American Public Health Association
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Section Newsletter
Spring 2010

The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)

Mosquito and tick season is here! Do you or your clients have questions about repellents or pesticides, including disinfectants and/or weed killers? The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) offers FREE science-based information about pesticides, including safe use practices and potential risks to humans, animals and the environment. Our specialists are skilled risk communicators, and they are available to answer questions for anyone, in over 170 languages, seven days a week from 6:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. PT. As public health professionals, you are welcome to call and request free NPIC brochures, and to make referrals to NPIC, any time!

1-800-858-7378 (PEST)

Bookmark our website (, which is updated frequently and also available in Spanish ( Check out some of our timely topics below. 

Choosing and Using Inset Repellents 

Insect Repellent Locator (Choosing a repellent for your situation)

 Pesticide Fact Sheets (Check out our new DEET fact sheet!) 

NPIC is funded through a cooperative agreement between the Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Membership Committee

1.  The Environment Section is sponsoring an ORIENTATION SESSION FOR NEW SECTION MEMBERS on Sunday afternoon, 2 - 3:30 p.m., right after the Opening Session.  The orientation will include discussions with Section leaders about opportunities for involvement in the section and APHA as a whole, how the Environment Section works with APHA to promote important environmental health issues, and opportunities for you! Meet them and other members of the Section and get your questions answered.

2.   Look for the Environment Section's booth at the new featured APHA Section Central in the Expo near the Everything APHA village. Meet Section volunteers along with our sister section colleagues and find out what we are up to.  Let us know what you want from your Section!  We need volunteers to staff the booth.  To volunteer, send an e-mail to Barbara Glenn, Environment Section Membership Committee Chair, at

The Climate Change Committee

Program Planning Comittee

As APHA’s 138th Annual Meeting & Exposition approaches (Nov. 6-10 in Denver), the Environment Section Program Planning Committee has been hard at work crafting a strong program for you. Thank you again to all our volunteer abstract reviewers and session organizers.  

This year’s selection of oral and poster sessions will highlight the meeting theme, “Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative,” with explorations of theory, practice and public policy across the spectrum of environmental health issues. In addition to the regular Environment Section program, the annual Calver Lecture and luncheon, and opportunities to network with your peers in environmental health, this year we will also offer Annual Meeting participants a special “track” of oral and poster sessions organized jointly with Occupational Health, International Health, and other sections to delve more deeply into issues of social, environmental and occupational justice.  

The full schedule of Environment Section events in Denver is now online at Here’s a preview of what’s in store for you from the scientific program: 


3024.0: Aquaculture and public health: Implications for food systems and the environment

3110.0: The role of popular arts & education methodologies in democratizing and enhancing community-based participatory research for environmental and occupational justice

3111.0: Addressing cumulative impacts in communities: The science, practice, and policy of cumulative risk assessment

3305.0: Body burden of industrial chemicals

3306.0: Greenwashing vs. green products: Science, state policy, and worker impacts

3394.0: Rebuilding indigenous food systems

3395.0: Topics in children's environmental health

3396.0: Climate change and public health: Research, communication, and mitigation activities at the international, federal, local, and personal levels

4018.0: Tools for capacity building and community driven research in environmental justice communities: using EPA models to address environmental health concerns

4019.0: Climate change: Drylands, mineral dust, and human welfare

4020.0: Summer in the city: Addressing health impacts and disparities posed by urban heat events

4089.0: Protecting vulnerable communities from climate change

4176.0: Partnering with communities to address environmental and occupational justice concerns

4177.0: Social justice, public health, and water: An international perspective

4178.0: Health impact assessment: A decision making tool to enhance social justice

4179.0: Growing healthier communities: Multi-level, multi-sector 'recipes' for food systems change

4264.0: Partners in research: Strengthening and evaluating models for equitable participation in environmental public health research and action

4265.0: Global trade, local impacts, and environmental justice challenges

4266.0: National Children's Study: How environment affects child health

4356.0: Meeting farm, food and health goals: Policy approaches to just and healthy food systems

4357.0: Protecting our waters: Analysis of water policy

4358.0: Improving the performance and equity of the nation's Environmental Health Services: Using the environmental public health performance standards and the accreditation process to deliver environmental excellence

5038.0: Getting from here to there: Traffic, transportation policies, and public health

5039.0: Participatory research, decision making, and action to reach environmental justice

5102.0: Indicators of climate variability and community resilience

5103.0: Planning for a healthy and prosperous future: Public health, demographic, resource, and urban form connections

5149.0: Fenceline communities: Fighting for environmental justice

5150.0: Looking for the social justice hooks: Subsistence fishing and fish advisories

5151.0: Radon: Awareness and health impacts 


3083.0: Healthy housing and green buildings

3084.0: Air quality and public health in the built environment

3085.0: Student Achievement Poster Session for the Environment Section

5004.0: General topics in environmental health

5005.0: Environmental justice and health disparities

5006.0: Environmental contaminants and public health  



3055.0: Blue / Green #1: Producing green and working safe

3139.0: Blue / Green #2: Making green jobs safe jobs

4090.0: Improving environmental health and occupational safety and health through training programs, capacity building, partnerships, and public health education

4114.0: Social justice and international occupational health

4267.0: Food systems: Seeking environmental, occupational, and social justice from farm to fork  


4319.0: Social justice and public health: Environmental, occupational, and international perspectives

Environmental Section 2011 Legacy Project


       In planning for the 100th anniversary of APHA's Environment Section in 2011, the 2011 Committee invites Section members to help test an online form that will identify the stars in our environmental health galaxy, our heroes and milestones.

       This is a trial run.  Please try out this online template. It is a standardized way to collect information we can later publish in a variety of lists and formats for the 2011 anniversary celebration.

       APHA Environment Section 100th Anniversary (Beta). Find the form online at:

       The form asks you to submit a name and a brief statement why that person is a hero, champion, pioneer, visionary, trailblazer or unsung hero in environmental health.  Tell us who the person is and what he or she meant to you.  This is not a contest. The goal is to be comprehensive and inclusive in documenting our proud legacy.

       Please send us your suggestions for more 'tags' (categories for later searching/sorting) so that we can make this an interactive searchable database. Are the instructions clear?

       Also let us know if you have the technical skills to help and/or would like to be part of the project to document the legacy of the environmental health section. We would like to have a final form ready to go "public" by the next Annual Meeting.  We look forward to your suggestions and questions.

Committed to Engaging Students in the Environment Section

Climate Change Webinar Series

Hundreds of people dialed in to learn about climate change adaptation strategies for public health practitioners during the fifth Webinar in the six-part Climate Change and Health Series hosted by the CDC. Moderated by Dr. George Luber, Associate Director for Climate Change at CDC, participants from across the country heard from Dr. Kristie L. Ebi, Executive Director, Technical Support Unit for Working Group II of the IPCC and Dr. Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist, Health & Environment Program, NRDC.

The speakers highlighted essential public health efforts required to prepare for and adapt to climate change health impacts.  Given the unequivocal nature of the problem, and, from the public health perspective, the dedicated warming that is already set to occur, climate change requires an immediate and committed response from the public health community.  Adaptation to climate change will be the defining issue of the 21st century for public health and related workers and will require coordination on multiple levels from the public health system.

Dr. Ebi pointed out that public health practitioners must view adaptation to climate change related health impacts as a form of prevention. Since health impacts are likely to vary widely across spatio-temporal scales and on levels never before seen, public health workers will be challenged in entirely new ways. The key to successfully mitigating climate-related health consequences is thorough local preparedness along with flexibility in public health planning. “Climate change is a process to be managed, not a problem to be solved,” said Dr. Ebi.

Dr. Knowlton, who is Co-Chair of the Climate Change Topic Committee of the Environment Section, emphasized the ‘here-and-now’ of climate change by opening her talk with a picture of a young girl struggling to cope with the debilitating effects of asthma.  Asthma is just one respiratory illness on the rise as the result of climate change. Record high pollen counts across the country—believed to be the result of climate change—are contributing to the problem.  Dr. Knowlton outlined essential strategies for public health practitioners to adapt to climate-related illnesses such as asthma. These include identifying vulnerable populations and locales; tracking disease and environmental trends; moving toward climate smart infrastructure and design; and public education about climate-health impacts and preparedness.

          Both speakers agreed the time for adaptation is now and that public health proponents need to get the word out that it’s about preserving the health of humans as well as the planet. The time to adapt is now; a failure to do so will be a failure of public health with potentially catastrophic consequences for human health.

          “The Climate Change: Mastering the Public Health Role” is a six-part educational series co-sponsored by the APHA, NACCHO, ASTHO and SOPHE. The series focuses on effectively communicating the health related aspects of climate change, promoting work-force development, and ensuring capacity building at local levels. The webinars are available at:

APHA forum on Transportation and Public Health

As we all appreciate, our health is profoundly affected by our transportation decisions and options. Limited opportunities for physical activity, higher exposure to poor air quality, higher incidences of adult and childhood obesity and greater prevalence of asthma and cardiovascular disease are a few of the inequities brought by poor transportation policies. As part of our effort to enhance crosscutting activity and knowledge among various APHA members and sections, APHA is developing advocacy materials and helpful information related to the links between transportation and public health. If anyone is interested in learning more about this initiative, sharing success stories or lessons learned, or establishing a new Forum on Transportation and Public Health, please reach out to us! Interested members are asked to contact Eloisa Raynault at

APHA Environmental Public Health Update

APHA Environmental Public Health Update

In May, APHA launched a new website focusing on APHA’s environmental public health activities! Check out the website at  

The site provides links to the latest APHA resources, (including two recently released Transportation Reports detailed below), and includes links to recent climate change and public health webinars as well as the audio interviews of APHA members talking about environmental public health through Story Corps, an oral history project. We hope you find our new website useful! 

Some Highlights: 

Climate Change Advocacy. APHA has been reaching out to key Senate offices to urge the inclusion of public health funding in any climate proposal considered by the Senate, as is already included in the House-passed version of the climate bill.  You can read APHA’s recent Senate correspondence about climate change legislation and send a message to your Senators urging the inclusion of strong public health provisions in any climate change proposal considered by the Senate.  

Hidden Health Costs of Transportation Reports. Check out these new publications that address how our nation’s current transportation system contributes to today’s soaring health costs and impedes progress toward improving public health. The report and an accompanying backgrounder are both available online. 

Public Health and Transportation Partners Meeting. On May 6, APHA and CDC convened a day-long meeting on transportation and public health in Washington, D.C. The goal of the meeting was to build on existing momentum and enhance strategic collaboration among public health partners in promoting transportation policy that supports public health. Ideas generated during the meeting for potential future activities include an online forum for information sharing and a national public health and transportation summit.  

National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures Toolkit.  National Conversation partners have developed a Community Conversation Toolkit to assist interested individuals in hosting local meetings to gather input on public health and chemical exposure issues. Check out the toolkit and learn more about how you can host your own community conversation to gather input on public health and chemical exposure issues.