UCSF PEHSU Welcomes New Team Member Dr. Marya Zlatnik
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Marya Zlatnik, MD, MMS to the UCSF PEHSU team. Dr. Zlatnik is a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF, and the first PEHSU staff nationally representing her specialty. She will serve as the UCSF PEHSU Associate Director for Maternal Fetal Health and the Environment Program. Read more about the UCSF PEHSU team.
The Cal-EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Publishes A Report on the State Children's Environmental Health Program (pdf).
The report summarizes recent studies on the effects of environmental contaminants on California’s children and cancer and activities of the California EPA to address these. It focuses specifically on asthma and respiratory disease, adverse birth outcomes, and neurodevelopment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention features the PEHSUs on Their Website
With locations at leading academic medical centers across the country, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) draw upon and bring together a unique combined expertise of pediatric and occupational environmental medicine in order to improve environmental health for children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics created a webpage on The Affordable Care Act: What Your Family Needs to Know with important information on the ACA and links to additional resources. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/health-insurance/Pages/The-Affordable-Care-Act-What-Your-Family-Needs-to-Know.aspx.
U.S. EPA released the Third Edition of the report America's Children and the Environment
U.S. EPA released the Third Edition of the report America's Children and the Environment, which presents key information and trends on the impact of children's health and the environment. In the report, they review the status of environmental contaminants, biomonitoring trends, and health and disease outcomes related to environmental stressors. The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.epa.gov/ace/index.html.
Symposium on Cumulative Impacts and Children's Environmental Health - January 16 to 17, 2013, at the Cal EPA Building in Sacramento
January 16 - 17, 2013
Children are exposed to many contaminants and stressors that can affect their health. The idea that the combination of different exposures and factors affects health is often referred to as "cumulative impacts." This symposium is the first to consider cumulative impacts as they pertain specifically to children. Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at UCSF is organizing the symposium, along with partners - the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at Cal EPA and the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment at UC Berkeley. Information at: http://circle.berkeley.edu/KidsCImpacts.html.
A Network of Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs): Filling a Critical Gap in the Health Care System (pdf)
Medycyna Środowiskowa - Environmental Medicine
UCSF PEHSU staff Mark Miller and Christine Zachek co-authored a paper on the origin, model, future directions, and challenges of the PEHSU network. They discuss the need for the PEHSUs in U.S. healthcare, and how this system can be applicable internationally. Case studies of PEHSU activities are presented to illustrate key aspects of the PEHSUs unique role.
Pollution, Poverty, People of Color: No Beba el Agua. Don't Drink the Water
Environmental Health News
June 11, 2012
UCSF PEHSU Director Mark Miller was interviewed for this four part series from Environmental Health News on environmental justices issues. Dr. Miller lends his clinical and public health perspectives on the importance of safe drinking water to children’s environmental health.
The Integrated Pest Management Toolkit for Early Care and Education Programs (pdf)
Practical information about using integrated pest management (IPM) to prevent and manage pest problems in early care and education programs.
Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit
This resource features a combination of easy-to-use reference guides for health providers and user friendly health education materials on preventing exposures to toxic chemicals and other substances that affect infant and child health.
Skin Lightening Cream Contains Hidden Risks
A new case study co-authored by COEH members Mark Miller and Gina Solomon, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, has linked a skin-lightening cream manufactured in Mexico to mercury contamination cases affecting five households in California and Virginia. In total, fifteen out of twenty-two household members showed evidence of mercury poisoning, including six with no history of using the cream.
U.S. EPA Appoints Solomon to Science Advisory Board
Announced yesterday from the governors office. Though we will lose Gina Solomon's official connection with the PEHSU she will still be able to do some education related work. A deputy secretary position is very high up in the administration and she reports directly to the secretary of California Environmental Protection Agency. Gina has been associate director of the PEHSU for the past 9 years and we are very proud of her.
Gina Solomon, 47, of San Francisco, has been appointed deputy secretary for science and health at the California Environmental Protection Agency. She has been a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council since 1996 and a clinical professor of health sciences at the University of California, San Francisco since 2011. She served as an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco since 2006 and as an assistant clinical professor of medicine from 1998 to 2006. Dr. Solomon has also served as the director of the occupational and environmental medicine residency program at the University of California, San Francisco since 2008 and as the associate director of the University of California Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit since 2003. Dr. Solomon has served on the Scientific Guidance Panel for the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program since 2007 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board since 2011. She has also served on two committees for the National Academy of Sciences and on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program. Solomon earned a doctor of medicine degree from the Yale School of Medicine. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $144,996. Solomon is a Democrat.
The full press release is at http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=17488.
Mercury Exposure Among Household Users and Nonusers of Skin-Lightening Creams Produced in Mexico — California and Virginia, 2010
In 2010, there was an unusual outbreak of mercury poisoning in Northern California and Virgina. The UCSF PEHSU helped the California Department of Public Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (along with local authorities in California and Virginia) to investigate this problem. The source was identified as contaminated unlabeled skin cream purchased in Mexico. This episode was documented in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the CDC.
Whole Family Medicine Blog
July 8, 2011
A blog by family practitioner Avril Swan discusses Nooshin Razani (former UCSF PEHSU Program Director for Nature and Environment) and her work getting physicians to provide "Park Prescriptions" to encourage outdoor activity in nature.
USEPA Region 9: Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) at University of California, Irvine and University of California, San Francisco
The Pediatric Environmental Specialty Units (PEHSU) at University of California, Irvine (UCI) and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are important members of a network of federally funded clinical and educational centers. They provide expert clinical and public health evaluations of children and communities with suspected environmental health problems serving a geographic area that encompasses Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and Tribal Nations. In 2007 wildfires of unprecedented severity raged in Southern California. The PEHSUs at UCI and UCSF knew the environmental hazards associated with wildfires and the special concerns for children's health under these conditions. They also recognized that there were few sources specific to wildfires to provide basic environmental health advice for pediatric health care providers and child oriented information for the community. Within a few weeks, the UCI and UCSF PEHSUs developed two Fact Sheets to fill this need for both the English and Spanish-speaking communities. "Health Risks of Wildfires for Children" and "Environmental Hazards for Children in the Aftermath" are Fact Sheets for the general public that are also useful to pediatricians, other clinicians, and community leaders in answering questions that parents might have. The PEHSUs utilized available authoritative materials from local, state, and federal government as well as academic sources to develop two handouts. One Fact Sheet addresses environmental hazards to children during the acute phase of wildfires and the second focuses on the environmental issues faced by children during the recovery phase. Materials were peer reviewed within the PEHSU network and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as by some authorities from government. The AAP has endorsed the two Fact Sheets written in English; the Spanish translations are awaiting their review. There was an immediate demand for the materials which rapidly were added to the websites of the PEHSUs, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, California State, US EPA and other federal agencies. 2008 has been an even more fire prone year with more than 1,800 wildfires engulfing much of the State of California, with other states affected to a lesser degree. The materials have been widely used by schools, public health officials, health care providers, and others.
Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk
The Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk is an interactive tutorial developed by the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health at UC Berkeley. Dr. Mark Miller of the UCSF PEHSU was an expert scientists/reviewer on the project. It contains useful information in English and Spanish on prenatal environmental health topics and practical recommendations for prevention of harmful exposures.
Pharmaceutical Ban Proves Seamless to Californians
Mark Miller, M.D., MPH and director of UCSF’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics, says, “Lindane is toxic to the neurological system. In fact, seizures have been reported even when lindane is used as directed. We are especially concerned that the fetus or young children may be more severely impacted because the brain development process can be disrupted as a result of exposure to these types of harmful chemicals.”
Of Lice and Libel
Dr. Mark Miller — director of the Pediatric Environmental health Specialty Unit at the University of California, San Francisco — tells Metro Times that even small amounts of the substance could pollute waterways. Miller studied the effects of lindane as part of an environmental task force established as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Miller says that, while the California Legislature considered the issue, it heard testimony that one treatment of lindane medication, when washed down the drain, polluted an estimated 6 million gallons of water.
The danger of PBDEs, says Dr. Mark Miller, director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at the University of California, San Francisco, is that they act as developmental neurotoxins and disrupt thyroid activity in rats and other lab animals. And they do so at levels one-third of Rowan's, say scientists at the state Environmental Protection Agency.
US Blocks Phase Out of Lindane in North America
Mark Miller, M.D., of the University of California at San Francisco Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, an academic representative to the task force meeting in Montreal said that more effective and less toxic treatments exist for head lice. Children are particularly vulnerable to this chemical that presents a danger to the young nervous system.