On November 1st, the March of Dimes kicked off Prematurity Awareness Month by releasing their eighth annual Premature Birth Report Card for the US and Puerto Rico. The report brought promising news for Puerto Rico, awarding the region a grade improvement for the first time in the report card’s history. Puerto Rico’s preterm birth rate […]
PROTECT and CRECE will be taking part in a new national study led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which aims to investigate the ways in which early exposure to a range of environmental factors influence the short- and long-term health of children. The study is part of the NIH’s new Environmental Influences on […]
In late March of this year, PROTECT posted an article describing some of the steps that were being taken in Puerto Rico to prepare for the inevitable spread of the Zika virus on the island. Five months later, Zika transmission in Puerto Rico is no longer an emerging threat, but an ongoing reality. The island is […]
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On Friday, July 15th, PROTECT and CRECE received funding from the NIEHS to study the Zika virus in Puerto Rico. This funding is part of the Zika Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study, which aims to enroll 10,000 women from 15 different countries in a study to assess the outcomes of a Zika infection during pregnancy. […]
On April 14th, the Food and Drug Administration approved the addition of folic acid—a B vitamin known to prevent birth defects—to corn masa flour. The announcement comes after four years of efforts by the March of Dimes and PROTECT’s Co-Director Dr. José Cordero. For years, folic acid has been a mainstay of grain products such […]
On April 6th, 2016, the US EPA proposed the addition of the Dorado Groundwater Contamination Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Recent sampling at this site has found contamination from tetrachloroethylene (also called perchloroethylene, or PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), which has spread to drinking water wells that serve approximately 67,000 people in the […]
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will be returning to 200 previously-closed trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination sites to determine if TCE poses an imminent hazard in those locations. The selected sites were closed for further cleanup prior to the EPA’s 2011 finding that short-term maternal exposure to TCE is associated with a higher risk of cardiac […]
On May 21-22, 2015, the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI), in partnership with the Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) and Silent Spring Institute hosted the first ever Social Science-Environmental Health Interdisciplinary Collaborations Conference at Northeastern University. This two-day conference brought together approximately 100 scholars, government agency professionals, community organizers, and […]
PROTECT is proud to announce that Dr. Phil Brown, sociologist and environmental justice advocate and PROTECT Community Engagement and Research Translation Core leader, will be the 2015 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Environment and Technology Section’s Practice and Outreach Award. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Brown has worked with community groups, environmental justice […]
Groundwater is a valuable source of drinking water for approximately 130 million people in United States. However, natural and human activities have been resulting in high concentrations of certain chemicals in groundwater that can affect human health. The United States Geological Survey or USGS released new findings on groundwater contamination at the Congressional Briefing “Our Nation’s Groundwater […]
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it reached an agreement with Cemex Concretos, Inc. and Cemex de Puerto Rico, Inc. (CEMEX) to settle the companies’ violations of requirements to control stormwater discharges under the Clean Water Act. As part of the settlement announced in May 2014, the companies will provide more than 400 […]
A recent study has linked air pollution to high blood pressure in pregnant women. High blood pressure is one cause of premature birth. While the work is not yet conclusive, it points to further indications of the impact of environmental health on pregnancy. Learn more at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/11/us-air-pollution-idUSBRE99A0J020131011
Proctor & Gamble recently announced that it will stop using phthalates in its personal care products (PCPs) by the end of 2014. Phthalates, used to make plastics more flexible and keep scents in perfumes and lotions from evaporating, are one of the chemicals of concern that PROTECT studies for possible linkage to preterm birth. Our […]
PROTECT Core C researcher Braulio Jimenez was interviewed in a recent news story on the rate of preterm birth in Puerto Rico. The story, presented by WAPA-TV, discussed PROTECT’s investigations into the role of environmental contamination and preterm birth. The video (in Spanish) is available here.
An international team of experts reported on February 19 that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a “global threat” that should be addressed. The report is a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to give policymakers the latest […]
The March of Dimes has released its most recent report on preterm birth, entitled Born Too Soon. Read the full report here; more information including maps and posters, is here. From the March of Dimes, a description of the report: Born Too Soon provides the first-ever comparable country-level estimates for preterm birth in 184 countries. […]
2011 brought several changes to the National Priority List of sites in Puerto Rico Removed: Barceloneta Landfill Added: Cabo Rojo Ground Water Contamination Added: Hormigas Ground Water Plume Currently there are 15 active NPL sites in Puerto Rico, 1 proposed, and 6 removed; take a look at all the NPL sites in Puerto Rico here […]
Project 1 Leader John Meeker (U. of Michigan) was recently quoted in a CNN article on the effect of BPA on the masculinity of male mice. The study determined that female mice found BPA-exposed male mice to be less attractive, even though their adult hormone levels were no different than male mice who were not exposed. […]
PROTECT Core C Researchers Dr. Jose Cordero and Dr. Hernando Mattei were profiled in an article published in the May 6, 2011 edition of El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper. The article, entitled “Ojo a peligrosa anticipación” (“Looking at dangerous prematurity”), focuses on the issue of preterm birth in Puerto Rico and the goals […]
The “Dear Colleague” message below is from Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Please take a moment to read through and visit the links she mentions. Dear Colleague, The NIEHS has just begun the process of updating our Strategic Plan. As a first step in this process, we have launched […]
PROTECT Researcher Dorothy Vesper (Projects 4 and 5) was highlighted in a recent article in the WVU College of Arts and Sciences Magazine. The magazine cover features John Tudek, Dorothy’s student working on the PROTECT project. Click here to download a PDF of the article or here to look at the entire publication.
Northeastern University’s Engineering@Northeastern magazine (a publication of the NU College of Engineering) highlighted PROTECT research in the 2010 issue. See page 4 of the magazine, available here, for the story.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to add both the Cabo Rojo Ground Water Contamination Site in the municipality of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico and the Hormigas Ground Water Plume Site in the municipality of Caguas to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Sampling at the sites […]
UMich Assistant Professor John Meeker‘s (leader, Project 1) work has been featured in several recent news articles. http://www.aolhealth.com/2010/08/04/exposure-to-plastic-chemical-may-harm-male-fertility/ http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2010/08/bisphenol_a_and_sperm_damage.html http://pubs.acs.org/isubscribe/journals/cen/88/i24/html/8824news4.html Dr. Meeker was also featured in another interesting article on plastics from last year: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/dangers-of-plastic
The National Center for Environmental Assessment, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development, is advertising a training opportunity (fellowship not to exceed 3 years) that may be of interest to post-docs, research fellows, PhD and masters students. The position will be located in Arlington, VA in the US EPA Integrated […]
Mark Melia of the Associated Press looks carefully at the background problem – the high rate of preterm birth in Puerto Rico – and what PROTECT will be studying to combat this issue…read full article.
The Association of Schools of Public Health features research findings of PROTECT investigators: (ASPH Friday Letter – July 10, 2009) – A University of Michigan School of Public Health study of expectant mothers suggests that a group of common environmental contaminants called phthalates, which are present in many industrial and consumer products including everyday personal […]