Resources to advance science-based policy solutions.

Past Policy Projects from the Program on Reproductive Health and Environment


Moving Upstream

A Workshop on Evaluating Adverse Upstream Endpoints for Improved Decision Making and Risk Assessment

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’s National Center for Environmental Economics 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.


Nanotechnology Policy Framework

The size and molecular configuration of nanoparticles yield unique properties that are being explored for use in commercial products, medicine and environmental cleanup, 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 developed a policy framework for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The framework focuses on how the agency might most effectively pursue the process of hazard identification for nanotechnology products and provides recommendations for improving policies to address potential health risks from nanomaterials.

Read the full report: “Summary of Policy Recommendations for Addressing Potential Health Risks from Nanomaterials in California"


Leveraging Epidemiology to Improve Risk Assessment

In light of new scientific developments and the pressing need to characterize the public health burdens of chemicals, it is imperative to reinvigorate the use of environmental epidemiology in chemical risk assessment. A PRHE collaborative project examines two case studies of chemical assessments from the U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System database that illustrate opportunities where epidemiologic data could have been used in place of experimental animal data in dose-response assessment, or where different approaches, techniques, or studies could have been employed to better utilize existing epidemiologic evidence. In addition, recommendations are provided for the disciplines of epidemiology and risk assessment for enhancing the role of epidemiologic data in hazard identification and dose-response assessment.

Read the paper here.


Read about PRHE's past research here and other publications here