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.
|2014||Top of page|
|5/28/14||Breast Cancer Prevention: Beyond Pink Ribbons (CHE-AK Call #84)|
|4/30/14||Acid Rock Drainage and Water Quality: Potential Environmental Health Impacts in Alaska with Dr. Kendra Zamzow (CHE-AK Call #83)|
|3/25/14||Exposure to Toxic Chemicals among Pregnant Women and Children: The Role of Prevention with Dr. Tracey Woodruff (CHE-AK Call #82)|
|3/12/14||Children’s Environmental Health: A discussion of the latest science and evidence-based advocacy with Dr. Ruth Etzel (CHE-AK Call #81)|
|2/5/14||Fire Safety without Harm: How new flammability standards in California will protect the health and environment of Alaskans (CHE-AK Call #80)|
|2013||Top of page|
|12/4/13||The Emerging Science of Epigenetics: How Environmental Exposures Today May Affect Our Future Generations (CHE-AK Call #79)|
|11/13/13||Dirty Coal: From Mining to Mercury Contamination – Alaska to Asia and Back(CHE-AK Call #78)|
|10/16/13||Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention, recorded 10/16/13. (CHE-AK Call #77)|
|9/18/13||Asking the Right Questions: Are Women of Childbearing Age at Risk of Exposure to Multiple Pollutants, recorded 9/18/13. (CHE-AK Call #76)|
|8/14/13||The 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)|
|8/8/13||Follow up disussion to call on 7/24: Lessons from Libby, Montana: Mining, Asbestos, and Public Health (CHE-AK Call #74 discussion)|
|7/24/13||Lessons from Libby, Montana: Mining, Asbestos, and Public Health (CHE-AK Call #74)|
|6/26/13||The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement: A conversation with activist and author Kate Davies, (CHE-AK Call #73)|
|5/29/13||The Story of Camp Lejeune: Contaminated Drinking Water, Cancer Clusters, and the Struggle for Justice, (CHE-AK Call #72)|
|04/24/13||Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the Arctic Environment: Sources, Transport, and Health Concerns for Fish, Wildlife, and People, (CHE-AK Call #71)|
|03/06/13||Environmental Exposures and Autism: The Interplay Between Genes, Environment and Health Status|
|02/13/13||Toxic Chemicals in Your Home: New Study Shows Hazardous Flame Retardants in Couches on the Rise|
|02/06/13||Nurses in the Halls of Power: The why, what, and how of nurse advocacy for safer chemicals|
|01/23/13||The Toll of Alaska’s Coal: Health Impacts of Coal Export|
|2012||Top of page|
|11/28/12||Pollution from Pesticides: How Transnational Chemical Corporations Violate Basic Human Rights|
|10/24/12||The Unnatural History of Breasts: Industrial Chemicals, Breast Cancer, & Early Puberty|
|9/26/12||Preventing Harm to Children – The Healthy Schools Movement|
|9/05/12||Protecting Public Health in Alaska – The Opportunity of the Safe Chemicals Act|
|7/25/12||Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – New Directions in Science and Policy|
|6/28/12||Hidden Chemicals in Consumer Products: What’s Not on the Label|
|5/30/12||Little Changes: A discussion with the Author Kristi Marsh on How to avoid Chemicals in Your Daily Life|
|4/25/12||Assessing the Public Health Impacts of Coal Transportation and Export: From Whatcom County, Washington to Seward, Alaska|
|3/26/12||Upholding our Human Right to Live in a Healthy Environment|
|3/21/12||Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Products: Health Effects of Flame Retardants (PBDEs) and State Policies to Prevent Exposures|
|2/15/2012||Coal’s Assault on Human Health|
|1/11/2012||Science and Action to Protect Public Health: How Health Care Professionals are Changing Chemicals Policy|
|2011||Top of page|
|12/14/2011||The Role of Environmental Chemicals in the Development of Diabetes and Obesity|
|11/30/2011||Breathe Free: Protecting Human Health from Toxic Coal Dust|
|10/26/2011||Chemical Contaminants in Traditional Foods from St. Lawrence Island: Findings from a new study and update on international actions to eliminate persistent pollutants|
|9/29/2011||The Role of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in Decisions that Affect Communities: A Case Study of Proposed Coal Mining in the Matanuska Valley|
|8/24/2011||Toxic Chemicals that Disrupt Hormones: Impacts to Fish and People|
|8/1/2011||Coal Mining in Alaska: Hazards to Human Health and the Environment|
|6/1/2011||State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment|
|5/25/2011||International Actions to Eliminate the World’s Most Dangerous Chemicals: Update from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants|
|4/6/2011||Protecting the Health of Alaskans and Our Future Generations through State Chemicals Policy Reform|
|3/16/2011||Green Chemistry and Safer Alternatives to Toxic Flame Retardants: Achieving Protective Policies Without Compromising Fire Safety|
|2/23/2011||Mercury Pollution in Alaska: Sources of Contamination, Health Effects, and Global Actions|
|1/26/2011||Health Hazards of Toxic Flame Retardants in Everyday Products: Current Scientific Evidence and the Need for Protective Public Health Policies|
|2010||Top of page|
|12/15/2010||Bisphenol A (BPA): What it does, where it’s found, and what we can do to reduce our exposure|
|11/24/2010||Climate Change and Contaminants: Implications and Potential Impacts||Speakers: 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|
|10/27/2010||International Actions to Protect the Health of Arctic Indigenous Peoples: Report on Policy and Science from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants||Speakers: Pamela Miller of ACAT; Karl Tupper of Pesticides Action Network of North America; Eva Kruemmel of the Inuit Circumpolar Conferences.||CHE Website ResourcesRecording|
|9/15/2010||Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health and the Promise of Green Chemistry||Speaker: Elizabeth Grossman, author of the book “Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health and the Promise of Green Chemistry”.||CHE Website|
|8/11/2010||The Hidden Hazards of Coal Development in Alaska: Public Health and Coal Combustion Waste||Speakers: Barb Gottlieb, Deputy Director, Environment & Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Lisa N. Widawsky, Attorney, Environmental Integrity Project.||CHE Website Resources Recording|
|6/30/2010||Dispelling 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 Railroad||Warren 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|
|5/25/2010||Breast Cancer: Environmental Links and Opportunities for Prevention||Speaker: Sarah Dunagan, staff scientist at the Silent Spring Institute.||CHE Website ResourcesRecording|
|5/12/2010||Coal 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|
|3/30/2010||Environmental Contaminants and Reproductive Health: Reasons for Concern||Speakers 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|
|2/24/2010||Mind Disrupted: How Toxic Chemicals May Change How We Think and Who We Are||Speakers 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|
|1/27/2010||How the Chemical Industry Harms Children’s Health: The Need for Protective Public Policy||Speaker Alice Shabecoff, co-author of Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children.||CHE Website ResourcesRecording Top of page|
|12/15/2009||Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care: A Snapshot of Chemicals in Doctors and Nurses, Health Implications, and Solutions||Speakers 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|
|9/30/2009||Creating Healthy Schools in Alaska: What You Need to Know to Protect Children from Toxic Exposures||Speakers 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|
|8/26/2009||What’s On Your Food? Pesticide Residues – Science, Health Effects, and Public Policy||Speakers 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|
|6/29/2009||International Actions to Protect the Health of Arctic Indigenous Peoples: Report on Policy and Science from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants||Speakers 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|
|6/24/2009||Birth Defects and Environmental Contamination: Current Science, Research Methods, and Implications for Alaska||Speakers Ted Schettler, M.D., Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network; Betty Mekdeci, Executive Director, Birth Defects Research for Children.||Recording|
|4/14/2009||From Silent Spring to Silent Night: How Chemicals Affect Reproductive Health||Speaker 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|
|2/24/2009||Gold Mining and Mercury in Alaska: A Potential Threat to Fisheries and Public Health||Speakers Glenn Miller, Ph.D., Uni|