the Environment section for fostering this incredible learning experience and professional development opportunity.”



Solicitation for Future “Student Corner” contributions


We have initiated the “Student Corner” portion of our seasonal newsletter for use by and 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 (see above) to <dgshendell@earthlink.net> and <rebecca_head@monroemi.org>. We encourage short update reports from our Section’s Student Involvement Committee and news pertaining to the APHA Student Assembly (former Public Health Student Caucus) that is of interest to our Section membership. (Editor's Note: The current Student Involvement Committee Chair is Sacoby Wilson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, <smwilson@email.unc.edu>.)

Built Environment Institute

[Re-printed sections of last issue’s update article]

Since 2002, the Built Environment Institute (BEI) has been in a process of rapid development. It was launched at the APHA 131st annual meeting held in San Francisco, Nov. 15 – 19, 2003 (BEI I). Four oral scientific sessions, one roundtable session, and a best practices field trip were offered. Twenty-five speakers participated. The BEI was again offered at this past year’s APHA 132nd annual meeting held in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7 – 10, 2004 (BEI II). Five oral scientific sessions, two roundtable sessions, three poster sessions, a co-sponsored best practices field trip, and the first meeting of the BEI FORUM were offered.

The BEI FORUM, which has received in-kind support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), offered members the opportunity to meet, evaluate, and advance identified multidisciplinary strategic initiatives in addition to addressing BEI development issues. The BEI FORUM produced a number of recommendations for BEI development, which include advocacy, training, partnership development, project facilitation, agenda setting, pilot program development, and to continue in its role as meeting convener.

The BEI FORUM has been conceived as a venue through which many of the activities of the BEI are developed. The BEI FORUM will continue to provide a “think tank” environment to pursue core objectives, including building and supporting strategic partnerships among federal and non-federal agencies and a broad range of stakeholders that address research and action agendas characterizing the human health consequences of the built environment at multiple geographic levels.

Because of BEI’s growth and the demand for it to pursue a more expanded role, Environment Section leadership is evaluating the structure and activities of the BEI within the Section and its role within APHA. One outcome of this process is to offer the BEI as part of the APHA pre-meeting Continuing Education Institute (CEI) at this year’s APHA 133rd Annual Meeting to be held in New Orleans, Nov. 5-9, 2005 (BEI III). The CEI format will allow BEI III to offer a more symposium-like program and increase its ability to address many of the recommendations being considered by Section Leadership and those proposed by the BEI FORUM. BEI III will also offer three oral scientific sessions in the general meeting as part of the Section’s annual meeting program.

Funding for BEI is provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the United States Environmental Protection Agency; RWJF also provides in-kind support. The BEI is also grateful for administrative support provided by the APHA.

APHA 2005 Annual Meeting Update

The APHA 133rd Annual Meeting will be held in New Orleans, Nov. 5-9, 2005. The theme is “Evidence-Based (Public Health) Policy and Practice.” Authors accepted to present at the Annual Meeting must become an APHA member as well as register for the Annual Meeting. For more details, please see <http://www.apha.org> and the current issues of The Nation’s Health and the American Journal of Public Health, as well as the Environment Section information below. Advance registration for the conference and housing is now available on the APHA Web site.

2005 Environment Section Program Planners,
Aditi Vaidya <aditi_v1@yahoo.com>
Robyn Gilden <rgilden@son.umaryland.edu>

APHA 2004 Annual Meeting 35th Homer N. Calver Lecture Report

The 2004 APHA Annual Meeting was held in Washington, D.C., and was highlighted by the 35th Anniversary Homer N. Calver Lecture hosted by the Environment Section. This year’s distinguished Lecturer was Carol M. Browner, JD, former EPA Administrator. Browner is currently with and a founding member of The Albright Group, and one of her many accomplishments includes serving as the chair for the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society. More than 250 people attended this lunch and seminar!

Browner commenced her remarks with a reminder that she had given a presentation to APHA during opening ceremonies several years earlier in her capacity as EPA administrator. This was the first time that the federal environmental agency linked-up with APHA and public health. However, she noted that EPA has not re-connected with APHA in a similar fashion since.

Our 2004 Calver Lecturer expressed her concern in relation to the above, since she feels strongly about the link between environmental protection and public health. She reported that estimates place nearly 15 percent of the country’s population as persons who label themselves as environmentalists, leaving another 85 percent of the nation with interests in their families, quality of life, and health. She emphasized that governmental agencies (EPA) need to be aware that their programs serve the general population and therefore, a need to address the concerns of the majority of the nation’s people. This reinforces the importance of linking environmental programs with the health of the public.

Browner underscored another disturbing trend concerning the federal level’s commitment (or lack thereof) to protection of the environment. She presented four examples which substantiate this observation. During her administration, regulations were promulgated concerning soot in the air. Led by Newt Genrich, the EPA was shut down on at least three occasions and blocked from accomplishing its mission, yet vindicated with a 9-0 vote by the Supreme Court that the Agency did the right thing. Another concern involved controls on arsenic which were put into effect during her term—-they have now been relaxed. Under her administration the United States was an active participant in the effort to address global w arming, however, the United States pulled out of that accord (in spite of the scientific evidence and consensus by nearly 2,500 scientists that this concern is of the utmost importance). A fourth observation: mercury was defined as a neurotoxin under her tenure and as such had a regulatory timetable by 2009 to achieve a 90 percent reduction from the air we breathe. Yet, the toxic-reduction process has now been modified to a possible 60 percent decrease over the next 15 years (2020).

She concluded her remarks by addressing several questions from the audience. Along with her answers she challenged everyone in attendance to become strong advocates for environmental health. By referring to Margaret Meade’s famous quote about causing change, she emphasized that individual action can and will make a difference.

Browner cautioned the audience that we are at risk of becoming the first generation that leaves its children with an environmental problem they cannot solve. As an important control measure, she urged all members of the Environment Section to demonstrate a strong sense of relevancy to their senators and representatives concerning important environmental protection issues as it relates to the district they represent.

She closed the session by reminding the assembly that their commitment to public health is one that is moral, ethical, and valuable; and that both political parties need to be reminded of that mission on behalf of the future of our nation and families.

2005 Association of Public Health Laboratories Annual Meeting Update

The 2005 Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Annual Meeting will be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, Salt Lake City, from June 26-28, 2005. It will consist of a business meeting, keynote session, general sessions, and exhibits all over the course of two-and-a-half days. This year's meeting features a sold-out exhibit hall and a program that includes coverage of public health issues ranging from informatics to bioterrorism, from emerging technology to chemical terrorism. Sessions will also cover environmental issues, food safety, emerging infectious diseases and public health genomics. The Annual Meeting is the APHL membership meeting. Attendees include state, county, city and local public health lab directors and senior staff, government and private laboratory personnel, and others interested in public health and environmental health laboratory issues. For additional meeting information and registration details, please visit <http://aphl.org/conferences/2005_APHL_Annual_Meeting.cfm>.

Contact:
Lauren N. DiSano, MHS, ldisano@aphl.org
Jennifer Leibreich, JLiebreich@aphl.org

Connecticut Environmental Health Association 2004 Annual Meeting/50th Anniversary

The Connecticut Environmental Health Association (CEHA) celebrated its 50th Anniversary, 1954-2004, by recognizing the Association’s past presidents at the Annual Meeting held at Mohegan Sun Convention Center on Nov. 5, 2004. The event was attended by nearly 200 members and other dignitaries from the environmental health field. Several long-time CEHA members and distinguished honorees were on hand for this special commemorative event.

Highlights of the day’s events included the recognition of the CEHA’s past presidents, a special anniversary cake and celebration, CEHA Annual Business Meeting, educational scholarship awards, door prizes, and a session where several prominent members reflected upon the last 50 years of environmental health in Connecticut.

An educational program accompanied the 50th Anniversary celebration and included presentations involving bioterrorism and food safety, integrated pest management, and water supply. Speakers connected with the above topics were respectively Elizabeth O’Malley (FDA), Justin Hedlund (RAL Services), and Jane Downing (EPA Region 1).

The opening session was keynoted by Connecticut Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH. Galvin congratulated the CEHA on its Golden Anniversary and emphasized the role of environmental health in today’s public health picture. He further recognized the role of sanitarians and other allied environmental health workers in such critical areas as food sanitation, water quality and air control. He pointed out that important issues today consist of the above items as well as lead, asbestos and mold.

In addition, several CEHA members have participated on the regional and national levels through their role as the regional vice-president for the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). This position also plays an important role as the liaison to the New England YANKEE Conference on Environmental Health. Leonard O’Neil from the Fairfield Health Department served as the first “RVP” for the New England region upon the reorganization of the NEHA administrative structure. Leon Vinci from the Middletown Health Department served as the RVP for three terms in the 1970s and 1980s, and David Rogers (Meriden Health Department) covering the '90s, recently completed service in that capacity. We thank these individuals for their distinguished service and dedication to the profession.

In Honor and Memory of Eric W. Mood, MPH

Eric Mood, MPH, was an environmental public health professional who was a member of APHA, NEHA, and CEHA, as well as a faculty member of the Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (Yale School of Public Health). Yale SPH has established the Eric W. Mood Alumni Award to recognize the career of a promising new professional in public health who graduated from the school within the previous decade from the time of his or her nomination. This will be an annual award. The three main criteria are outstanding leadership, creativity in public health practices, and outstanding service to his or her field of public health and/or to Yale SPH.

For more information or to make a nomination for the second award in 2006, please contact the committee co-chairs, Susan Addiss and Elaine Anderson, MPH, at <dawn.carroll@yale.edu>.

A reprint of the letter the APHA Environment Section Leadership sent in honor of Eric to his family appears below.


February 16, 2005

Suzanne and Gregory Porto
38 Doolittle Drive
Bethany, CT 06524

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Porto,

On behalf of the Section Leadership and general members of the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) Environment Section, as the elected Secretary, I wish to express our sincere condolences for your family’s loss. Your father, Eric Mood, was a highly respected environmental public health professional and teacher not only in greater New Haven and the Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH), but also throughout the country. He will be greatly missed.

On a personal note, I received my MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from Yale University EPH in 1998. Although my primary mentors and thesis advisors were other faculty, I had the privilege of working with Eric and Elaine Anderson for my first year “Community Project Internship” based at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. My own professional goals are to combine public sector and educational activities during my career, and I viewed Eric as one of the role models in the field.

The APHA Environment Section wishes you the very best for 2005 and into the future.

Sincerely,

Derek G. Shendell, D.Env, MPH

Selected New Books and Non-Profit Reports on Environmental Public Health Topics

We encourage other APHA Environment Section members to share information about new reports and books, available free on the Internet from their organizations, which have the potential to be of broad interest to Section members due to their multidisciplinary nature and/or focus on prevention (of exposures, disparities, morbidity, mortality, disability) or policy. However, due to space limitations, please note we publicize neither reports which are also available as archived peer-reviewed journal articles nor government reports and Web sites. Please send your ideas with descriptive text (250-300 words or less) by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter (see above) to <dgshendell@earthlink.net> and <rebecca_head@monroemi.org>.

Summary of New Available Reports

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

The global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a four-year study released March 2005 involving more than 1,350 scientists and other experts from 95 countries, is the most comprehensive look at the health of the world’s oceans, land, forests, species and atmosphere. It concluded many of the world’s ecosystems are headed for collapse unless radical measures are implemented to revive them. Issues highlighted include: 1) accepting carbon constraints; 2) tracking global/air pollution; 3) water wars -- quality and availability; 4) spread of infectious diseases, old and new; and 5) the body burden of disease - increased exposure to personal care products contaminating our water, air, soil, etc.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment can be found at <http://www.millenniumassessment.org>; the National Commission on Energy Policy is at <http://www.energycommission.org>; the Investor Network on Climate Risk is at <http://www.incr.com>.

Gila Neta
gneta@jhsph.edu

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RELATIONSHIP TO THE ENVIRONMENT KEY TO THE FUTURE OF HEALTH

EARLY SUCCESS DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMS

About 100 years ago, major improvements in American health were brought about by a new realization of environmental factors in infectious diseases.

Cleaning up water supplies, improving sanitation, pasteurizing milk, mosquito abatement, improving antisepsis in health care settings, refrigerating foods, and electrification of interior spaces significantly impacted the experience of morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases by 1923. Although there is a widespread belief that these diseases were "conquered" by individual clinical treatments, they were not available until about 1940.

CHANGE OF FOCUS

During the 20th Century, the value of these environmental successes was overshadowed by the continued growth of technological advances in pharmacy and diagnostic equipment for treating diseases one person at a time. Hence, some major trends have grown somewhat unnoticed until quite recently:

a.) Continuing introduction of toxins into the environment without a clear picture of how they accumulate and persist. Recent surveys of the increasing BODY BURDEN of persistent toxins illustrate that they are accumulating in all humans. There has been inadequate research on the health consequences of this trend. One example of unintended consequences of technology is the discovery of the remnants of legislated fire retardants for children's clothing and bedding in the blood of these children.

b.) Planetary climate changes resulting from the rapid expansion of industry and transportation systems. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment by the United Nations reveals that ". . . rising populations and pollution are putting such a strain on the natural functions of the Earth that the ability of the life systems on the planet to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.” (See above for reference to report.)

The public health overview needs to be brought back into both professional and public awareness if significant improvements in individual health are to be achieved.

HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS SHOULD BE THE VANGUARD

Since the public looks to physicians, nurses, and other professionals for authoritative advice about their health, they should be the vanguard of the public health perspective of these issues, but are not well informed. The Telosis Institute of Berkeley, Calif., provides valuable tools and resources for greening medical practices including Symbiosis: The Journal of Ecologically Sustainable Medicine, patient handouts for better management of environmental health risks, and guides for professionals to improve recognition of environmental illnesses.

Check out their Web site at: <http://www.Telosis.org>.

Richard B. Miles and Joel Kreisberg
Richard@Telosis.org and DrKreisberg@teleosis.org

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Information on pressure-treated wood

New online resource (www.safe2play.org) from the Center for Environmental Health provides important health and safety information on arsenic and pressure-treated wood

In backyards, parks and playgrounds throughout the United States, there are decks, picnic tables and play sets made of wood that has been treated with arsenic. The arsenic-based preservative, Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA), has been widely used since the 1970s to protect wood for outdoor structures from rotting. Arsenic continually leaches out to the wood’s surface and can be released to children’s hands by direct contact. Young children, in particular, are at risk of ingesting arsenic through frequent hand-to-mouth activity after contact with CCA-treated wood. Arsenic, a known skin, bladder and lung carcinogen, is also linked to immune system suppression, endocrine disruption and diabetes. Adults are potentially at risk of acute arsenic poisoning through inhalation if they try to saw, sand or burn CCA-treated wood.

The voluntary agreement between the wood products industry and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phased out the manufacture of arsenic-treated wood for most residential uses by Jan. 1, 2004, but it failed to address the existing structures. In 2002, it was estimated that 90 percent of existing outdoor structures were made of CCA-treated wood.

The Safe Playgrounds Project wWb site provides recommendations on ways to minimize exposure to arsenic from pressure-treated wood found at schools, child care facilities, public parks and backyards. Safe2play.org provides important health and safety information about the dangers posed to young children and the general public from the use of CCA-treated wood, how to obtain a simple arsenic test kit, safety precautions and simple steps to minimize arsenic exposure, as well as answers to frequently asked questions. Some materials are available in Spanish and Chinese.

Please visit the Center for Environmental Health’s Safe Playgrounds Project Web site at <www.safe2play.org> or call our toll-free hotline at (877) 604-KIDS.

Sue Chiang
info@safe2play.org, or sue@cehca.org

Report: Summary of Coalition Initiatives in Environmental Public Health

The Massachusetts Public Health Association is a member of a groundbreaking environmental health coalition that could serve as a model for other states. The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (AHT) has galvanized an unprecedented range of consumer groups, unions, faith communities, and health organizations. The coalition's 142 members include the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the state teachers union, a breast cancer organization, and numerous grassroots environmental groups. The mission is to create a fundamental shift in policy: preventing health, safety, and environmental problems by reducing the use of toxic chemicals.

The coalition's premise is that there are dangerous flaws in current environmental policy. Potential toxins are not usually tested for safety before use, and government action is often only prompted after harm is proven and widespread. AHT supports a precautionary approach that prevents disease and illness by adopting safer alternatives to toxic chemicals - chemicals often found in everyday products, such as toys, household cleaners, and cosmetics.

The coalition's efforts include public education, coalition-building, and legislative advocacy. Recently, AHT released a study that found a broad array of dangerous toxins in household dust. AHT is steadily broadening and diversifying its membership, recently enlisting a Boston teenager group and an organization representing people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. In the State House, AHT is supporting bills to phase out mercury in products, require "healthy cleaners" in schools and hospitals, and require the substitution, where feasible, of the most dangerous toxins.

For more information, please visit the AHT web site, <http://www.HealthyTomorrow.org>.

Environmental Public Health Surveys Being Conducted

CEHN SPONSORS SURVEY OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ON POLICY ADVOCACY INVOLVEMENT

"Get involved!" How often have you been urged to vote, write to Congress, or otherwise speak out in support of public health? And how often have you actually done so?

Public health professionals are frequently told that they should get involved in the process of legislation or regulation, improving public health through applying their expertise and knowledge.

But what barriers might be keeping you or other professionals from getting involved in the policy-making process? What motivates public health professionals to get involved?

The Children's Environmental Health Network would like to better understand the barriers and motivations of environmental health professionals -- especially pediatric environmental health professionals -- in the policy-making process.

CEHN has developed a very brief Web-based confidential survey, which takes only a minute or two to fill out. Just go the Web page below:
<http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=95879858173>.

By answering this survey, you can help CEHN in increasing the involvement and the effectiveness of environmental health professionals.

If you have any questions, please call Carol Stroebel at (540) 436-3953. Thank you!

Carol Stroebel
Consultant/Health Policy Specialist
Children's Environmental Health Network
cstroebel@igc.org

Fellowship and Scholarship Opportunities

The Fulbright Scholar Program for Faculty and Professionals is offering research, lecturing, and lecturing-research awards in public health for academic year 2006-2007. Specific "Public Health" awards are available in Canada, China, Hungary, India, and Ukraine. Public health is also among the requested specializations for awards in the social sciences or sciences, public administration, and mountain studies in other countries, and in the multi-country regional research programs in Africa and the Middle East/South Asia. These awards offer unique opportunities to assist in the development of curricula and new undergraduate and graduate programs, to provide faculty and in-service training, and to engage in collaborative research. Opportunities exist in a broad range of specializations, including health policy, AIDS, addiction, environmental health, health care systems, and medical sociology. There are also a number of "all discipline" awards in many countries that allow applicants to propose their own projects.

The application deadline is August 1, 2005.

For general information about application requirements and staff contacts, visit the CIES Web site at <http://www.cies.org>.

Application materials can be downloaded from the Web site or requested via e-mail to <apprequest@cies.iie.org>.

APHA Environment Section Leadership Calls

Upcoming APHA Environment Section leadership calls are on the third Thursday of each month, at 3 p.m. eastern standard time.

Therefore, the remaining calls this spring-summer are June 16, July 21, August 18, and Sept. 15.

Everyone is invited to participate!

Please e-mail our Section chair, Nse Obot Witherspoon, at <nobot@cehn.org>, to be on her e-mail list to receive each call’s agenda and dial-in information.

List of Section officers and subcommittees with e-mail contact information

Chair: Nse Obot Witherspoon, MPH, nobot@cehn.org

Chair-elect: Jill S. Litt, PhD, jill.litt@uchsc.edu

Secretary: Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH, dgshendell@earthlink.net

Immediate Past Chair: Allen Dearry, PhD, dearry@niehs.nih.gov

Section councilors: Michael Reiss; Marni Rosen; Neal Rosenblatt, MS; Peter Ashley; Patricia Elliot, JD, MPH; Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, MS, MEngs

Governing Council representatives: Heidi Klein, MPH; David Wallinga, MD; Susan West Marmagas, MPH; Beth Resnick, MPH

Policy Committee Chair: John Balbus, MD, MPH

(Editor's Note: Pages 29-30 of the December 2004 / January 2005 issue of The Nation’s Health summarized the 20 policies approved at the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting; several are directly or indirectly related to environmental health sciences and policy.)

We hope you voted between May 13 and June 16 for our new officers. They will start their positions in November 2005!