PRHE applies respected scientific expertise to answer complex environmental health-related questions and to develop science-based policy strategies. Our work includes:
University of California, San Francisco's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment announces the publication of Summary of Policy Recommendations for Addressing Potential Health Risks from Nanomaterials in California". The report provides recommendations for improving policies to address potential health risks from nanomaterials to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), under the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), and to the state of California.
PRHE’s FASTEP Alliance is creating a systematic, explicit and inter-disciplinary methodology for vetting the science on reproductive environmental health. A concrete method is needed to facilitate decision-making that incorporates early warnings of harm and other prevention-oriented approaches to assessing exposures to environmental chemicals. The methodology will serve as the backbone of science-based prevention-oriented policies and educational materials to be developed in collaboration with FASTEP Alliance partners.
Nanotechnology involves the production of materials and products using extremely small particles – those that are as small as 1/80,000th the width of a single human hair and 1/7,000th the width of red blood cells. The size and molecular configuration of these particles yield unique properties that are being explored for use in commercial products, medicine and environmental clean up. Nanoparticles are already used in cosmetics, clothing and sunscreens, but the hazards they present to fertility and reproduction, as well as overall health, are unknown.
As part of an effort to anticipate emerging exposures of concern to fertility and reproduction, PRHE is developing a policy framework for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of the California Environmental Protection Agency. This framework will focus on how the agency might most effectively pursue the process of hazard identification for nanotechnology products. This project will also produce a review of literature on the known health effects of nanoparticles and a compilation of existing documents and policies addressing health risks of products of nanotechnology.
The Reach the Decision Makers Fellowship trains scientists, community groups and health care providers to effectively promote science-based health standards and public health policy at the US EPA. Through their involvement, fellows gain a better understanding of the underlying science linking environmental contaminants to reproductive harm and build their skills for shaping environmental health policy at the national level. As part of the project, fellows visit the US EPA in Washington DC to learn more about the agency's activities and to share their perspectives on environmental reproductive health science and policy.
The 2011 Reach the Decision Makers fellows were selected in March, 2011. They were selected from a pool of applicants that was over 3 times larger than the number of fellowships available. Twenty-five fellows were chosen and include a mix of community-based leaders, researchers, health care professionals and public health experts from across the country. The fellows range from all levels of experience in public policy and were selected from both emerging and as well as well-established organizations. For a roster of the 2011 Reach the Decision Makers fellows, click here
Last April, Dr. Linda Giudice testified at the U.S. Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works, Oversight on EPA Toxic Chemical Policies Hearing.
Shaping Our Legacy offers a nontechnical summary of the latest science on how exposure to chemicals may impair our reproductive health. It also outlines what we – as clinicians, health affected groups, policy makers, community activists, researchers and scientists – can do to create environments that are healthier for fertility and reproduction.
Learn more and download this report.
Common ways that chemicals harm fertility and reproductive health are by disrupting hormone signaling or by altering genetic orchestration of fertility and development. Recent scientific advancements make it possible to measure these physiological changes in relationship to exposure to chemicals. This information offers the opportunity to base health standards on more sensitive and protective endpoints.
In May 2007, PRHE collaborated with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Environmental Protection Agency National Center for Environmental Economics and National Center for Environmental Assessment, and the University of California at Berkeley Superfund Basic Research Program to hold a workshop on how measures of physiological change, such as alterations in hormone levels or gene expression, can be considered in the context of "adversity" and how data on these precursors or upstream indicators of toxicity can be used to improve hazard identification and dose response characterizations.