Raising Healthy Children

The Newsletter of the Children's Environmental Health Center                    August 2011

Our Mission: Protecting Children Against Environmental Threats to Health

Dr. Landrigan

Dr. Philip J. Landrigan

Director, CEHC

In This Issue
CEHC Establishes International Partnership
Air Pollution to Increase in Connecticut
Congrats to Dr. Galvez!
About the CEHC
 

Dear Friends,

 

Happy August from CEHC!

 

We hope you are enjoying your summer vacations, time with family, and everything else that summer entails. As always, our Center's team has been busy! Just last week, Prof. Dr. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand traveled to Mount Sinai School of Medicine to establish an international partnership that will improve children's environmental health. Read on to learn more about this exciting collaboration.

 

In the August issue of Raising Healthy Children

  • We highlight the Princess' visit to Mount Sinai, and we provide a visual recap of the event.
  • We summarize a recent finding by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which lists Connecticut, Texas, California, Washington, DC, and 11 other northeast states as areas that will experience the largest increases in air pollution. CEHC's Perry Sheffield, MD, MPH comments, and she provides tips to protect your children from associated health risks.
  • And finally, we congratulate CEHC's Maida Galvez, MD, MPH, who was elected President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, Chapter 3.

On behalf of our team, I send my regards to you and your family.

 

Sincerely,

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc

Director, Children's Environmental Health Center

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

 

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pjl and eileen

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc and Eileen Solomon, Director of Special Events at Mount Sinai Medical Center, greet HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand.


Dr. Landrigan Establishes International Partnership to Improve Children's Environmental Health


Prof. Dr. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand travels to Mount Sinai to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.    

  

On July 25, Prof. Dr. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol of Thailand traveled to Mount Sinai to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, establishing a collaborative framework between Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Chulabhorn Research Institute, the Princess's institution.  

 

Like Mount Sinai, the Chulabhorn Research Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Children's Environmental Health, and this partnership was established as a result of Dr. Landrigan's extensive collaboration with their research team. Prof. Dr. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol has a PhD in chemistry, and she established the Chulabhorn Research Institute in 1987.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding will facilitate cooperation and the exchange of information to improve children's environmental health, especially in the areas of research and education.  

  

Following the signing ceremony, researchers from the Children's Environmental Health Center and the Mount Sinai Global Health Program outlined their work for the Princess. See highlights from the event below:

  

signing

Prof. Dr. HRH Princess Chulabhorn Maidhol and Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, shake hands in collaboration.

damiris and hrh

Damiris Perez, MPA outlines her work on improving pediatric environmental education for Spanish-speaking populations.

pjl and thai team

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc tours the Princess and her staff around Mount Sinai.

Air Pollution Predicted to Increase in Connecticut; CEHC's Dr. Perry Sheffield Comments

Perry Sheffield, MD, MPH tells The Day that climate change will bring threats to children's health, specifically allergies and respiratory problems.

 

According to an analysis published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on August 3rd, Connecticut is one of 13 states that should expect the largest increases in air pollution over the coming decades as a result of climate change. Such changes include an increase in the number of poor air quality days, thick smog, and higher temperatures.

How do these conditions pose risk to human health?

  • They allow mosquito-borne diseases to fester.
  • They enable droughts and flooding.
  • They worsen asthma and other respiratory problems.
  • They increase the number of allergens present.
  • While the elderly and children with respiratory issues and allergies are at greater risk, healthy people can also become vulnerable in these conditions.  

"The impact of climate change on children's health... should not be underestimated," insists CEHC's Perry Sheffield, MD, MPH. First and foremost, she urges the government to conduct better analyses of the exact neighborhoods that will experience the highest levels of smog and allergens.  

Other simple steps include: 

  • Spend more time indoors on days with low air quality and high pollen count. Keep windows shut on these days. Use AIRNow, the EPA's air quality index, to monitor air quality.
  • Vacuum the house, wash bedding, and shower frequently to prevent the accumulation of pollen.

Aside from the smaller steps practiced at home, officials can also implement changes to make our communities greener. To create a healthier community, Dr. Sheffield suggests planting more trees with low pollen levels, creating more walking trails and bus lanes, and providing better mass transit. 

Learn more about air pollution in the Day or view climate change maps at the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Congratulations to CEHC's
Dr. Maida Galvez!


Maida Galvez, MD, MPH is elected president of the American Academy of Pediatrics,  

District II, Chapter 3.   

 

CEHC's Maida Galvez, MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) has been elected the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), District II, Chapter 3. 

 

Dr. Galvez is a graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and one of the nation's experts in environmental pediatrics. She is well-known for her work on the urban built environment and its effect on children's health, especially obesity. 

 

District II, Chapter 3 of the AAP governs over several boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, and several counties in New York state, including Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. Dr. Galvez will serve as president from 2013 to 2015.

 

Read more from Dr. Galvez as she comments on new research in pediatrics, published yesterday in Reuters Health.

 

ABOUT THE CHILDREN'S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CENTER (CEHC)

 

Formally established in 2007, the Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center builds on Dr. Philip J. Landrigan's three decades of work in children's environmental health and fifteen years of research in environmental pediatrics at Mount Sinai. CEHC has established itself as a leading source of scientifically credible information on issues related to children's health and the environment.


Our mission is to protect children against environmental threats to health. We do this by guiding, supporting, and building the programs of the Department Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Current projects include:

The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), our clinical arm which cares for children with toxic environmental exposures.

 

Pilot Project Research Grants Program, CEHC's signature program, providing seed grants for Mount Sinai-wide initiatives into the environmental causes of learning disabilities (including autism), asthma, obesity/diabetes, and childhood cancer.


The Endocrine Disruptors Project, studying the effects of endocrine disruptors on neurodevelopmental disorders, obesity, early puberty, and other alterations in the proper functioning of the endocrine system.

 

The Autism and Learning Disabilities Discovery and Prevention Project, a multi-disciplinary, inter-departmental study recently launched to explore the link between neurodevelopmental disorders and environmental exposures.

 
Growing Up Healthy in East Harlem, tracing the effects of pollutant exposures on children's health in the inner city.
SUPPORTING CEHC
To make a donation to support CEHC's work, please send a check payable to:

 

The Mount Sinai School of Medicine

 ATTN: Children's Environmental Health Center

 

Mail to:
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai Development, Box 1049
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029

CONTACT CEHC
Telephone: 212-824-7125
Mail: One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1057, New York, NY 10029 

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