October 12th is Children’s Environmental Health Day

The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) established Children’s
Environmental Health (CEH) Day in 2016, to be recognized every second Thursday of October. It
is a day for the children’s environmental health community to raise awareness of children’s
health issues, celebrate successes in the field, share exciting new initiatives, and discuss new
challenges and the road ahead.

Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) will host a one hour
Twitter chat on October 12 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET (11:00 am -12:00 pm
PT), moderated by @CEHN. All are welcome to participate.

Folic acid may mitigate autism risk from pesticides

Researchers at UC Davis and other institutions have shown that mothers who take recommended amounts of folic acid around conception might reduce their children’s pesticide-related autism risk. In the study, children whose mothers took 800 or more micrograms of folic acid (the amount in most prenatal vitamins) had a significantly lower risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – even when their mothers were exposed to household or agricultural pesticides associated with increased risk. The study appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. “We found that if the mom was taking folic acid during the window around conception, the risk associated with pesticides seemed to be attenuated,” said Rebecca J. Schmidt, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and first author on the paper. “Mothers should try to avoid pesticides. But if they live near agriculture, where pesticides can blow in, this might be a way to counter those effects.” In the paper, which used data from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study, researchers looked at 296 children between 2 and 5 who had been diagnosed with ASD and 220 who had developed typically. Mothers were interviewed about their household pesticide exposure during pregnancy, as

Graduate Student Krista Haapanen Represents UC Davis at Annual PEPH Conference

On the 18th and 19th of this month, graduate student Krista Haapanen had the opportunity to represent UC Davis at “Engaging Diverse Partners: Strategies to Address Environmental Public Health,” a joint NIEHS meeting of the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) network and Disaster Research Response (DR2) program. The meeting, which took place on the NIEHS campus in Durham, North Carolina, brought together scholars and advocates from across the country to focus on successful approaches for engaging with diverse partners.

In a series of presentations and small group discussions, participants discussed their unique experiences, opportunities, and challenges working with partners from Community-based and Environmental Justice Organizations, Educators, Healthcare Professionals, Tribal Communities, Decision Makers, and Workers. Liam O’Fallon, Director of the PEPH, placed particular emphasis on not only discussing past work, but also identifying next steps for advancing the NIEHS’ efforts to address environmental public health concerns.