UMass doc comments on pediatricians statement re: plastic food containers

Umass doc weights in on this. Also see research from Silent Spring Institute.

AAP release here.

NIH photo


From Times: “Because hormones act at low concentrations in our blood, it is not surprising that even low-level exposures to endocrine disrupters can contribute to disease,” said Laura N. Vandenberg, an assistant professor in the department of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s School of Public Health, who spoke on behalf of the Endocrine Society.



Live streaming right now: “How does where you live affect your health.”#BUSPH40 #BUSPHSymposia #environment #public health

Lots of health news in Boston this week, but at the moment, check out the live stream of this event.capture

Can the physical and social aspects of your neighborhood influence your health? The symposium will explore the roles of the built environment and housing and will evaluate the science on how interventions can improve the health of vulnerable populations.



8:30–9 a.m.
Breakfast and Informal Greetings

9–9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

Sandro Galea, Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

Jonathan Levy, Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health

9:15–10 a.m.

Howard Frumkin, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington

10–11:30 a.m.

Panel Discussion: Separating Neighborhood-Level from Individual-Level Risk Factors

Mariana Arcaya, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Yvette Cozier, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health

Theresa Osypuk, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Shakira Suglia, Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

Monica L. Wang (Moderator), Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m

Ron Sims, Former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

12:30–2 p.m.

Panel Discussion:  The Influence of Housing on Health

Carlos Dora, Coordinator, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organization

Patricia Fabian, Research Assistant Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health

David Jacobs, Chief Scientist, National Center for Healthy Housing

Megan Sandel, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine

John Spengler (Moderator), Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

2–2:10 p.m.


2:10–3:40 p.m

Panel Discussion: High-Risk Populations and Strategies to Improve Health

Kalila Barnett, Executive Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment

JoHanna Flacks, Legal Director, Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston (MLPB)

Hector Olvera, Associate Professor and Director of Research, University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing

Madeleine Scammell, Assistant Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health

Carey Goldberg (Moderator),  Health and Science Reporter, WBUR

3:40–3:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Jonathan Levy, Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health

Home health and healthy homes

For the latest on the Senate health reform bill, see Kaiser Health News or The Washington Post.  

This on home health from David Abel in today’s Globe.

A $332 million state program that oversees home health care services for about 18,000 elderly and disabled residents is vulnerable to fraud and has employed personal care attendants who have committed felonies, including manslaughter, assault, and threatening to commit murder, according to a report released yesterday by the Office of the State Auditor.

Click here for the actual audit report. People are constantly trying to rip off the home health system, something that is so needed and so expensive. They are not just stealing from frail elderly, but from the rest of us. Fraud leads to more paperwork and auditing, making it doubly evil. 

Also, it might be fair to say you’re only as healthy as your hometown. I just discovered the CDC’s Healthy Places program.  

CDC recognizes several significant health issues that are related to land use, including–


       Children’s Health & the Built Environment

       Healthy Aging & the Built Environment


       Healthy Community Design

       Healthy Homes

       Health Impact Assessment


       Mental Health

       Physical Activity

       Respiratory Health & Air Pollution

       Social Capital

       Water Quality


The EPA has a similar program.

 EPA helps communities grow in ways that expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love. Through research, tools, partnerships, case studies, grants, and technical assistance, EPA is helping America’s communities turn their visions of the future into reality.

 I found a link on their website to a new Institute of Medicine reporting on “Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity” that cites a health promotion program in Somerville called Shape Up Somerville.

Shape Up Somerville is a city wide campaign to increase daily physical activity and healthy eating through programming, physical infrastructure improvements, and policy work.  The campaign targets all segments of our community, including schools, city government, civic organizations, community groups, businesses, and other people who live, work, and play in Somerville. 

This effort began as a community based research study at Tufts University targeting 1st through 3rd graders in the Somerville Public Schools.  Today there is Coordinator working on active and healthy living programs supported by the Health Department and a Taskforce that is a collaboration of over 11 initiatives and 25 stakeholders involved in working on various interventions across the city, such as:

  • School Food Service
  • Teachers teaching an-School Curriculum
  • After School programs using a new curriculum
  • Parent, City Employee and Community Outreach
  • Restaurants
  • Walkability and Safe Routes to School
  • Extension of the Community Path
  • School Nurses and Pediatricians
  • Policy Initiatives
  • Farmers markets and community/school gardens