Section Newsletter
Winter 2006

Note from Environment Section Communications Chair/e-News Editors

Timelines for upcoming e-newsletters in 2006 (winter/spring and summer/fall editions):

Please send ideas for contributions, for the subsections below or other ones we are happy to create, by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues in 2006 of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org (forwards to home and work computers) for Derek and Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu for Andrea Wismann, our new Secretary-elect.  

As in 2004-05, the 2006 deadlines will be publicized through the APHA monthly e-newsletters the two months prior to deadline.  Then, a final notice will be sent to the Section’s primary members about a week in advance of the deadline. (APHA took a week to fill our request, made Jan. 6, which is why most of you only got it 48-72 hours prior to our deadline of Jan. 19-20…we apologize for any inconvenience, and we tried to accommodate for it as best we could!)

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. However, there was no January call. Please e-mail our Section Past-Chair Nsedu Obot Witherspoon at <nobot@cehn.org> and new Section Chair Jill Litt at <jill.litt@uchsc.edu> to be on the e-mail list to receive each call’s agenda and dial-in information.

APHA Environment Section’s Membership Committee Report

Maintaining their dynamic start, the Membership Committee designed and field tested a membership recruitment and retention survey; explored the possibility of establishing a listserv, periodically sent welcoming letters to new members and to lapsed members, and, as a way to maintain contact with our secondary members, developed and sent out an Environment Section update including a Microsoft Word version of the e-newsletter as supplied by the Editors.

APHA staff has shown its support of the Environment Section, at every step of the way, by providing staff time and computer expertise to ensure the success of several of these endeavors.

Environment Section members are welcome 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 2006 Annual Meeting

The abstracts for this year’s sessions in Boston are due mid-February. Please go to <http://www.apha.org/meetings> for more information and specific deadlines by Section. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Aditi Vaidya will be our Sr. Program Planner for 2006, joined by our new Junior Program Planner, August Martin. Thanks Robyn, for your efforts 2004-05!]

Submitted by: 2005-06 Environment Section Program Planners

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 to <derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org> and <andrea.wismann@uchsc.edu>. We encourage short update reports from our Section’s Student Involvement Committee and news pertaining to the APHA Student Assembly that is of interest to our Section membership.

APHA Environment Section “Student Corner:" 2005 Annual Meeting Student Poster Awards/Travel Scholarships

The Student Involvement Committee fundraised additional funding for the Annual Section Student Scholarships from the University of Texas School of Public Health, University of Kentucky School of Public Health, and Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. The announcement for student scholarship applications was distributed widely; applications were due to the Student Involvement Committee by September 12. Section leaders reviewed posters, ask students questions, and vote to determine award winners. 10 finalists in 2004 and nine finalists in 2005 did impressive work!

The three winners receiving certificates and small cash awards:
1st: “Influence of air mass origin on the wet deposition of nitrogen to the Tampa Bay estuary, Florida“(Hillary D. Strayer; USF SPH)
2nd: “Identifying Health and Environmental Concerns in a Fence-line Community” (Margot T. Brown, MSPH; Tulane SPH)
3rd: “Environmental Justice and the role of social capital in an underserved
urban community" (Lorraine Dillon, MS(c), Community & Environmental Health, Old Dominion University)

The student travel/registration scholarship winners were:
Michelle McHugh – University of Texas SPH (sponsored by school as well);
Cathy Sotelo – Undergraduate Student in Health Sciences (California State University, Los Angeles);
Jamie Donatuto – PhD Candidate (Interdisciplinary Department, Resource Management Environmental Studies);
Jeffrey Brown – MPH Candidate (George Washington University SPH);
Dari Jigjidsuren – Graduate Student in Social Work and Public Health (University of North Carolina);
Jessica Leibler Tuchmann – DrPH Candidate (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health);
Hsin-Jen Tsai – PhD Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences (University of Michigan);
Andrea DeSantis – MPH Candidate, Health Behavior & Education (University of Michigan);
Kathryn Remmes Martin – Doctoral Student, Health Behavior and Health Education (UNC Chapel Hill School of Public Health);
Heidi Curtiss – MPH Candidate (University of Washington);
Stephanie Ball – PhD Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences (University of Minnesota).

Fellowship, Scholarship, Training and Award Opportunities (1 of 2)

Opportunity for Students and Educators (due March 1, 2006): "NIEHS Summers of Discovery Program"
The Summers of Discovery Program is located at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, N.C. It is part of the larger NIH-wide Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research and uses an electronic on-line application, which must be received by annual March 1 due date.

Program Goals:
* Expose outstanding students to the excitement of environmentally-based biomedical research at a time when they are making critical career choices;
* Familiarize teachers/faculty with some of the cutting-edge technology in the area of environmental health sciences in a manner that is transportable back to the classroom;
* Publicize the mission of the Institute through hands-on experience; and
* Support the Institute's efforts to promote diversity in the environmental health sciences.

* U.S. Citizen or permanent resident;
* Enrolled full-time or part-time (at least half-time) in a degree granting program in high school, college, graduate or professional school (e.g., medical, dental, etc.);
* Good academic standing;
* A strong interest or pursuing studies in disciplines related to biomedical research, including the biological, chemical, physical, behavioral and computer sciences, and biomedical engineering; and
* At least 16 years old at the time the appointment begins.

It is an 8-12 week paid internship program operating between May-September dependent upon the applicants' and mentors' time schedules. Weekly seminars are presented by top NIEHS scientists as well as networking lunches giving a wider range of exposure to the various types of scientific research being performed at the Institute. A poster session held in late July gives participants an opportunity to present a poster similar to presenting at a scientific society meeting.

For more details, please visit these Web sites:
Summers Web site: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/summers
Application Website: http://www.training.nih.gov

Fellowship, Scholarship, Training and Award Opportunities (2 of 2)

2006 Crumbine Award: Criteria and Nomination/Application Due Date

The Foodservice & Packaging Institute, Inc. (FPI) sponsors the 2006 Samuel J. Crumbine Award for Excellence in Food Protection at the Local Level, which annually recognizes excellence in food protection services by local environmental health jurisdictions in the United States and Canada. The application deadline for the award this year is March 15, 2006.

Named for one of America’s most renowned health officers and health educators, Samuel J. Crumbine, MD (1862-1954), the Award has elevated the importance of food protection programs within government departments and agencies and has inspired excellence in the planning and delivery of services. Entries for the Crumbine Award competition are limited to U.S. and Canadian local environmental health jurisdictions (county, district, city, town, or township) that provide food protection services to their communities under authority of a statute or ordinance. Past winners may apply five years after receiving the award.

Criteria used as the basis for all applications for the Crumbine Award, which must be followed strictly to be considered for the award, include:

-- Sustained improvements and excellence, as documented by specific outcomes and achievements, over the preceding four to six years, as evidenced by continual improvements in the basic components of a comprehensive program;
-- Innovative and effective use of program methods and problem solving to identify and reduce risk factors that are known to cause food borne illness;
-- Demonstrated improvements in planning, managing, and evaluating a comprehensive program; and
-- Providing targeted outreach; forming partnerships; and participating in forums that foster communication and information exchange among the regulators, industry and consumer representatives.

The winner is selected by an independent panel of food protection practitioners who are qualified by education and experience to discern excellence in a program of food and beverage sanitation. They represent various interests, including leading public health and environmental health associations, past Crumbine Award winners, consumer advocates and the food industry.

Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Annual Meetings and Workshops

Organizers of the workshop, "Connecting Social and Environmental
Factors to Measure and Track Environmental Health Disparities," Drs. Devon Payne-Sturges and Gilbert C. Gee, are pleased to announce the availability of the workshop summary report and other workshop materials.

These can be downloaded from the following Web site:
<http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/trends.htm> (then, please scroll down about halfway down the page).

[Editor’s NOTE: The initial summary of this workshop, held May 24-25, 2005, appeared in the fall 2005 APHA Environment Section e-newsletter.]

Selected New Publications 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 to <derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org> and <Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu>.

(Reports 1 of 12) Announcement from journal Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric Nursing's Environmental Health Section Editor invites you to consider submitting articles for consideration for publication in the area of children's environmental health. Although our profession has it roots in public health and the environment, it has taken strong nursing leaders of today to bring these issues back to the forefront of nursing education.

Pediatric Nursing and the editorial staff are committed to educating acute care and community based nurses in a broad range of issues, including EH. The column focuses on emerging as well as existing EH issues in the pediatric population. The selected topic is described via a case study (though not always necessary), a brief rundown on the current science, the health implications for children, and, most importantly, the resources for the practicing nurse. Resources focus on professional, parent and patient education available on the Internet.

Topics over the last two years have included mercury, arsenic, breast milk contaminants, diethylhexyl phthalate, petting zoos, indoor air and an interview with past-Chair Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH. Research pieces will be accepted for review as well.

Please review our Web site at <www.pediatricnursing.net> for more information, including author guidelines. One particular theme we (NOTE: Pediatric Nursing and your Section Leadership) want to promote is the collaboration across disciplines. Please consider us.

(Reports 2 of 12) "Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines for Health Care Providers"

Responding to mounting data that primary care providers need more environmental health training to prevent, recognize and treat diseases caused by environmental exposures, The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) released "Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines for Health Care Providers." This project was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

The role of environmental triggers of asthma is well recognized and has been included in the NIH, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Research, including the Inner-City Asthma Study about individualized, home-based environmental interventions for hundreds of children in major U.S. cities, has demonstrated that environmental interventions decreased allergen levels, resulting in reduced asthma symptoms.

According to a recent study published in the journal "Environmental Health Perspectives," pediatric medical and nursing education currently lacks the environmental health content necessary to appropriately prepare pediatric health care professionals to prevent, recognize, and manage diseases related to environmental exposures.

Asthma can be a life-threatening disease if not properly controlled through appropriate asthma care management, which relies on physicians' and nurses' clinical knowledge and skills, as well as parents' and children's daily attention to asthma triggers and medications.

"Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines for Health Care Providers" is filled with practical strategies for integrating environmental management of asthma into health professionals' curriculum and clinical practice. These practical strategies are built upon NEETF's previous study funded by the NIEHS, which examined the medical and nursing educational structures and identified the leverage points where environmental health can be incorporated. The guidelines were developed and peer-reviewed by expert panels and are founded on the NAEPP Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma and are intended to be used in conjunction with its clinical and pharmacological components, as part of a child's comprehensive asthma management plan.

The guidelines are part of NEETF's Pediatric Asthma Initiative in partnership with the NIEHS. The initiative is a long-term project focused on integrating environmental management of asthma into pediatric medical and nursing education and practice. The guidelines are an extension of NEETF's Position Statement on Health Professionals and Environmental Health Education, which is endorsed by more than 20 leading medical, nursing and education organizations. Complete guidelines are available at <http://www.neetf.org/Health/asthma.htm>.

(Reports 3 of 12) "More Blacks Overburdened with Dangerous Pollution: Associated Press Study of U.S. EPA Risk Scores Confirms Two Decades of EJ Findings"

According to Robert D. Bullard (article can be found at http://www.ejrc.cau.edu/BullardAPEJ.html), the AP study confirms two decades of environmental justice reports showing race maps closely with pollution. African Americans are about 80 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger. Dr. Bullard is also author of a new book entitled, "The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution" (Sierra Club Books, 2005). Robert D. Bullard, Ph.D, is director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University.

(Reports 4 of 12) New Report on Pilot Study (also in review at Journal of Agromedicine): “Poultry Roxarsone Use in Rockingham County, Virginia: A Community Health Concern"

One source of inorganic arsenic is the organic arsenic compound Roxarsone, which is added to poultry feed for veterinary and production purposes by major poultry corporations. Rockingham County, Virginia, is a major poultry-producing area where about 75 percent of total agricultural output derives from the poultry industry. Recent research demonstrated Roxarsone bio-transforms to inorganic arsenic upon release into the environment. The common practice there, and in other poultry-growing regions, is for farmers to utilize this poultry litter for application to their fields as an inexpensive fertilizer. However, research suggests the release of inorganic arsenic from this practice, and, given the solubility of inorganic arsenic, raises the concern rural communities dependent on domestic wells could be subject to arsenic exposure, long regarded as carcinogenic. In our 2005 pilot study, the measured urinary inorganic arsenic levels (N = 16 samples) of four different local community groups were not statistically significantly different from one another. However, the continued concern of inorganic arsenic release from poultry management practice and the identification of arsenic as a carcinogen suggest larger future studies are warranted. The complete report provides suggestions for study improvements, and the current regulatory issues are discussed in more detail.
For a copy of this report, please contact the submitting authors.

(Reports 5 of 12) NLM Enviro-Health Links

“Lead: Links to Health Information including Toxicology and Environmental Health,” A new Web page that addresses the relationship between lead and human health, has been added to the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Enviro-Health Links. This page provides links to selected Web sites on exposure, treatment, and prevention of lead poisoning at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/lead.html. NLM also offers other Enviro-Health Links on topics such as:
Children's Environmental Health at http://phpartners.org/cehir/sampler.html
Indoor Air Pollution at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/indoorairpollution.html
Outdoor Air Pollution at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/outdoorairpollution.html
Arsenic at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/arsenicandhumanhealth.html.

For more, please go to NLM Enviro-Health Links at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/envirohealthlinks.html.


(Reports 6 of 12) NLM's HazMap Updates

NLM's HazMap has been updated with two new features:
a.) A new disease category "Infection, Travel" has been added. It includes:

African Trypanosomiasis
American Trypanosomiasis
Cyclospora cayetanensis infection
Dengue fever
Entamoeba histolytica infection
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection
Hepatitis E
Schistosomiasis, hepatic and intestinal
Schistosomiasis, urinary
Severe acute respiratory syndrome

b.) Images of skin lesions and X-rays have been added for some diseases:
HazMap Skin Lesion Images:
Plague <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=179>
Anthrax <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=181>
Chloracne <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=215>
Candida paronychia <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=288>
Sporotrichosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=290>
Atypical mycobacterium skin infections <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=301>
Herpetic whitlow <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=302>
Orf (Contagious ecthyma) <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=303>
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=305>
Lyme disease <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=344>
Chromomycosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=354>
Leishmaniasis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=366>
Cutaneous larva migrans <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=370>
Echinococcosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=379>
Measles <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=392>
Mumps <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=393>
Diphtheria <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=399>
Smallpox <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=402>
Dengue fever <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=434>
American Trypanosomiasis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=468>
Filariasis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=469>
Boutonneuse fever <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=509>

HazMap X-ray Images:
Asbestosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=1>
Lung cancer <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=2>
Mesothelioma, pleural <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=3>
Asthma, occupational <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=23>
Tuberculosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=178>
Anthrax <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=181>
Histoplasmosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=262>
Coccidioidomycosis <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=263>
Severe acute respiratory syndrome <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=421>
Dengue fever <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=434>

Haz-Map, <http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov>, is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biological agents at work. HazMap links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms.

(Reports 7 of 12) Environmental Health Concerns on a Farm: New Neighborhood for Tox Town

A farm neighborhood is the newest addition to Tox Town, a Web-based introduction to environmental health risks and toxic chemicals. Tox Town, http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov, invites visitors to explore a farm to learn about environmental health issues related to agricultural waste, drinking water quality, air pollution, pests, and farm animals. Farms share many of the same environmental health concerns found anywhere in the US, but they also have unique concerns and issues, such as exposure to hazardous agricultural chemicals and toxic gases from animal waste. New locations to explore on the Farm are farm buildings, feeding operations, landfills, agricultural runoff, farm animals, farm ponds, meat processing, tree farming and logging, off-road vehicles, and nearby urban sprawl. Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations in the U.S. Because farm families usually live where they work, all family members are at increased risk of farm-related injury and illness.

Tox Town uses neighborhood scenes, the Farm, City, Town, and US-Mexico Border, along with color, graphics, sounds and animation to add interest to learning about connections between chemicals, the environment and the public’s health.

Tox Town’s target audience is high school, college, and graduate students, educators, and the interested public.

Tox Town is a project of the Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Promotional materials and Tox Town images for Web sites and publications are listed at http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/clipart.html.

Please send your comments or questions about Tox Town to tehip@teh.nlm.nih.gov.

(Report 8-9 of 12) TOXNET Updates

TOXNET (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/) now can dynamically generate specific "multi-database" searches via simple Web links. Information about creating these links can be found in the TOXNET FAQ "How do I create a link to the results when I search all the databases in TOXNET?" at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/toxnet_faq.html#searchall.

Specific "chemical links" to records in a TOXNET database can also be created. For details, see the TOXNET FAQ "How do I create a link to a record in a TOXNET database?" at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/toxnet_faq.html#recordlink.

TOXNET now can be accessed from a Web browser on a PDA device with a network connection at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/pda/.

TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) is a collection of databases from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and related areas. Also, for NLM-DSIS: It is easy to stay updated on toxicology and environmental health resources via the NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L Announcements List; please join at: http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/Tox/ToxListServ.html.

(Reports 10 of 12) Issue: Magico-religious and ethnomedical mercury use

Evidence suggests magico-religious and ethnomedical mercury use within some Caribbean and Latino communities poses a significant environmental health threat. In particular, when elemental mercury is sprinkled on floors of homes in the belief that it attracts good and repels evil, it can easily evolve toxic levels of mercury vapor for periods of 15 years or more, resulting in second-hand exposure to subsequent occupants.

During the past decade several pilot studies have associated these esoteric practices with elevated mercury levels in the hair of Haitian populations in French Guiana, and in urine of Latino children in the Bronx, N.Y. Researchers have detected elevated mercury vapor levels in Latino dwellings in Union City, N.J. and West New York, N.J., and in wastewater emanating from Latino communities in New York City. Surveys have demonstrated widespread ritualistic mercury sales and use in Lawrence, Mass, and Chicago. Since 2001, Environmental Health Perspectives has published three papers on this issue. In 1996 AJPH published findings suggesting that yearly esoteric mercury sales (of 9 gram mean weight) in the Bronx, N.Y. ranged between 25,000 and 150,000, with some 30 percent destined to be sprinkled on floors. A survey in heavily Dominican Lawrence, Mass., found 12 percent of respondents said they sprinkled mercury in or around a child's crib or bed.

Both the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. EPA's Office of Inspector General are currently investigating governmental failure to adequately address this issue.

The environmental health community has essentially neglected to substantively assess these domestic mercury exposures and their health effects, in large part due to the 'political incorrectness' of this issue. The affected communities have been reluctant to advocate on their own behalf for similar reasons.

It is high time that this issue is seriously investigated.

For interested Section members, further information and links to the references in peer-reviewed journals mentioned above, and others, are available at< www.mercurypoisoningproject.org> and/or from contact person for this submission at the Mercury Poisoning Prevention Project.

(Reports 11 of 12) The New Thinking Initiative (NTI) Electronic Exchange

The Goal of the New Thinking Initiative on Health and Environment (NTI; <http://www.newthinkinginitiative.com/>) is to improve the human health condition through more effective public policy which applies knowledge and new ideas at the nexus of health and environment The Internet-based Electronic Exchange can be your information source on NTI events and items relevant to health and environment knowledge-building and innovation. It will be shared quarterly with a global network of health and environment practitioners and innovators.

(Reports 12 of 12) Environmental Public Health Services Delivery in CA

With funding from CDC-NCEH, and in partnership with the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (EH), Loma Linda University School of Public Health has just competed a 160+ page assessment of EH Service Delivery in California. The full publication can be found at: <http://www.llu.edu/llu/sph/ophp/documents/eh_report2006.pdf>. The report includes an overview of services, REHS distribution, work force characterization & enumeration, compensation, and training needs.

Policy Update

The 2006 APHA policy process, which will conclude at APHA’s 134th Annual Meeting in Boston, November 4-8, 2006, begins winter 2006. APHA policy statements, which may be either resolutions or position papers, serve as the voice of APHA and guide activities. While any member of the Association may propose a policy resolution or position paper, individuals are strongly encouraged to submit proposed policies through their respective Section, Special Primary Interest Group, Caucus, Affiliate or Assembly.

Resolutions must be in the form of a single statement of Association policy and are recommended to be 500 words or less, not including references. Position papers, which serve as longer expositions of an issue and have a fuller explanation of APHA policy, are recommended to be no longer than 3,000 words. Submissions are only accepted via e-mail at policy@apha.org.

All proposals must be received by March 15, 5 p.m. (EST). For the complete schedule and procedures, visit www.apha.org/private/ppolicy.htm, and for more information,
e-mail policy@apha.org.

APHA Environment Section Leadership

This is a list of Environment Section and committee Officers, with e-mail contact information (Membership Committee leaders listed above):

Chair (for 2006-07) = Jill S. Litt, PhD, jill.litt@uchsc.edu

Chair-Elect = Rebecca Head, PhD, DABT, Rebecca_Head@monroemi.org

Immediate Past-Chair = Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, nobot@cehn.org

Communications Chair / e-Newsletter Editor = Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH, derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org

Secretary-elect (conference call minutes) = Andrea Wiseman, MPH, Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu

Section councilors = Michael Reiss; Marni Rosen; Neal Rosenblatt, MS; Peter Ashley; Patricia Elliot, JD, MPH; Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, MS, MEngs; also, Amy Kyle, Ph.D and Robin Lee, MPH were elected to start winter 2006.

Governing Council representatives = Heidi Klein, MPH; David Wallinga, MD; Susan West Marmagas, MPH; Beth Resnick, MPH; also, John Balbus, MD, MPH and Derek Shendell, D.Env, MPH were elected to start winter 2006.

Nominations Committee = Allen Dearry, PhD, dearry@niehs.nih.gov

Policy Committee Chair = John Balbus, MD, MPH, jbalbus@environmentaldefense.org