EH News

Environmental Health Latest Headlines

May 2014
Laney Graduate School highlights Environmental Health Sciences PhD student Ian Buller for Graduate Student Appreciation Week.

April 2014

Congratulations to Dionna Fry (GEH MPH) and Qingyang Xiao (EH MPH) who were chosen as 2014 awardees for the Rollins School of Public Health Outstanding Practicum Award; they will be presenting posters at the upcoming the Public Health in Action Event (an event that recognizes and celebrates our community partners and student work in the field)!
Practicum experiences were: 
Qingyan Xiao:  Indoor Air Pollution due to Yak Dung Combustion in Nam Co, Tibet
Dionna Fry:  Sustained use, utilization, and diffusion of the arborloo in Rural Ethiopia


NewsDaily | Study finds mixed effects of heavy rains on diarrhea in rural Ecuador
December 11, 2013
Karen Levy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health, presents study findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Emory University News | Researchers estimate number of future heat wave related deaths
November 6, 2013
Yang Liu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health, led a study that predicts an average of over 2,000 heat wave related deaths per year in 2057-2059. 

NBC Nightly News| Salmonella in chicken
September 3, 2013
Featuring
Karen Levy, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, talking about food safety issues.

Emory University News  | Rollins School of Public Health appoints new endowed chair in sanitation and water
August 2013
Tom Clasen, JD, PhD, has been appointed as the Rose Salamone Gangarosa Chair in Sanitation and Safe Water in the Department of Environmental Health

Atlanta Journal-Constitution| I-85 HOT lane: "Lexus Lanes" or an option for all?
August 25, 2013
EH-EPI MSPH student Leah Yngve worked with attorney Brian Gist with the Southern Environmental Law Center on a study of Atlanta's High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane usage and driver's income levels.

eScienceCommons | In Madagascar, a health crisis of people and their ecosystem
August 9, 2013
Thomas Gillespie, an Emory professor of Environmental Studies and Environmental Health, is coordinating a large-scale effort of conservation and global health in Madagascar.

National Geographic Daily News | Organophosphates: A Common but Deadly Pesticide
July 18, 2013
The pesticides blamed for killing at least 25 children in India are widely used around the world, including in the United States, and health experts have raised safety concerns about this class of chemicals in the past. "They're considered junior-strength nerve agents because they have the same mechanism of action as nerve gases like sarin," explained Dana Boyd Barr, an exposure scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has studied organophosphate poisoning.

Scientific American via Yahoo News | Toxic waste sites take toll on millions in poor nations.
May 8, 2013
Although the scientific community is generally aware of the issues, "no one has tried to document these exposures in terms of what happens, and this first step is a reasonable approach," says Kyle Steenland, an environmental health professor at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health who studies occupational lead exposure.

Emory Award of Distinction
Congratulations to Shakiyla Smith, instructor of EH 580/BSHE 591M Injury Prevention and Control (fall), for being an Emory Award of Distinction honoree!

Dr. Moiz Mumtaz receives the 2013 SOT Arnold J Lehman Award

Dr. Moiz MumtazCongratulations to Dr. Moiz Mumtaz! Last night at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Awards Ceremony, he received the 2013 SOT Arnold J. Lehman Award. This award, named for the cofounder of SOT and its official publication, is one of the Society’s most coveted. It recognizes an individual who has made a major contribution to risk assessment of chemicals, particularly as mixtures.

For Moiz, the award recognizes his 25 years of work on risk assessment of chemical mixtures.

Moiz began his toxicology career at EPA, coordinating research and development of risk assessment methods for toxicity and health impacts for chemical mixtures. He joined ATSDR in 1992, where he is now the science advisor and senior toxicologist in the office of the director of the Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences. Since 2000, he has also served as adjunct associate professor at the Emory School of Public Health.

Moiz has served on numerous committees, led a variety of symposia, written a vast number of scientific publications, and presented at conferences around the world. Some of his major contributions to toxicological risk assessment include

  • identifying combinations of chemicals frequently present at hazardous waste sites;
  • developing a classification scheme that expresses the weight of evidence for the interactions in chemical mixtures;
  • developing target-organ toxicity doses for hazardous chemicals;
  • developing user-friendly physiologically based pharmacokinetic models to fine-tune exposure assessments and determine internal doses in target organs/tissues; and
  • promoting an approach for assessing the effects of physical, biological, and psychosocial stressors when combined with chemical exposures.

Moiz received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Osmania University in India, a second M.S. at Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. In addition, he did post-doctoral work at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is recognized as an international authority on risk assessment for mixed chemical exposures and is widely referenced and quoted in toxicology and risk assessment journal articles and studies.

Are BPA-free plastics really safe?
Many parents buy BPA-free plastic because they think it's safer for their children. A new scientific study says that might not be risk-free after all.
Read the full story here

2012

Fogarty launches GEOHealth environmental and occupational research and training hub
EH faculty Kyle Steenland (PI) and Karen Levy were recently funded by the Fogarty International Center for their work to create a GEOHealth environmental and occupational research and training hub, in collaboration with collaborators at University of Chile and University of Georgia", with a link to this article here: LINK.

Societal Benefits of Organic Foods
Asst. professor Karen Levy recently published an op-ed in the Huffington Post about the larger societal benefits of eating and producing organic foods and some of the issues with a recent Stanford study on health outcomes related to eating organic vs conventional foods.

Wildlife Health
When a wild animal is rescued from poachers or wildlife smugglers, conservationists usually make an effort to rehabilitate it and return it to life in its native habitat. But what if the animal contracted a disease from humans during captivity that could then be transmitted back to the rest of its species? Should that animal still be released?  Associate professor Thomas Gillespie and his collaborators working in Africa recently encountered just that conundrum.  Read more on the Scientific American Blog.

Members of Gillespie's team are using innovative methods to better understand wildlife health and linkages to human health.  View these articles here and here.

News Release: Significant disparities in disease from unsafe water and sanitation in China (August 2012)
While the global community has struggled to meet the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals regarding provision of safe water and sanitation, China is rightfully held up as a model, having dramatically expanded access to both over the past few decades. In an analysis in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Dr. Justin Remais, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health and colleagues—including GEH alum Julia McDowell—reveal gaps in China’s tremendous progress towards providing safe water and adequate sanitation. Read the full article (PDF) and see also this piece in the ASPH Friday Letter.

Erika Rees, MPH (EH 2012) is involved with a new partnership between Rollins School of Public Health and Teach for America.  Read the full article in the Emory Health Magazine.

Community Needs Assessment in New Mexico
Carrie McNeil, DVM, MPH (GEH 2012) worked on a community needs assessment in Socorro County, New Mexico and used the data for her thesis project.  To learn more about Carrie's work and how the community will use the assessment, read the first article and the second article.  Carrie will continue working in New Mexico as a CDC EIS officer.

Congratulations to our 2012 graduates!
We are proud of the accomplishments of our 2012 graduates!  The Department of Environmental Health’s graduating class includes:  17 GEH MPH, 16 EH MPH, 3 EH-EPI MSPH, and 1 EH-EPI MPH. 
Special award recipients include:
Shanari Carter, MPH (EH) for Outstanding Practicum Experience
Carrie McNeil, MPH (GEH) for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
Jennifer Zora, MD, MPH (EH-EPI) for the Charles C. Shepard Award nomination for best thesis
Lauren Shapiro, MPH (GEH) for the Award for Research Excellence in Environmental Health
Congratulations to all of you!

Congratulations to Justin Remais, PhD (pictured left), the first annual Environmental Health Teaching Award recipient.
The award is based on student nominations and course evaluations for outstanding teaching in the Department of Environmental Health.

Justin Remais, PhD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C8 Science Panel delivers Probable Link conclusions on cancers and adult onset diabetes
April 16, 2012
PFOA is a fluorocarbon used to make Teflon, and is in the blood of all Americans at low levels. It is present at 10 times higher levels in the blood of residents of W. Va. and Ohio living near a DuPont plant which makes Teflon. PFOA causes 3 types of cancer in animals. Culminating a 5 year research effort following a cohort of 32,000 people, a three person Science Panel set up under a legal settlement has concluded that PFOA is more likely than not linked to testicular and kidney cancer. No probable link was found with 19 other types of cancers or with diabetes. EH Professor Kyle Steenland is one of the Panel members, and has led the cohort study. Rollins faculty members Dr. Winquist (EH), Dr. Ryan (EH), and Dr. Darrow (Epi) have collaborated closely with Dr. Steenland and led different parts of the project, which has involved 11 studies overall. More information can be found at c8sciencepanel.org. Read full article here.

Environmental health faculty call for improved balance between environmental and clinical responses to infectious disease
April 3, 2012
Environmental health faculty call for improved balance between environmental and clinical responses to infectious disease. In a Viewpoint appearing in The Lancet, environmental health faculty member Dr. Justin V. Remais, along with colleague Dr. Joseph N.S. Eisenberg at the University of Michigan, argues that management of many infectious diseases of global importance could benefit from increased attention paid to environmental interventions. The authors maintain that the predominance of drug therapy should give way to more comprehensive measures that include environmental and other actions, drawing on examples from a range of environmentally mediated pathogens, including diarrhoea caused by agents in water, food, and soil; soil-transmitted helminths; and diseases transmitted through contact, such as Staphylococcus aureus infections. They call for setting funding priorities to address both clinical and environmental knowledge gaps, and for a combination of clinical and environmental interventions for infectious diseases that are implemented on the basis of the evidence. See the full Viewpoint here.

News Release: Urbanization in China pushes up disease rates and health-care disparities
March 1, 2012
In the past three decades, China has seen a staggering rate of urbanisation, and this shift from rural to urban has important public-health consequences according to the recent work of Dr. Justin Remais appearing in The Lancet.
Read the full article

2011

Fogarty International Center News | Examining the connections between climate change and diarrheal disease
October 6, 2011
Fogarty Internation Center is funding a new project in Ecuador led by Dr. Karen Levy to study the complex relationship between climatic exposures on health and the extent to which social and infrastructure factors can mediate the impact.

Science Now
Dr. Karen Levy
co-authored a new study showing that the prevalence of antibiotic resistant enteric bacteria was 80% higher in less remote communities than in more remote communities in rural Ecuador.
Read the news story: Antibiotic Resistance May Hitchhike Along Roads
Read the full article

Virginia Highlands Druid Hills Patch Professor Jeremy Sarnat talks about smog season 
October 3, 2011

C&EN - American Chemical Society | Greening China's Indoor Fuel Use
March 7, 2011
Anaerobic digesters could reduce greenhouse emissions while improving health in rural China, according to a new study by Justin Remais, PhD, assistant professor of environmental health at Emory University.
Read the news story: Greening China's Indoor Fuel Use
Read the full article

PBS News Hour |Japan's Radioactive Leak: What Are the Long-Term Consequences?
March 31, 2011
The levels of radioactivity found in the region around the plant are already "well above background levels"-- the natural levels of radiation measured at a location -- and "high enough to be of concern," said James Smith, an adjunct professor of environmental health at Emory and the former associate director of the radiation division at the Centers for Disease Control.


ABC News | Study: Chemical in many household products associated with early menopause
March 25, 2011
"Studies that we've done looking at these chemicals on the U.S. population show that almost everyone has these chemicals in their blood," Dana Boyd Barr, PhD, a research professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Georgia, told ABC News.


WXIA-TV Atlanta
| Atlanta lands $8 million for clean air research
March 8, 2011
Researchers at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health will look at data linking air quality with health endpoints in children and adults, including birth outcomes, asthma, and cardiac illness.

2010

July 15, 2010
Dana Boyd Barr, PhD, Research Professor Department of Environmental Health in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, was interviewed by WABE Atlanta about the health implications of the Gulf Oil Spill.  Listen to the radio interview on WABE.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Kids with asthma head indoors during smog season

July 10, 2010
A new Emory University study looking at air quality and emergency room visits from 1993 to 2004 suggests even moderate increases in air pollution can cause problems for children with asthma..."When you get into the maroons and reds [ozone alerts], we know it's bad for children with asthma, but this suggests there are effects even on yellow days," said Matthew Strickland, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study, and assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. "But what should we do? Should we stay inside? There are obvious trade-offs and it's challenging."

March 27, 2010
Although China has experienced unprecedented economic growth during the last 15 years, disease caused by air and water pollution in the country is severe, according to a review led by Emory professor of global environmental health Justin Remais, PhD, published in the March 27, 2010 issue of The Lancet.

View the press release      Read the full article       Listen to the radio interview on Voice of America


April 8, 2010
Both ozone and primary pollutants from traffic substantially increase asthma-related emergency department visits in children, especially during the warm season, according to research led by Matthew Strickland, PhD, from the Department of Environmental Health at the Rollins School of Public Health. 
View the press release   Read the full article

July 19, 2010
Jeremy Hess helps explain how Emory helps to beat the heat in Atlanta.
View how Emory beats heat from sprawl.



Public Health Press Releases

Rollins School of Public Health new releases, dating back to 1996, are available online, via various news archives. http://whsc.emory.edu/home/news/releases/school-of-ph.html


Public Health Magazine

Public Health magazine is published by the Rollins School of Public Health, a component of The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University. http://www.sph.emory.edu/cms/about/communications/rsphmag.html