We published five peer-reviewed scientific papers and editorials, an incredible record for a staff of our size. We continue to build on our research strategic plan to identify chemical suspects, major exposure sources, and opportunities for policy action.
We showed that food packaging is the major source of exposure to BPA (estrogen mimic) and the phthalate DEHP (affects male genital development and sperm count).
We showed that 6 common chemicals can alter breast development, impair breastfeeding, and increase breast cancer susceptibility.
We showed that low-income, low-education community members can understand and act on personal exposure information.
The Institute of Medicine report on environmental factors and breast cancer draws substantially on Silent Spring Institute’s research. Executive Director Julia Brody was a reviewer of the report and her editorial in Environmental Health News received much attention.
Our former staff and interns had great career advancements, spurred by their work with us. Ami Zota won a National Institutes of Health career development award. Robin Dodson won the Art beCAUSE Foundation Seed the Scientist Award. Liesel Seryak won the International Society for Exposure Science Young Scientist Award. Allan Just finished his PhD at Columbia and is coming to Harvard. Sarah Dunagan finished a year as an Environmental Leadership Program fellow. Each of these talented scientists is continuing work started at Silent Spring!
In the next few months, we will publish our study of 65 hormone disruptors and asthma-related chemicals in 50 types of household products (cleaners, cosmetics, personal care). We found 11 “alternative” products that were free of target chemicals. But typical products lead to multiple exposures. Product labels need to be more complete in order for consumers to make choices about their own exposure.
At US EPA’s request, we will share Household Exposure Study data with them, so they can better estimate population-wide health risks.
We are working with University of California, Berkeley, and EPA scientists to develop faster chemicals testing methods needed to advance green chemistry.
We will report on levels of carcinogenic flame retardants that are increasing in use.