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Environment
Section Newsletter
Spring 2009

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair

Hello to all - 2009 is half done, and that may be the good news!  Much good news is occurring in the area of protecting the environment & public environmental health.  What are lacking are the funds to carry out some of the projects, particularly for local & state governments.  On the plus side, new projects focusing on sustainable communities, green chemistry, energy & fuel efficiency along with climate change initiatives are popping up, and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency is soon to unveil a revitalized environmental justice perspective.  On the negative side, we may be losing professionals who can work toward realizing the good results of related projects due to public sector and private organizational budget cuts with resultant job losses.  And who will be the environmental health professionals of the future?  Can we ensure that new professionals are being trained, soon ready to begin work? 

I recently met with public environmental health professionals from Australia, Canada, Germany and Sweden – all countries that have national health/medical care programs.  What was interesting was the strength of their public health programs.  Lesson to be learned?  A strong national health/medical program could result in strong governmental public environmental health programs, and that would be welcome and necessary for us to continue to monitor and enhance the health of communities.  Of course, what is important now is for public health to be a full partner in shaping a national health/medical care program – so please do your part by advocating for a national program that provides medical care to all coupled with robust public and public environmental health programs.

Perhaps you are looking for Section updates.  The Annual Meeting Program is focused and packed with good sessions, thanks to Kacee Deener and Yolanda Sanchez.  Yolanda has also been making sure our Web page is populated with pertinent information.  Check it at: http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/env/

Rebecca Love has dutifully provided us with meeting summary notes and produced this newsletter edition.  John Balbus has contributed regarding Policy and Climate Change.  We also have many others who contributed: Liam O’Fallon & our Chair-elect, Sacoby Wilson for Environmental Justice; Barbara Glenn for Membership; Leon Vinci & Nsedu Obot Witherspoon for Awards; Peter Ashley & Tony DeLucia for the Built Environment; Roni Neff & Rebecca Klein for the Food & Environment Workgroup; Laureen Burton & Allen Dearry for 2011 Anniversary Planning; Nsedu Obot Witherspoon & Rebecca Gluskin for Student Involvement and Pat Bohan for Budget. 

We have also strong representation on APHA’s Executive Board with Susan West Marmagas recently elected to serve on that group and Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, chair of the Intersectional Council, serving as an ex-officio member on the same body.

Many others work on Section activities and are members of the committees – and YOU can be one of them.  No contribution of assistance is too small…or too big – join today!  You can contact any of the chairs listed above or send me an e-mail and I’ll get you connected. 

Let’s all continue to support the Section’s work and the work of public environmental health.
 
As Mary McLeod Bethune said: “Never lose your zeal for building a better world.”

 
Best, Rebecca Head
rebecca_head@monroemi.org

 

 

Raising Awareness on Bottled Water

Raising Awareness on Bottled Water at APHA

On Nov. 7, 2009, some 13,000 public health practitioners and advocates will converge on Philadelphia for the 137th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition.  With its theme of Water and Public Health, the meeting is a unique opportunity to educate the public health community about the many health, environmental, social, and economic issues associated with bottled water. As a forum for sharing best practices, the meeting is an opportunity to reflect the knowledge and public health values that it wishes to promote. 

In 2007, U.S. consumers spent $12 billion on nearly 9 billion gallons of bottled water, in large part because advertising has lead them to believe that water in a bottle is safer or better than tap water.  In fact, while the federal government requires rigorous and frequent testing of municipal tap water supplies, the same standards are not applied to bottled water. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates tap water, requires utilities to test municipal water hundreds of times a month. Yet the Food and Drug Administration, the entity that regulates bottled water, only requires bottling companies to test their product once a week.

Independent testing has found arsenic, microbes, toxic chemicals, and other pollutants in some brands of bottled water. Moreover, many researchers believe that phthalates, chemicals used to soften plastics, can leach into the water they contain.  Phthalates and other substances used to make plastic have been linked to birth defects and cancer in humans and to environmental problems.

Philadelphia is a leader in water conservation and safety. The City of Philadelphia’s water authority consistently tests the city’s water supply as mandated by the Clean Water Act.  In fact, according to research conducted by the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, the city’s water has been violation-free since 1974 when the Safe Drinking Water Act was first implemented.

Philadelphia is also on the cutting edge of water testing.  It monitors for pharmaceuticals, a practice that most other cities do not follow.  The Philadelphia Water Department’s 2008 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report reveals that the city’s water met federal standards for acceptable levels of metals, disinfection biproducts, organic carbon, bacteria, and inorganic chemicals.

Educating attendees about bottled water at a meeting the size of the APHA Annual Meeting is certainly advantageous.  In doing so, participants will  learn to protect their health while reducing plastic waste, the production and disposal of which harms the environment.  We encourage members of the Food and Nutrition Section and other sections to join us in the following efforts:

Use a refillable water bottle instead of disposable plastic bottles.
Encourage your APHA colleagues to use reusable water bottles at the 2009 Annual Meeting. Before the meeting , participants should be reminded to bring their own. If you do not own one, stainless steel bottles will be available for purchase at the conference.

Current APHA Meetings utilize pitchers of water at all speakers’ tables instead of disposable bottles. This is a practice widely employed at meetings and conferences around the world. We recognize that this policy requires case-by-case consideration of the quality of drinking water; ensuring that the water in pitchers is filtered will help alleviate health concerns while reducing waste.
Future events should strongly consider setting up water filtration stations. They provide access to potable tap water on a larger scale than drinking fountains.  Water filtration stations can be set up in a variety of configurations and environments, both indoors and outdoors. It is good for attendees’ pocketbooks as well as their health.

Learn about the quality of the drinking water in your community by obtaining a water report from the water company. Food & Water Watch has a guide on how to read a water report.

APHA promotes sustainable practices both at the annual meetings and within the organization  by adopting policies that encourage recycling and prohibit smoking. APHA's green initiatives are highlighted on its Web site.  Promoting the use of reusable water bottles is an important next step as we focus on water and public health next fall in Philadelphia.

The Water Committee of the APHA Food and Environment Working Group contributed to this piece. The Working Group, comprised primarily of members of the Food and Nutrition and Environment Sections, works through public health avenues to create a sustainable, just, and healthy food system. If you would like to work with us toward this goal, contact Joy Casnovskyn at joy@sustainablefoodcenter.org.

Food and Environment

Toward a Healthy, Sustainable Food System: Activities at the APHA Annual Meeting and Beyond

The APHA Food and Environment Working Group, comprised of members of the Environment and Food and Nutrition sections, plus others who are interested in these topics, has been planning activities for the Annual Meeting and beyond.  As you make your conference travel reservations, keep these dates in mind.  Keep an eye out for further details and how to RSVP.

Saturday, Nov. 7: The Working Group will provide a day tour of innovative food system projects in Philadelphia, featuring a youth-based urban gardening project, a healthy corner store initiative, a visit to a farmers’ market, a discussion of supermarket initiatives for addressing food deserts, and conversations with project leaders and participants.

Tuesday, Nov. 10: We will hold our annual social and networking event featuring locally and sustainably sourced foods.

The Food and Environment Working Group addresses public health issues at the intersection of food and the environment. Among our other activities, we have brought together program planners from both sections to coordinate several jointly sponsored scientific sessions, as in the past.  A Special Session submitted by working group members, “Public Health in an Era of Resource Depletion,” is scheduled for Monday.  Beyond planning activities at the Annual Meeting and addressing bottled-water use at APHA events (see piece on bottled water in this newsletter), we have an active policy committee and are also looking to long-term activities such as addressing the food served at public health conferences and further networking — both internally within APHA, and externally, including with other health-related professional associations.

If you are interested in becoming involved in the Working Group, please contact Rebecca Klein, rklein@jhsph.edu, (410)502-7578.

 

Nursing and the Environmnet

Every Day is Earth Day for Many Nurses

We are in a new dawn regarding environmental health in the United States and, in fact, globally. The public awareness and interest in all things “green” is creating a demand for nurses to understand the relationship between human health and the environments in which we live, learn, work and play. We have moved beyond questioning the science of whether we are in environmental health peril to almost unanimous consensus that we must act and act now on many of the risks we are all experiencing.  Nurses, who are one of the most trusted sources of information by the public, must be in a position to both respond to questions about the environment and its relationship to health with credible, evidence-based information, as well as provide leadership in making the necessary changes in our policies and practices. To that end we must prepare nurses to be a cut above the average citizen with regard to their knowledge of environmental health issues.

In December 2008, 50 nursing leaders were selected to represent the nursing profession at a four-day, invitational meeting to develop a strategic plan for environmental health nursing. They represented the following: nursing sub-specialty organizations ranging from nurse midwives, school nurses, and nurse practitioners, to critical care, neonatal, and public health nurses: state nursing associations; as well as the national organizations of Black and Hispanic Nurses Associations. While there were many small accomplishments at this meeting, the two that stand out are the following:

  • A national organization was born – the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
  • An organizational structure was constructed, and four main Work Groups were created to begin the important work of this new Alliance:
        -Education
        -Practice
        -Research
        -Policy/Advocacy

This new Alliance is now growing as nurses from around the country join the Work Groups to participate in meaningful national efforts.  For example, the Education Work Group is helping to develop NCLEX questions on environmental health and concurrently developing curriculum materials for nursing schools and for continuing education.  They are also planning a free, on-line nursing text on environmental health.

The Practice Work Group is sharing resources for nurses who are “greening” their hospitals and other health care facilities, as well as developing best practices and model policies to decrease unnecessary environmental exposures in our workplaces. They are also exploring standard practices that recognize environmental exposures as a determinant of health.

The Research Work Group is creating a compendium of nursing research articles on environmental health to better identify evidence-based practices. They are also promoting more nurses researchers in this area and sharing information about funding sources.

The Policy/Advocacy Work Group is addressing environmental health policies at the state and national level and helping to mobilize the nursing community to support policies that encourage citizen knowledge about potential hazards through “right to know mechanisms,” reduce/eliminate known and suspected hazardous chemicals that are in our air, water, food, soil and products.

Together these Work Groups are coordinating their efforts and reaching out to nurses around the country. The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments welcomes any and all nurses who are interested in the environment to join the Work Group that best reflects their interests.  

A new and fabulous Web site has been created that is helping to support the many Alliance’s efforts, as well as contain information and resources that all nurses will appreciate, has been created.  It is called “e-Commons,” a name that reflects both the new electronic nature of the tool and the old, English term that referred to land that was owned by no one person but rather was co-owned by the entire community. This land was known as the commons.  The new Web site, www.e-Commons.org, is just that – a new site that we all (all nurses who are concerned about the environment and its relationship to human health) co-own and co-create. Come and see this unique new home for our work. 

To find information about the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment (ANHE), see www.e-Commons.org/ANHE.

 

Transportation

Talking Transportation

Submitted by Tracy Kolian

Although climate change policy is largely in the air, conversations around the country are shifting toward transportation policy. The biggest federal transportation funding package and sixth largest bill in history called SAFETEA‑LU is scheduled for reauthorization this fall.

Reauthorization provides an opportunity to rewrite transportation policy that is more in line with 21st century needs and goals: a more equitable, accountable, and health promoting comprehensive transportation system.

This year, transportation is one of APHA's top legislative priorities. APHA is working with Transportation4America http://t4america.org/ to promote transportation policy that ensures public health and safety is adequately supported in the reauthorized bill. T4America, with APHA's support, recently unveiled: The Route to Reform: a Blueprint for a 21st Century Federal Transportation Program ‑ see APHA's newsrelease in support of the blueprint: http://www.apha.org/about/news/pressreleases/2009/T4America_blueprint.htm

In addition to collaborating with T4America, APHA is leading its own charge to ensure future transportation policy promotes health and safety. A supplement to the policy publication, "At the Intersection of Public Health and Safety, Promoting Health Transportation Policy," is APHA's own transportation and public health agenda for national policy-makers featuring a list of transportation principles, a brief of the health cost and benefits associated with transportation, and talking points for public health and safety advocates. All of these materials will be posted on the APHA Web site and highlighted in various outreach channels. In fact, be sure to read the cover story of the May issue of The Nation's Health by Kim Krisberg titled "Advocates: Transportation and public health policy go hand‑in‑hand."

If you would like to join the conversation, please contact Tracy Kolian at tracy.kolian@apha.org.

 

Rachel Carson Day

Newton's Rachel Carson Day May 27 Keeps Her Legacy Alive

Submitted by Ellie Goldberg

Newton Mayor David B. Cohen has signed a proclamation to honor the memory and the legacy of Rachel Carson naming May 27 Rachel Carson Day in Newton, Mass.

Whereas we believe in the power of the individual to make a difference; and

Whereas Rachel Carson's birthday, May 27, is an annual opportunity to remember the biologist, ecologist and author and celebrate her legacy; and

Whereas, Rachel Carson taught us that our health is intimately connected to the health of our environment, and that we must remain diligent to protect the natural ecosystem to maintain the health of the world’s citizens; and

Whereas the publication of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring in 1962 generated a worldwide environmental movement and led to the creation of the U.S. EPA, the U.S. ban on DDT, and environment regulations such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act; and

Whereas Rachel Carson faced overwhelming illness and adversity, and yet retained her unwavering motivation to speak out about the hazards of pesticides due to her unabashed love of nature and sense of responsibility for human health and the public interest; and

Whereas, raising awareness of Rachel Carson's life and legacy can inspire citizens to get involved in efforts to protect our water, food and air from the contamination;

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that I, David B. Cohen, Mayor of the City of Newton, do hereby proclaim

May 27, 2009

Rachel Carson Day

In the City of Newton

and do further call on our citizens to remember the power of Rachel Carson’s words and the example of her life.  With a determined collaboration, we can together promote the health and preservation of our environment; and commit to ecological and sustainable principles for landscaping and pest control in our homes, schools, neighborhoods, and throughout our community.

The Green Decade Coalition/Newton Web site, www.greendecade.org, is a treasure of resources and opportunities to get involved in making Newton a more sustainable community.

 

NLM Update

Update from the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services

Submitted by Colette Hochstein, DMD, MLS (Colette@nlm.nih.gov), Division of Specialized Information Services, NLM

April 2009

TOXMAP: Now Includes TRI 2007 and Save Search Feature
http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov

TOXMAP now includes the 2007 EPA Toxics Release Inventory data (TRI) (http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri07/index.htm).

In addition, TOXMAP now offers the ability to save one's search results, the ability to zoom to U.S. Indian reservations, and county and Congressional district boundaries that can be toggled on/off.

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System from the Division of Specialized Information Services (http://sis.nlm.nih.gov) of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (http://www.nlm.nih.gov) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Program.

New Features:  NLM Dietary Supplements Labels Database

The National Library of Medicine Dietary Supplements Labels Database now includes several interface improvements, more products, and an auto-complete (search) feature.  http://dietarysupplements.nlm.nih.gov

Other recent additions/changes include: 

  • Search box on every page.
  • Age/gender categories under “Products.”
  • Glossary page with A-Z anchor links .
  • Updated FDA Recalls, FDA MedWatch and FTC Actions.
  • More products (3000).
  • New “Help” page.

The Dietary Supplements Labels Database includes information from the labels of over 3,000 brands of dietary supplements in the marketplace, including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids and other specialty supplements.

The database is designed to help both the general public and health care providers find information about ingredients in brand-name products, including name, form, active and inactive ingredients, amount of active ingredient/unit, manufacturer/distributor information, suggested dose, label claims, warnings, percentage of daily value and further label information.  

Links to other NLM resources, such as MedlinePlus and PubMed, are provided for additional health information. In addition, links to related Fact Sheets from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the National Cancer Institute are also available.

ToxMystery

In late 2008, the National Library of Medicine ToxMystery was installed as a permanent kiosk in the Exploration Station exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center (CSC) in Pittsburgh (http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/).  ToxMystery is an interactive children's game about household hazards.

The kiosk was developed in partnership with the Carnegie Science Center to develop allow easy and secure access to ToxMystery. The kiosk was installed between the CSC hands-on “Exploration Station” and the “Building Green” exhibit which looks at the connections between human health and the environment. 

Plans for building a ToxMystery kiosk are available from the National Library of Medicine. These plans include the list of materials needed, detailed construction diagrams, step-by-step directions, and photographs of the completed kiosk taken at the Carnegie Science Center.

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

In March, Specialized Information Services exhibited at the National Science Teachers Association conference in New Orleans. SIS demonstrated several resources in biology, toxicology and environmental health at all grade levels for the attendees. Tox Town, ToxMystery, Visible Proofs, and MedlinePlus were well received. New flyers that were handed out at the conference are now available on the SIS promotional materials page: http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/outreach/promotional_materials.html.

Stay Updated!

NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L is an e-mail announcement list available from the National Library of Medicine's Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS). The purpose of the announcement list is to broadcast updates on SIS's resources, services, and outreach in toxicology and environmental health. The NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L Archives allow users to search list postings, and to modify subscription options.

To subscribe to the NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L announcement list, please send the following text in the body of an email to listserv@list.nih.gov: SUBSCRIBE NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L your name or use the listserv Web page:
http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/envirolistserv.html

 

 

Action Board

Action  Board Update

By  Leon F. Vinci

I.      House and Senate Adopt Budget Agreement

II.     H1N1 Outbreak

III.    Health Reform

IV.     Sebelius Confirmed as HHS Secretary

V.      Capps Introduces Climate Change and Health Bill

VI.    Harkin Introduces School Nutrition Bill

VII.   POLICY WATCH! News on Relevant Federal, State and Local Activities


I. House and Senate Adopt Budget Agreement

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a resolution calling for $3.56 trillion in spending for the coming fiscal year. Of that funding, the resolution provides $529.8 billion in non‑defense discretionary spending – about a 6 percent increase over FY 2009 levels. The final budget resolution called for only a $2 billion increase in FY 2010 discretionary health spending, while APHA has requested a $7.4 billion increase. While the budget resolution serves as an outline for spending in particular areas, such as health and education, the appropriations committees have the final say on exactly how the money provided under the budget resolution will be divided up among the various programs and agencies.

APHA has already begun talking with members of the House and Senate Labor‑HHS‑Education Appropriations Subcommittees to try to ensure the highest possible level of funding for health programs and agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

II. H1N1 Outbreak

In response to the recent outbreak of H1N1 (swine flu), which is suspected in the infection of thousands of people and in the deaths of over 100 worldwide, APHA and other advocates sent a letter to members of Congress requesting additional funding for:

  • Expanding cell and egg‑based vaccine capacity, purchasing antivirals for the federal stockpile, and accelerating research and development of rapid diagnostic tests that can be used to enable doctors and field epidemiologists to quickly evaluate patients for influenza viruses;
  • States and localities to support infrastructure needs critical to the response;
  • Replenishing and building the SNS with antivirals and respirators;
  • States and localities to purchase personal protective equipment and antivirals for prophylaxis of health care and critical infrastructure workers; and
  • Increasing support for CDC’s Global Disease Detection Program.

President Obama has urged Congress to provide an additional $1.5 billion in emergency funding in response to the H1N1 virus outbreak, and House Appropriations Chairman Obey has outlined a plan to provide an additional $2 billion for these activities. APHA will continue to work with its partners to ensure adequate funding is provided to address this urgent public health issue.

In addition to the call for emergency funding, APHA is supporting legislation introduced by Rep. Lois Capps,  D‑Calif., and Sen. Richard Durbin, D‑Ill.. that would guarantee that all victims of a major public health disaster would receive emergency treatment regardless of their health insurance status. According to a press release issued by Rep. Capps’ office, the legislation would allow the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to activate a temporary 90 day health benefit for the uninsured who are victims of a public health disaster once a public health emergency has been declared.

You can take action in support of this legislation by visiting APHA’s new advocacy site at: http://action.apha.org/site/PageNavigator/Advocacy.

III. Health Reform

A number of House and Senate committees continued their work to draft legislation to overhaul the nation’s health system. The House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor are working to jointly draft legislation, as each of the three committees has jurisdiction over different aspects of reforming the nation’s health system.

We urge Section members to be involved in the health reform debate. A list of questions that APHA members can use during town hall meetings on health reform around their states and Congressional districts can be found at: http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/23C67A61‑1D76‑465D‑B760‑253DAD61ECA8/0/townhallquestions2009.pdf

IV. Senate Confirms HHS Secretary and Other Key Health Leaders

On April 28, the Senate voted to confirm President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, by a vote of 65 to 31. Sebelius’ confirmation completes Obama’s cabinet and came after many lawmakers urged quick action so that Sebelius could provide HHS leadership in the federal response to the H1N1 virus outbreak.

On May 6, the U.S. Senate also confirmed Bill Corr as deputy secretary of HHS and Dr. Yvette Roubideaux as director of the Indian Health Service. Corr most recently served as executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco‑Free Kids, and before that, as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. Roubideaux previously worked in the Indian Health Service as a medical officer and clinical director on the San Carlos Indian Reservation and in the Gila River Indian Community. Roubideaux is a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. Roubideaux is an APHA member, and APHA submitted a letter in support of her nomination. 

President Obama has nominated Dr. Margaret Hamburg as administrator of the Food and Drug Administration and Eric Goosby as global AIDS coordinator and administrator of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

V. Capps Introduces Climate Change and Health Bill

On May 7, Rep. Lois Capps, D‑Calif., introduced the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act. The legislation establishes a “Sense of Congress” directing all levels of government to assist the public health community in preparing to respond to the health impacts associated with climate change. The bill directs the secretary of HHS in collaboration with the director of the CDC and others to develop a National Strategic Action Plan to prepare for and respond to the health impacts of climate change in the United States and in developing nations. The bill authorizes funding for CDC to conduct research into the health effects of climate change and to assist in preparedness planning at the national, state and local levels, and internationally, to ensure that public health workers and agencies are prepared to respond to or reduce the impacts of the health effects of climate change. Finally the bill would require the secretary of HHS to enter into an agreement with the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine to conduct a report to assess the needs of health professionals to address the health impacts of climate change and to recommend programs to address those needs.

APHA worked closely with Rep. Capps to develop the legislation and is hopeful that the bill will be incorporated into the larger climate change legislation that is slated to be considered by the House of Representatives later this year.

VI. Harkin Introduces School Nutrition Bill

On April 30, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D‑Iowa, introduced S. 934, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009, to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update nutrition standards for food sold in schools at anytime during the school day. Currently, the Department of Agriculture has little authority over the nutrition content of school food outside of federally supported school breakfast and lunch programs. Some states and localities have imposed nutrition standards, but food and beverage companies mostly regulate themselves under voluntary standards. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D‑Calif., introduced similar legislation in the House (H.R. 1324) on March 5.

VII. Policy Watch: News on relevant Federal, State and Local Activities

New York City Considers Law Preventing Fast Food near Schools. Councilmember Eric Gioia (D‑Queens) has proposed legislation to ban new fast food restaurants within 0.1 miles (approximately 500 feet) of schools. This law is in response a new study showing that children tend to weigh more when there are fast food restaurants in close proximity to their schools.  If approved, the law would only apply to new restaurants.

Texas Senate Passes Bill to Raise Smoking Age to 19. In an effort to curb smoking, Sen. Carlos Uresti (D‑San Antonio) has introduced legislation to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 19.  Supporters say this action could potentially reduce teen smoking rates by 20 percent. However, this bill could potentially cost Texas $12.5 million in lost tax revenue over the next two years. Others question whether it is ethical to prevent legal adults from making decisions about smoking. Having passed the state’s Senate, the legislation is now under consideration by the House.  

ALSO:

APHA has a new online platform for our legislative alerts. Please visit http://action.apha.org/site/PageNavigator/Advocacy to send a letter to your Congressional representatives urging their support for funding for public health agencies in fiscal year 2010, funding for pandemic influenza preparedness, and addressing public health in climate change legislation.  Help APHA influence lawmakers to make public health a priority this year.

Meetings

National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures Kick-off Meeting
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Friday, June 26, 2009

The National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures is a collaborative initiative to identify and prioritize actions for strengthening the public health approach to chemical exposures. CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) are sponsoring this project.

Please plan to join us on June 26, 2009 in Washington, D.C. for a day-long meeting to launch this exciting stakeholder and public involvement initiative. The meeting will include a plenary session featuring Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director of NCEH/ATSDR as well as other guests. Breakout sessions will allow for discussion of specific issues related to public health and chemical exposures.

The 18 month long National Conversation will offer many opportunities for involvement, including: expert working groups, regional and local public meetings, and web-based discussions. The resulting action agenda will outline steps for NCEH/ATSDR and other institutions to take to better protect public health from harmful chemical exposures.

If you would like to receive additional information on this project and meeting, please send your contact information to: nationalconversation@cdc.gov.

Register now for the Short Course in Toxicology!

https://www.regonline.com/APHL_toxshortcourse

July 27 – 30, 2009

o         Review of General Principles
o         Toxicants
o         Uptake
o         Distribution
o         Metabolism
o         Excretion, etc
o         Drugs and pesticides
o         Mechanism of action
o         Detoxification pathways
o         Downstream metabolites
o         Laboratory techniques, etc.
o         Expert Testimony
o         Laboratory accreditation

Sponsored by the Association of Public Health Laboratories, Arkansas Department of Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children Hospital Research Institute, and National Center for Toxicological Research

 

Grants and Awards

Grants and Awards

HUD Announces $117 Million  in Funding Under FY 2009 NOFA to Reduce Lead-Based Paint Hazards

Approximately $69 million for the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program and $48 million is available for the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program.

The purpose of the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program is to assist states, Native American Tribes, cities, counties/parishes, or other units of local government in undertaking comprehensive programs to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned rental or owner-occupied housing.

The purpose of the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program is the same as the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control, with the exception that the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program is targeted for urban jurisdictions with the greatest lead-based paint hazard control needs.

The deadline for receipt of the application in HUD headquarters is July 20, 2009.

More information is available at
http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/09NOFA/leadcombo.cfm.

2009 for Targeted Grants to Reduce Childhood Lead Poisoning

(http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=xTjQKNCcK1vbLTzkX1xrpJXfVBsjxPsT4ClMNJr4hzj6S02Gp1dh!-1908586553?oppId=47391&flag2006=false&mode=VIEW)

EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible entities to conduct activities to reduce incidences of childhood lead poisoning in vulnerable populations. Projects will address the following goals: (1) reduce lead poisoning in areas with high incidences of elevated blood-lead levels through outreach and education; (2) identify and reduce lead poisoning in under-studied areas with high potential for undocumented elevated blood-lead levels through data gathering and monitoring; and (3) develop tools to address unique and challenging issues in lead poisoning prevention, especially tools that are replicable and scalable for other areas.

The full Request for Proposal is at http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/rfp20090513.pdf.

U.S EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Awards Program

The application process for EPA’s competitive IAQ TfS Awards is now open! Be recognized for your outstanding commitment to improving children's health by promoting good indoor air quality (IAQ) and get started on your application today!  More at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/awards.html

EPA offers three competitive awards for which school IAQ champions may apply: The IAQ TfS National Excellence Award is one of EPA’s highest IAQ awards, presented to U.S. schools and school districts that have shown exceptional commitment to IAQ management in schools. The IAQ TfS National Model of Sustained Excellence Award is presented to U.S. schools and school districts that show ongoing exceptional commitment and achievement in maintaining healthy educational facilities while institutionalizing comprehensive IAQ management practices. Recipients of this award must have been a past IAQ TfS National Excellence Award recipient/NEW! The National IAQ TfS Connector Award is presented to individuals and organizations whose outstanding, innovative actions and initiatives have supported improved school indoor environments, withal special focus on actions and initiatives that reflect the spirit of the IAQ TfS Connector, the central communication and networking platform of the IAQ TfS Program.

Winners will be honored at EPA’s 10th Annual IAQ TfS National Symposium, to be held Jan. 14-16, 2010. The deadline to apply for the competitive awards is Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Learn more about the IAQ TfS Awards program, apply for an award, or recommend an applicant for one of EPA's prestigious awards.

EPA also offers the National Great Start and Leadership Awards, on-competitive awards designed to recognize schools and districts that are on their way to achieving sustainable IAQ management plans. Applications are accepted year-round.

May 14, 2009 Webinar Archived: Your Regional Resources for Developing an IAQ Tools for Schools Award Application. View the archived presentation of this Webinar to discover the resources available in your local area that will help you develop an IAQ TfS Award-winning application.  Learn about your EPA Regional representatives — school IAQ experts located throughout the country that offer individualized assistance and support for school environmental health initiatives at the local level.  Go to http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/webconferences.html.

If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact the IAQ TfS Awards Coordinator at (703) 247-6000 orawardscoordinator@cadmusgroup.com.

The Open Meadows Foundation – Women and Girls Grants

The Open Meadows Foundation supports projects that are led by and benefit women and girls, especially from vulnerable communities. The Foundation will pay particular attention to projects that reflect the diversity of the community to be served, promote community development and that promote gender, social, environmental, economic, and/ or racial justice. Small and start-up organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Selected applicants will receive up to $2,000. Eligible applicants include 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status organizations.

Deadline: August 15, 2009

Please contact the Open Meadows directly for more specific grant information and to apply:  http://www.openmeadows.org/.

 

E-Commons

Dear Nursing Colleagues,

Announcing e-Commons

www.e-Commons.org

and

Introducing you to the

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

www.e-Commons.org/ANHE

Nurses now have a new nursing organization and a unique and powerful resource with which to engage in environmental health issues.

“e-Commons” is a revolutionary new Web site that is being co-created by the world of nurses who are concerned about a wide range of issues related to the environment and human health.   We welcome you and encourage you to visit this new Web-based tool for nursing.   

We also want to introduce you to the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, a new organization of individual nurses and nursing organizations that are addressing environmental health through nursing and patient education, nursing practice, research, and policy efforts.    www.e-Commons.org/ANHE

Nurses are greening their curriculum, greening their hospitals, engaging in environmental health research, and advocating for policies at the institutional, local, state, and national level that protect people from environmental health risks and promote a healthy and sustainable world.    For us every day is Earth Day!!

We would very much appreciate if you would share this information among your nursing constituents and colleagues.

 

Useful Web Sites

Doodle: “helps scheduling meetings and other appointments.  Doodle is simple, quick, free and requires no registration.  Simply set up a poll and then send a link to ...”  www.doodle.com/

Free Conference: “offers a free service for you to meet by telephone with your customers, relatives or colleagues.”  www.freeconference.com/

Meeting Wizard: “Send online invitations to plan and schedule meetings and other events.  Propose optional dates, manage responses, send automatic reminders and more!”  http://www.meetingwizard.com/mwiz/home/default.cfm

Sharepoint: “Upload and share your PowerPoint presentations and Word documents on SlideShare.  Share publicly or privately.  Add audio to make a Webinar.”  http://www.slideshare.net/
 
Zoomerang: “online survey software tool allows you to create online surveys while providing powerful reporting and advanced survey logic.” 
www.zoomerang.com/