A call for experts to work collaboratively on the public health response to disaster — one of COEH’s strengths — was at the heart of a keynote presentation by John Howard at the Lela Morris Symposium held on March 2 in Oakland, California.
Howard, the director for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, confirmed the United States set a new record for the number of disaster events in 2010. “We are either getting better at counting disasters, or they are actually increasing,” he noted. “That suggests that we, as public health professionals, need to establish a knowledge base from the research, intervention, and training perspectives to put disaster response into the public health profile.” read more
UC Berkeley scientists published the first pilot study of a U.S. population that found newborns and young children may be exposed to non-persistent pesticides through breast milk. Persistent pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were also detected. Some of these non-persistent pesticides are emerging chemicals of concern because they have been associated with neurodevelopmental effects in children.
A study by a multi-disciplinary team of COEH scientists concludes that reducing indoor air pollution from wood-burning stoves substantially decreases childhood pneumonia — the leading cause of death for children less than 5 years of age. These latest findings offer compelling evidence that wood smoke is a major risk factor for pneumonia in the households of the estimated three billion people who rely on solid fuel for indoor cooking and heating.
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