October & November 2006




In this issue...


Articles Related to Chemicals, Toxins & Pesticides - click here.




Articles Related to Lead and Mercury - click here.




Articles Related to Environmental Effects on Learning - click here.




Other Articles & Resources Related to Children's Health Issues - click here.




Mini-grants Are Now Available To Support LDA's Healthy Children Project - click here.




Contact & Subscription Information




Learn More About The Healthy Children Project



Healthy Children Project Monthly e-News

This e-newsletter is a publication of the Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan's Healthy Children Project (HCP).   Its purpose is to select and summarize the most pertinent, current information about environmental factors that impact developing fetuses, the newborn or young children and the actions we can take to minimize or eliminate those factors.  MI Healthy Children's e-newsletter will be published every 4 to 6 weeks.

Feel free to let your friends, family and colleagues know about this valuable new resource. Instructions to subscribe or unsubscribe are at the end of this e-newsletter. MI Healthy Children's e-newsletter is part of a collaborative effort with the Learning Disabilities Association of America's Healthy Children Project and the Institute for Children's Environmental Health with support from the Beldon Fund. 

Articles Related to Chemicals, Toxins & Pesticides

Registering Skepticism: Does the EPA's Pesticide Review Protect Children?
In August, when the EPA announced that it had completed a 10-year review of U.S. pesticide safety, the agency issued a statement full of optimism from administrator Stephen L. Johnson: "By maintaining the highest ethical and scientific standards in its pesticide review, EPA and the Bush administration have planted the seeds to yield healthier lives for generations of American families." But Johnson's words were met with skepticism, not only by environmental activists, but also by some of the EPA's own scientists.


Reduced Antibody Responses to Vaccinations in Children Exposed to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Developmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has been implicated as a possible cause of deficient immune function in children. This study was designed to assess whether prenatal and postnatal exposure to PCBs impacts on antibody response to childhood immunizations.


Updated Practice Prevention Column from LDDI: PCBs (PDF)

With an emphasis on the effects of neurotoxicants and environmental hazards on the developing human brain, these columns summarize recent scientific research for a nonscientific audience.


Tiny Footprints Program

The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), has created a program called Tiny Footprints™. They offer a new web site and baby-shower kit to support parents and their communities interested in raising their children in ways that are good for the environment AND their children's health. This information is for people who are expecting a baby and are interested in creating an environmentally healthy home for their child.

Risks to Asthma Posed by Indoor Health Care Environments
Unbeknownst to many health care providers, the indoor hospital environment may be making people sick. A new report reveals that substances commonly found in hospitals – including chemicals used to clean floors and medical equipment, fumes from building materials, latex gloves, and other common substances – can trigger an asthma attack or cause the disease.


In Depth: Dioxins and Related Compounds

Follow the links on this page to find in-depth information on dioxins and how they effect our bodies. Studies have shown that exposure to dioxins at high enough doses may cause a number of adverse health effects. Because dioxins from natural and anthropogenic sources have been widely distributed throughout the environment since the early 1900's (and before), almost every living creature, including humans, has been exposed to dioxins.


Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood. This means that shoppers are wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible. And it turns out that some produce is less likely to cause exposures than others.

Updated Practice Prevention Column from LDDI: Pesticides (PDF)


With an emphasis on the effects of neurotoxicants and environmental hazards on the developing human brain, these columns summarize recent scientific research for a nonscientific audience.


National Geographic: The Pollution Within
Modern chemistry keeps insects from ravaging crops, lifts stains from carpets, and saves lives. But the ubiquity of chemicals is taking a toll. Many of the compounds absorbed by the body stay there for years—and fears about their health effects are growing.


Chemicals Cause Changes in Fish and Raise Concerns for Humans
In Lake Mead and in other freshwater sites, scientists have found traces of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, chemicals used in plastic manufacturing, artificial fragrances and other substances linked to changes in fish and animals. Thursday's report noted that the primary source for the chemicals in Lake Mead was the Las Vegas Wash, a man-made river made up almost entirely of treated wastewater from cities in the Las Vegas Valley.


The Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB)

The Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB) is a unique and widely used international resource of results from 6153 chronic, long-term animal cancer tests on 1485 chemicals.


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Articles Related to Lead & Mercury

Michigan Study: Maternal Fish Consumption, Mercury Levels and Risk of Preterm Delivery
This is the first large, community-based study to examine risk of very preterm birth in relation to mercury levels among women with low to moderate exposure.


Updated Practice Prevention Column from LDDI: Mercury (PDF)

With an emphasis on the effects of neurotoxicants and environmental hazards on the developing human brain, these columns summarize recent scientific research for a nonscientific audience.

Technology News: Halt! No Lead Allowed
A global crackdown on toxic metals and dangerous chemicals has claimed its first victims. Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL) and Palm (nasdaq: PALM), two giants of the technology industry, have quietly and voluntarily pulled back products from the European Union when new rules, known as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, took effect on July 1.


Lifetime Lead Exposure Dulls Thinking in Older Adults
A study of community-dwelling adults ranging in age from 50 to 70 showed that higher lead levels in the tibia, a measure of cumulative lead exposure, were associated with worse performance in seven cognitive domains revealed a study reported in an early online release in Neurology.


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Articles Related to Environmental Effects on Development and Learning

Ultrasound Might Affect Newborn Brain Development
If studies on pregnant mice also apply to humans, exposing a pregnant mother to ultrasound for over 30 minutes could adversely affect the baby's brain development, say scientists from Yale University, USA. They found that some nerve cells did not make their way to the correct parts of the developing brain.


Study: Exposures to Environmental Toxicants and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in US Children (PDF)
The purpose of this study was to examine the association of exposures to tobacco smoke and environmental lead with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study concludes that exposure to prenatal tobacco and environmental lead are risk factors for ADHD in U.S. children.


A Framework for Assessing Health Risk of Environmental Exposures to Children
This document emphasizes the need to take into account the potential exposures to environmental agents during preconception and all stages of development and focuses on the relevant adverse health outcomes that may occur as a result of such exposures. It also describes an approach that includes problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization steps, and also builds on Agency experience assessing risk to susceptible groups within the population.


ASA Receives Grant to Address Environmental Health and Autism

The Autism Society of America is the proud recipient of a $100,000 grant from the John Merck Fund to raise awareness about the broad range of environmental contributors to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).


Comments Solicited on Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook

The US Environmental Protection Agency is announcing a 60-day public comment period for the external review draft document titled Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook. The handbook provides a summary of statistical data on various exposure factors used in assessing children's exposures, including drinking water consumption, soil ingestion and mouthing behavior, inhalation rates, dermal factors including skin surface area and soil-adherence factors, consumption of retail and home-grown foods, breast milk intake and activity pattern data. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2006-0812; comment period ends December 5, 2006. For more information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-RESEARCH/2006/October/Day-06/r16573.htm.


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Other Articles & Resources Related to Children's Health Issues

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation's New Website and Environmental Health Tools for Pediatric Health Care Providers
The website features PowerPoint Presentations and Resources developed by leading experts in the field of pediatric environmental health education.

Toxipedia Website Launched

Toxipedia is the free new toxicology encyclopedia and resource center that anyone can edit. It includes a quality control system to ensure accuracy of the information. With the goal of advancing human and environmental health, toxipedia provides comprehensive, accurate, and scientifically based information on the hazards and risks of chemical and physical agents.


The Encyclopedia of Earth
A new website, the Encyclopedia of Earth, is an electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. The Encyclopedia is a free, fully searchable collection of articles written by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other's work. The articles are written in non-technical language and will be useful to students, educators, scholars, professionals, as well as to the general public.


Upcoming Event: 2006 National Environmental Public Health Conference

Dates/Location: December 4 - 6, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia
Description: The National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR), CDC, will host its seventh National Environmental Public Health Conference. The theme of the conference is “Advancing Environmental Public Health: Science, Practice, New Frontiers.”  The conference will bring together a cross-section of federal, state, tribal, and local, and international colleagues within the field of environmental public health and its allied professions.

Contact: For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/conference/index.htm


Mark Your Calendars: LDDI National Conference 2007 "Priming for Prevention: An Ecological Approach to Research, Education and Policy"

Dates/Location: May 10-11, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia

Description: More information coming soon. Former US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, among other distinguished speakers, will be presenting at this conference.


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Mini-grants Now Available

The Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan is pleased to offer grants to 501(C) 3 non-profit organizations located in Michigan for educational programs/events/materials which will help inform key stakeholders of the existing and emerging science linking certain chemical exposures to learning, behavioral, and developmental disabilities. Priority will be given projects which target families and disability groups and/or promote action towards creating a healthier environment for all children. Grantees will be responsible for submitting a final project report, documentation of all expenditures, and copies of materials produced. Maximum award $400. Click here to download an application (PDF).



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Contact & Subscription Information

arrow Call toll free at 888-597-7809 or 517-485-8160

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arrow For more information on The Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan's Healthy Children Project visit http://www.ldaofmichigan.org/healthychild.htm.

arrow For more information on The Healthy Children Project visit http://www.healthychildrenproject.org/index.html.

arrow For more information on the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative, coordinated by the Institute for Children’s Environmental Health visit http://www.iceh.org/LDDI.html. To join the the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI), please complete the form at http://www.iceh.org/LDDImembers.html.

arrow For more information on The Beldon Fund visit http://www.beldon.org/.



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