Narrative approaches and storytelling are emerging as powerful health promotion tools that can spark interest, increase understanding of determinants of health, and translate complex science. A Story of Health, a multimedia e-book with continuing education credits was designed to harness the power of storytelling to increase environmental health literacy for health professionals, policy makers, health educators and advocates, and the general public.
The chapters of A Story of Health address environmental influences on asthma, developmental disabilities, childhood leukemia, infertility/reproductive health, cognitive decline and neurodegeneration, and the health effects of wildfires.
The WS PEHSU has an ongoing collaboration with the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) Community Outreach and Translation Core, working to educate clinicians and the public about environmental toxicants that increase the risk of childhood leukemia and other childhood diseases. Taking steps to avoid or reduce these exposures to the fetus and the child may help prevent some childhood leukemias.
Dr. Marya Zlatnik, WS PEHSU Associate Director of the Maternal Fetal Health and the Environment program is the primary author of the WS PEHSU factsheet on climate change and pregnancy. This factsheet includes an overview of the health effects of climate change on pregnant people, including health risks and advice. The WS PEHSU strives to bring awareness to climate change and plans to continue to develop material on the health effects of climate change.
The Western States PEHSU recognizes that racism is one of many toxic environmental exposures that communities of color face. Social and chemical environments can interact to impact children’s health. We commit to continuing to educate the public and healthcare providers on toxic exposures of all kinds-including racism and fighting for environmental justice.
Vickie Leonard, WS PEHSU former Program Coordinator, has been working with child care programs to improve policies, practices and product selection that impact environmental health in ECE.
WSPEHSU’s Child Care Health Consultant, Victoria Leonard, is an author of this piece on head lice from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM Program).
WSPEHSU, in collaboration with CIRCLE, has developed a project, Improving Environmental Health Literacy of Young Adults, which is intended to create awareness among young adults of the role of pre-conception and prenatal environmental influences on the development of childhood leukemia and other diseases including developmental disabilities, asthma, and reproductive health.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are chemicals that were manufactured in the United States from 1929 until they were banned in 1979.These materials were widely used in construction projects in the 1950s–1970s, a period when many school buildings were built in the U.S. to accommodate Baby Boom children.
Perchlorate contaminates important sources of drinking water in California and nationally. It inhibits the uptake of iodide into the thyroid gland, an essential part of the process of making thyroid hormone.
Promotores and Environmental Health
The WS PEHSU, in collaboration with the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE), has been working with Promotores de Salud and community health workers to increase awareness about reproductive environmental health and children’s environmental health issues. As part of our outreach to Promotores, we have started an environmental health newsletter that addresses a different environmental health problem every month. The newsletter is in English and Spanish.
Children in immigrant communities may be at risk for lead poisoning from imported makeup products that contain lead.
The WS PEHSU was on the forefront of the COVID-19 Pandemic as there was an increase use of harmful chemicals found in cleaning products that can lead to adverse health effects. The WS PEHSU created material in line with CDC guidance, to guide and make clear the ways to disinfect more safely.
The Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT) mobile application, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), provides trusted information on environmental health concerns.
Wildfires are increasing in frequency and severity due to the effects of climate change. Children and pregnant women are at particular risk from the health effects of wildfires.
To see more work from the WS PEHSU, visit our Publications page.
For additional resources, visit our External Health Information Links webpage.