Join our next CHE-Alaska call on 6/18:

Fukushima: A View from the Ocean with Marine Chemist Ken Buesseler

Listen to:

Breast Cancer Prevention: Beyond Pink Ribbons, recorded 5/28/14.

Acid Rock Drainage and Water Quality: Potential Environmental Health Impacts in Alaska with Dr. Kendra Zamzow

CHE-Alaska Podcasts: 2014 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Scientific evidence increasingly indicates a relationship between a range of environmental factors and a wide array of chronic diseases and conditions.  One important contributor may be increased exposure to certain chemical substances, including industrial chemicals and heavy metals.

Since the 1950s, pesticides and other synthetic chemicals have become widespread in our air, water, soil, food, homes, schools, and workplaces. Consequently, a growing burden of these chemicals can be found in our bodies.

What is CHE?

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) is a national non-partisan partnership of individuals and organizations concerned with the role of the environment in human and ecosystem health. CHE seeks to raise the level of scientific and public dialogue about the role environmental factors play in many of the common diseases, disorders and conditions of our time. For more information, visit the CHE national website.

What is CHE-Alaska?

Alaska Community Action on Toxics established CHE-Alaska as a working group of CHE to advance knowledge and effective action to address growing concerns about the links between human health and environmental factors.

In Alaska, we are particularly concerned about the contamination of persistent chemicals from industrial and military sources. The north is a hemispheric sink for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as PCBs, pesticides, and dioxins that threaten the integrity of ecosystems and pose risks to human health.

We sponsor regular statewide teleconference seminars and other public events featuring Alaskans and nationally-renowned scientists, health care professionals, and policy experts who are working on a range of environmental health concerns.

We invite participation from anyone interested in learning more about protecting current and future generations from environmental harm including health care professionals, researchers, health-affected and patient groups, students, educators, advocacy organizations, tribes, villages, and community health aides.

Get Involved with CHE-Alaska!

Join our CHE-Alaska email list to be notified of upcoming teleconference seminar topics and speakers. Email [email protected] and please put “CHE-Alaska” in the subject of the email.

Past CHE-Alaska Calls:

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | (Top of page)

2014Top of page

Fukushima: A View from the Ocean with Marine Chemist Ken Buesseler

5/28/14Breast Cancer Prevention: Beyond Pink Ribbons (CHE-AK Call #84)

4/30/14Acid Rock Drainage and Water Quality: Potential Environmental Health Impacts in Alaska with Dr. Kendra Zamzow (CHE-AK Call #83)

3/25/14Exposure to Toxic Chemicals among Pregnant Women and Children: The Role of Prevention with Dr. Tracey Woodruff (CHE-AK Call #82)

3/12/14Children’s Environmental Health: A discussion of the latest science and evidence-based advocacy with Dr. Ruth Etzel (CHE-AK Call #81)

2/5/14Fire Safety without Harm: How new flammability standards in California will protect the health and environment of Alaskans (CHE-AK Call #80)

2013Top of page
12/4/13The Emerging Science of Epigenetics: How Environmental Exposures Today May Affect Our Future Generations (CHE-AK Call #79)

11/13/13Dirty Coal: From Mining to Mercury Contamination – Alaska to Asia and Back(CHE-AK Call #78)

 Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention, recorded 10/16/13. (CHE-AK Call #77)

9/18/13Asking the Right Questions: Are Women of Childbearing Age at Risk of Exposure to Multiple Pollutants, recorded 9/18/13. (CHE-AK Call #76)

8/14/13The chemical industry’s game of whack-a-mole: Public health implications of chlorinated tris as a substitute chemical, recorded 8/14/13. (CHE-AK Call #75)

8/8/13Follow up disussion to call on 7/24: Lessons from Libby, Montana: Mining, Asbestos, and Public Health (CHE-AK Call #74 discussion)

7/24/13Lessons from Libby, Montana: Mining, Asbestos, and Public Health (CHE-AK Call #74)

6/26/13The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement: A conversation with activist and author Kate Davies(CHE-AK Call #73)

5/29/13The Story of Camp Lejeune: Contaminated Drinking Water, Cancer Clusters, and the Struggle for Justice(CHE-AK Call #72)

  • Speaker: Jerry Ensminger, former Marine Corps Master Sergeant who investigated and uncovered groundwater contamination at Camp Lejeune.
  • Website | Resources | Take Action | Recording
04/24/13Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the Arctic Environment: Sources, Transport, and Health Concerns for Fish, Wildlife, and People, (CHE-AK Call #71)

03/06/13Environmental Exposures and Autism: The Interplay Between Genes, Environment and Health Status

  • Speakers: Maureen Swanson is National Coordinator of the Healthy Children Project of the Learning Disabilities Association of America; and Dr. Martha Herbert is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Pediatric Neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and an affiliate of the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, where she is director of the TRANSCEND Research Program (Treatment Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders).
  • Website | Resources | Take Action | Recording
02/13/13Toxic Chemicals in Your Home: New Study Shows Hazardous Flame Retardants in Couches on the Rise

02/06/13Nurses in the Halls of Power: The why, what, and how of nurse advocacy for safer chemicals

01/23/13The Toll of Alaska’s Coal: Health Impacts of Coal Export

2012 Top of page
11/28/12Pollution from Pesticides: How Transnational Chemical Corporations Violate Basic Human Rights

10/24/12The Unnatural History of Breasts:  Industrial Chemicals, Breast Cancer, & Early Puberty

  • Speaker: Florence Williams, a science journalist, discusses the unsettling findings she uncovered in researching her new book Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
9/26/12Preventing Harm to Children – The Healthy Schools Movement

9/05/12Protecting Public Health in Alaska – The Opportunity of the Safe Chemicals Act

7/25/12Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – New Directions in Science and Policy

  • Speaker: Join Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski, PH.D., Executive Director and Senior Research Associate at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) for a discussion of why the old system of setting safety standards doesn’t work, how the principles of endocrinology can be used to create a better system, and to hear the latest news on current directions in endocrine disruption science.
  • Website | Resources | Presentation Slides | Recording
6/28/12Hidden Chemicals in Consumer Products: What’s Not on the Label

  • Speaker: Robin Dodson, Sc.D., lead author of a new Silent Spring Institute study, discusses of the study’s findings which shows that everyday products contain a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals, including many that are not listed on product labels. Investigators tested products for the presence of hormone disruptors that raise concerns for breast cancer, growth, and reproduction, as well as chemicals associated with asthma. Learn how you can reduce exposures.
  • Website | Resources | Presentation Slides | Recording
5/30/12Little Changes: A discussion with the Author Kristi Marsh on How to avoid Chemicals in Your Daily Life

4/25/12Assessing the Public Health Impacts of Coal Transportation and Export: From Whatcom County, Washington to Seward, Alaska

  • Speakers: Frank James, M.D. , Whatcom Docs. Denny Larson, Executive Director, Global Community Monitor.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
3/26/12Upholding our Human Right to Live in a Healthy Environment

3/21/12Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Products: Health Effects of Flame Retardants (PBDEs) and State Policies to Prevent Exposures

  • Speakers: Ami Zota, ScD, postdoctoral fellow, University of California San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health & Environment, and Kathy Curtis, executive director, Clean and Healthy New York.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
2/15/2012Coal’s Assault on Human Health

1/11/2012Science and Action to Protect Public Health: How Health Care Professionals are Changing Chemicals Policy

2011Top of page
12/14/2011The Role of Environmental Chemicals in the Development of Diabetes and Obesity

  • Speakers: Bruce Blumberg, Professor in Departments of Developmental and Cell Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering—University of California, Irvine; and David O. Carpenter, M.D. director of the Institute of Health and Environment, School of Public Health, University at Albany.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
11/30/2011Breathe Free: Protecting Human Health from Toxic Coal Dust

  • Speaker: Michael Hendryx, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University
  • Website | Resources | Recording
10/26/2011Chemical Contaminants in Traditional Foods from St. Lawrence Island: Findings from a new study and update on international actions to eliminate persistent pollutants

  • Speakers: David O. Carpenter, M.D. director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, School of Public Health, University at Albany. Pamela Miller, founder and executive director for Alaska Community Actions on Toxics. Vi Waghiyi, Environmental Health and Justice Program Director for ACAT.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
9/29/2011The Role of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in Decisions that Affect Communities: A Case Study of Proposed Coal Mining in the Matanuska Valley

  • Speakers: Shawna Larson, Alaska Program Director, Pacific Environment. Liz Snyder, Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
8/24/2011Toxic Chemicals that Disrupt Hormones: Impacts to Fish and People

  • Speaker: Dr. Frances Solomon is a fisheries professional in Washington State where she teaches and researches about the biological impacts of toxic water pollutants, pollution prevention and control, and cleanup of contaminated sites.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
8/1/2011Coal Mining in Alaska: Hazards to Human Health and the Environment

  • Speakers: Michele Prevost, M.D.; Jessica Winnestaffer, Environmental Stewardship Department Director of the Native Village of Chickaloon; Dennis Gann, Cook Inletkeeper.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
6/1/2011State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment

5/25/2011International Actions to Eliminate the World’s Most Dangerous Chemicals: Update from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

  • Speakers: Joe DiGangi, Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology, advisor for the International POPs Elimination Network; Pamela Miller, M.En., founder and executive director of ACAT; and Vi Waghiyi, ACAT’s Environmental Health and Justice Program Director.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
4/6/2011Protecting the Health of Alaskans and Our Future Generations through State Chemicals Policy Reform

  • Speaker: Joel A. Tickner, Sc.D., directs the Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
3/16/2011Green Chemistry and Safer Alternatives to Toxic Flame Retardants: Achieving Protective Policies Without Compromising Fire Safety

  • Speakers: Dr. Lauren Heine, Senior Science Advisor with Clean Production Action; Samantha Englishoe, Environmental Health and Justice Organizer of Alaska Community Action on Toxics.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
2/23/2011Mercury Pollution in Alaska: Sources of Contamination, Health Effects, and Global Actions

  • Speakers: Dr. Kendra Zamzow of the Center for Science in Public Participation; Dr. Alan H. Lockwood Professor of Neurology at University of Buffalo; Sarah Petras, MPH, Environmental Health Coordinator of Alaska Community Action on Toxics.
  • Website | Resources | Recording
1/26/2011Health Hazards of Toxic Flame Retardants in Everyday Products: Current Scientific Evidence and the Need for Protective Public Health Policies

  • Speakers: Dr. Arlene Blum of University of California Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry; Dr. Julie B. Herbstman of Columbia University, Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Website | Resources | Recording 
2010Top of page
12/15/2010Bisphenol A (BPA): What it does, where it’s found, and what we can do to reduce our exposure

  • Speakers: Dr. Patricia Hunt of Washington State University; Bobbi Chase Wilding of Clean New York; Melissa Walthers of the Breast Cancer Fund.
  • CHE Website Resources | Recording
11/24/2010Climate Change and Contaminants: Implications and Potential ImpactsSpeakers: Dr. Andrew Gilman of the University of Ottawa’s Population Health Institute; Dr. Bjorn Jenssen head of the Department of Biology of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.CHE Website ResourcesRecording
10/27/2010International Actions to Protect the Health of Arctic Indigenous Peoples: Report on Policy and Science from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic PollutantsSpeakers: Pamela Miller of ACAT; Karl Tupper of Pesticides Action Network of North America; Eva Kruemmel of the Inuit Circumpolar Conferences.CHE Website ResourcesRecording
9/15/2010Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health and the Promise of Green ChemistrySpeaker: Elizabeth Grossman, author of the book “Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health and the Promise of Green Chemistry”.CHE Website
8/11/2010The Hidden Hazards of Coal Development in Alaska: Public Health and Coal Combustion WasteSpeakers: Barb Gottlieb, Deputy Director, Environment & Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Lisa N. Widawsky, Attorney, Environmental Integrity Project.CHE Website Resources Recording
6/30/2010Dispelling the Myth of the “Dose Makes the Poison” A New Science About How Herbicides Affect Health and the Environment: A Case Study of Glyphosate and the Alaska RailroadWarren Porter, Ph.D.—Professor of Zoology and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; Jay Feldman, Director of Beyond Pesticides; Nichelle Harriot, Research Associate with Beyond Pesticides.CHE Website Resources Recording
5/25/2010Breast Cancer: Environmental Links and Opportunities for PreventionSpeaker: Sarah Dunagan, staff scientist at the Silent Spring Institute.CHE Website ResourcesRecording
5/12/2010Coal Development in Alaska: Threats to Human Health Speakers Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD, MSN, RN—Director of the Environmental and Health Program at Physicians for Social Responsibility in Washington D.C.; Tim Leach—Coordinator of the Alaska Coal Working Group; Angela Wade—an Ahtna Athabascan from Chickaloon, Alaska and director the Chickaloon Village Environmental Stewardship Program.CHE Website Resources Recording
3/30/2010Environmental Contaminants and Reproductive Health: Reasons for ConcernSpeakers Sarah Janssen, Ph.D., M.D—staff scientist of Natural Resources Defense Council; Jane Kava, Major of Savoonga, a Yupik village on St. Lawrence Island, and Community Health Researcher for ACAT; Senator Bill Wielechowski and Representative Lindsey Holmes who introduced identical bills in the Alaska legislature to limit the use of PBDEs.CHE Website ResourcesRecording
2/24/2010Mind Disrupted: How Toxic Chemicals May Change How We Think and Who We AreSpeakers Laura Abulafia of American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Sharyle Patton of Commonweal Biomonitoring Project, Ann WingQuest of ARC of Anchorage, and Dr. David O. Carpenter of State University of New York, Albany.CHE Website Resources Recording
1/27/2010How the Chemical Industry Harms Children’s Health: The Need for Protective Public PolicySpeaker Alice Shabecoff, co-author of Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children.CHE Website ResourcesRecording Top of page
12/15/2009Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care: A Snapshot of Chemicals in Doctors and Nurses, Health Implications, and SolutionsSpeakers Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD, MSN, RN, and director of Environment and Health Program at Physicians for Social Responsibility in Washington D.C.; Roxanne Chan, RN, L.Ac and participant in biomonitoring study from Alaska; Bobbi Chase Wilding, Organizing Director at Clean New York, a Project of Women’s Voices for the Earth.Recording
9/30/2009Creating Healthy Schools in Alaska: What You Need to Know to Protect Children from Toxic ExposuresSpeakers Claire L. Barnett, MBA, founder and Executive Director of the Healthy Schools Network, Inc.; Stephen Lester, M.S., Science Director for the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ); Michael Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator for the CHEJ.Recording
8/26/2009What’s On Your Food? Pesticide Residues – Science, Health Effects, and Public PolicySpeakers Jay Feldman, M.S., co-founder of Beyond Pesticides; Jenn Sass, Ph.D., Senior Scientist in the Health and Environmental Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Karl Tupper, M.S., Staff Scientist with Pesticide Action Network of North America.Recording
6/29/2009International Actions to Protect the Health of Arctic Indigenous Peoples: Report on Policy and Science from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic PollutantsSpeakers Andrea Carmen, Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council; Celeste McKay, J.D. Native Women’s Association of Canada; Daryl Ditz, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor, Center for International Law; and Simon Wilson, Ph.D., Scientist, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, Norway.Recording
6/24/2009Birth Defects and Environmental Contamination: Current Science, Research Methods, and Implications for AlaskaSpeakers Ted Schettler, M.D., Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network; Betty Mekdeci, Executive Director, Birth Defects Research for Children.Recording
4/14/2009From Silent Spring to Silent Night: How Chemicals Affect Reproductive HealthSpeaker Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D. Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley. In addition to this statewide teleconference seminar, we co-sponsored two public lectures with Dr. Hayes at the University of Alaska, each with 100 participants. In his keynote lecture for the Undergraduate Research and Discovery Symposium, Dr. Hayes shared his research on the effects of endocrine disrupting pesticides on amphibian growth, development, reproduction and immune function and how these studies predict effects in other wildlife and in humans.Recording
2/24/2009Gold Mining and Mercury in Alaska: A Potential Threat to Fisheries and Public HealthSpeakers Glenn Miller, Ph.D., Uni