New NIEHS-funded center focuses on urban environmental stressors

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

A new grant from NIEHS will allow researchers to study how exposures to stressors that are prevalent in the urban industrialized environment impact human health in Detroit and beyond.

The grant, awarded to Wayne State University, is one of 21 Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers funded by NIEHS. The new Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) includes collaborators at Henry Ford Health System, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University, as well as community organizations.

President’s task force considers climate change and children’s health

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

NIEHS played a key role at a July 10 event in Washington, D.C., convened by the subcommittee on climate change of the President’s Task Force on Children’s Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children.


Michigan Journal of Sustainability Calls for Abstracts for Special Edition Focused on Climate Adaptation Initiatives in the U.S.

The special edition will focus on adaptation and resilience-building activities taking place across scales, systems, and sectors, with a particular focus on techniques for bridging the science-policy-practice divide. At this time, the Michigan Journal of Sustainability is accepting abstracts as well as full manuscripts for consideration. The call for abstracts provides more details about the Journal and the abstract submission process.

Please note that this Journal is an open-source, web-based resource where both traditional full-length articles as well as non-traditional submissions, such as pictures or short videos, are encouraged. The deadline for abstract submission is September 3, 2014.

For more information, visit:

The Harmonization of U.S. National Security and Climate Goals

Read the full story from the Brookings Institution.

On July 22, David Goldwyn delivered testimony on the U.S. security implications of international energy and climate policies at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps. Read his statement below and watch the video of his testimony online.

New Method Provides Nanoscale Details of Electrochemical Reactions in Electric Vehicle Battery Materials

Read the full story from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Using a new method to track the electrochemical reactions in a common electric vehicle battery material under operating conditions, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have revealed new insight into why fast charging inhibits this material’s performance. The study also provides the first direct experimental evidence to support a particular model of the electrochemical reaction. The results, published August 4, 2014, in Nature Communications, could provide guidance to inform battery makers’ efforts to optimize materials for faster-charging batteries with higher capacity.

Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory

Download the document.

America’s farm, ranch and forest managers are stewards of the land, and have long recognized the significance of managing soil health, plant productivity and animal nutrition. Conservation practices and other management changes can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase carbon storage while improving soil health, crop or livestock productivity, and resilience to drought and other extreme weather.  This report lays out methods for estimating changes in GHG emissions and carbon storage at a local scale.  The methods in the report will be used to develop user-friendly tools for farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and other USDA stakeholders to help them evaluate the GHG benefits of a wide variety of management practices.

Predictive toxicology advances with new paper and data challenge

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

In July, partners in the Tox21 consortium published a new study on pathway profiling of the Tox21 compound library, and announced a chemical toxicity data model competition…

Tox21 is a collaborative effort among NIH partners NTP and NCATS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Now in Phase II of the program, the consortium is working to develop a model for anticipating adverse responses to potentially harmful drugs and chemicals, rapidly, through in vitro screening, using multiple assay approaches, and prioritizing chemicals for more comprehensive testing with more resource-intensive test methods.

PEPH webinar highlights environmental health literacy

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

NIEHS has long championed communication strategies and health messages aimed at building public awareness of the effects of environmental exposures on human health and reinforces that commitment through the NIEHS 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. Through the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) program, NIEHS also highlights the important contributions grantees make to environmental health literacy (EHL).

To initiate a broader discussion, PEPH organized a June 24 webinar on the topic, with two recognized experts in the fields of health and environmental literacy. Michael Paasche-Orlow, M.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and Anna Hoover, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Public Health, discussed the definitions and metrics used to measure EHL. The presenters highlighted the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes, and how this knowledge may be applied to the emerging field.

SRP and EPA collaborate on passive sampling devices

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) scientists are making sure devices for hazardous site assessment and cleanup get into the hands of end users, by working closely with colleagues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as other partners.

This month in Environmental Health Perspectives

The August issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)  focuses on advances in the study of harmful algal blooms (HABs), and public communication successes and challenges during environmental crises, with the West Virginia chemical spill into the Elk River as a case in point.

Keeping Tabs on HABs: New Tools for Detecting, Monitoring, and Preventing Harmful Algal Blooms

Emerging technologies enable researchers to study the ecology of harmful algal blooms, in both fresh and saltwater environments, more precisely and efficiently than ever before. Improved communication capabilities, higher-resolution satellite imagery, and smaller, more powerful sensors have contributed to significant advances in recent years, at the same time that HAB activity has escalated worldwide.

Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication: Lessons From the Elk River Spill

In the chaos of an unfolding environmental crisis, the public’s urgent need for accurate, credible information sometimes goes unmet. The January 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia’s Elk River is a case in point. The story of the Elk River spill provides valuable examples of public communications that worked well, and improvements that can be applied next time a disaster occurs.

Featured research and related news articles this month include:

Heat-Related Mortality and Adaptation to Heat in the United States —Learning to Take the Heat: Declines in U.S. Heat-Related Mortality

Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Exposures and Neurodevelopment in U.S. Children Through 5 Years of Age: The HOME Study — More Evidence for PBDEs as Neurotoxicants: Cohort Study Corroborates Earlier Findings

Arsenic Thiolation and the Role of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria from the Human Intestinal Tract — Fire in the Belly? Sulfur-Reducing Gut Microbes Fuel Arsenic Thiolation

Bisphenol A and Reproductive Health: Update of Experimental and Human Evidence, 2007-2013 — BPA and Reproductive Health: Reviewing the Current State of the Science