Environmental health experts offer sustaining advice

On the heels of the release of a new study analyzing the presence of potential cancer hazards in ordinary household products, the executive director of the Silent Spring Institute visited Cincinnati to share ideas and environmental health strategies with local professionals and members of the public alike.

Julia Brody spent time at the Civic Garden Center to discuss the impact of environmental health research on community members and on overall community health. She talked about the harsh reality that many everyday products contain chemicals that can be dangerous to humans and stressed the importance of learning how to minimize exposure to toxic chemicals.

“It was a great opportunity for community members to connect with environmental health researchers,” says Sarah Elam, program coordinator at the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Environmental Genetics’ Community Outreach and Engagement Core, one of the sponsors of Brody’s visit.

Public policy makers, UC researchers and members of the Green Umbrella collaborative joined concerned audience members to discuss the power of education and awareness in discussions of environmental health.

While Brody advised audience members to check product labels carefully and look for items with as few chemicals as possible, she acknowledged that in reality, we are already exposed to a variety of potentially harmful substances. Drinking lots of water and staying vigilant about product use are two simple ways to try to keep exposure limited.

“We should have a system for testing chemicals before they go into products,” Brody says, but in lieu of that, an educated public is especially important.

Keeping the public informed about environmental health topics and research are key agenda items for the COEC, Elam says. “We strive to translate science into practical health promotion, disease prevention information, tools and resources.”

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By Elissa Yancey
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