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SEHN's Top 7 Accomplishments in 2012
1) Women's Congress for Future Generations

SEHN co-convened the Women's Congress for Future Generations this fall to fulfill the special responsibility that women hold as the first environment for Future Generations. One product of the Congress is a living draft of a "Declaration of the Rights Held by Future Generations, and Bill of Responsibilities for Present Generations." This document is being debated, amended, and edited by an open invitation to all who feel called to contribute.

2) Major media

SEHN staff were quoted in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, TIME Magazine, WebMD, AARP Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Mother Jones, and Yes! Magazine, among many other publications

3) Public outreach

In 2012, SEHN staff were featured speakers at 60 events, including TEDx Maui, Bioneers, the American Public Health Association, the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, the Environmental Ministry of Mexico, Yale University, UC Berkeley, and many other major venues.

4) Ecological Model of Health

SEHN looks beyond disease to measure the wellness of our bodies by the wellness of the places we live. Our "ecological health" model encompasses factors like nutrition, stress, and poverty to understand the medical complexity of daily life. In 2012, SEHN's analysis influenced organizations ranging from the New York Academy of Medicine to the AARP.

5) Green chemistry

SEHN is a leader in reforming how toxic chemicals are regulated in California and nationally. We are active members of statewide and national coalitions that highlight the voices of community groups, parents, health professionals, and others to call for safer chemicals in our daily lives.

6) Principles of Perpetual Care

SEHN is creating a space in the law for Future Generations and proposing new institutions such as 'Guardians for Future Generations'. SEHN developed the Principles of Perpetual Care for the Giant goldmine in Canada which has poisoned past and present generations, in addition to threatening ten thousand generations to come. The Principles of Perpetual Care are now being adopted by other communities faced with severely contaminated sites.

7) Cumulative Impacts

The concept of regulating cumulative environmental impacts – not just a chemical-by-chemical or facility-by-facility approach – represents the future of environmental policymaking. SEHN's groundbreaking Cumulative Impacts Work Group holds regular conference calls for practitioners and updates resources on our website. This year, SEHN also prepared and published a paper synthesizing the current state of knowledge about cumulative impacts regulation.

Do you feel called to stand for Future Generations? Do you believe the health of our bodies is intimately tied to the health of our communities, ecosystems, and our political systems? Join with SEHN and become part of our community working for lasting, systemic change. Your gift is vital to continuing this work, and we are so grateful for your support.

New Website:

The Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN) and Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) have launched a new website focused on cumulative impacts, The site assembles the latest science, emerging best practices, analytical tools, and legal shifts that can reduce cumulative harm to the planet, communities, and people. It features a unique search system meant to facilitate self-education on the range of topics related to cumulative impacts.

Cumulative impacts analysis represents a new way of moving forward and finding solutions to the problems of environmental harm. It is a novel organizing framework for thinking about disparate issues such as ecosystem health, individual health, and environmental justice in communities.

The site is a centerpiece of a collaborative project to develop new policy solutions to cumulative impacts. The project focuses on the cumulative effects on public health and ecosystems of many environmental hazards, taking into account other factors such as poverty and stress that increase vulnerability.

Global Conference on Implementing Intergenerational Equity
World Future Program Global Conference on Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo, July 4th Geneva, Switzerland
Carolyn Raffensperger will speak at the Global Conference on Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo in Geneva on July 4th, 2013.
Summer @SEHN!
The June/July 2013 issue of The Networker is now online.
SEHN is proud to have co-convened the Women's Congress of Future Generations in September 2012. One product of the Congress is a living draft of a Declaration of the Rights Held by Future Generations and Bill of Responsibilities for Present Generations.
What happens when pollution lasts forever?
SEHN Board member Rebecca Gasior Altman features SEHN's work in her essay on deep time.
Carolyn Raffensperger speaking at TEDx Maui, on future generations, the precautionary principle, hope and grace.
Youtube video

Carolyn Raffensperger speaking at TEDx Maui, on future generations, the precautionary principle, hope and grace.
Youtube video

A new SEHN video about the other F-word, frack
Youtube video

Principles of Perpetual Care:  The Giant Mine, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Carolyn Raffensperger, Principal author
How can you make wise choices about toxic sites?

Natural Resources Defence Council
Strengthening Toxic Chemical Risk Assessments to Protect Human Health
Co-authored by SEHN Science Director Ted Schettler.
Full report (PDF) here.
Center for Industrial Competitiveness
Environmental Threats to Health: An Ecological Approach Throughout the Lifespan
October 24, 2011
Ted Schettler, Science Director
Watch the talk here.

Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals
SEHN is leading a "Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals" in Providence, RI.

Join moms in your state to show support for a toxic-free future! Moms across the country will participate in local events to ask their Senators to be leaders in protecting American families from toxic chemicals.

Kids and Moms Rally for Safer Chemical Bill News
Carolyn Raffensperger talks with On The Issues about women and environmental health.

The spring 2011 edition of On The Issues magazine is called The Ecology of Women and looks at how women in particular are affected by environmental toxins and it also looks at what women are doing about it.

The interview includes three noted environmental activists including Carolyn Raffensperger.
Listen to internet radio with On the Issues on Blog Talk Radio
Short video by Carloyn Raffensperger
Environmental Law or the Precautionary Principle
Toxic Chemicals: The Safety of Synthetic Fields and How Environmental Laws Are Failing Our Children
Part 1
Part 2
Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis
by Sandra Steingraber
SEHN Board member Sandra Steingraber has published a new book, "Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis."
Acting As If Future Generations Matter
by Carolyn Raffensperger
On The Issues Magazine "The Ecology of Women" is now online.
Synthetic biology, sea garbage, and bees
The April 2012 issue of The Precaution Reporter is now online.
Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging
This report primarily examines the lifetime influences of environmental factors on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and their underlying pathologic mechanisms. Our close look at the science of these diseases shows they are related to a number of features of modern society and that Alzheimer’s disease especially is linked to other serious health problems of modern times, which we call the "western disease cluster."
Help get the poison plastic out of ToysRUs!
Pathways to Breast Cancer: A Case Study for Innovation in Chemical Safety Evaluation
Contributing author, Joe Guth, PhD, JD.
Comments to EPA on pesticide inert ingredient disclosure
Joseph H. Guth JD PhD, April 2010.
Pesticide ingredients are a perfect example of why we need a new definition of "unreasonable risk" that reflects the state of the Earth in 2010. Full disclosure can engage market forces—both the public and industry—in reducing harmful impacts.
Cumulative Impacts: Death-Knell for Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Decisions
Joseph H. Guth, J.D., Ph.D.
In a new article published in the Barry Law Review, SEHN Legal Director Joe Guth argues that we have long assumed we can tolerate the endless growth of small increments of environmental damage in the pursuit of economic growth. But now, the mounting cumulative impact of the human enterprise is threatening the long-term habitability of the biosphere. The law will have to abandon its use of cost-benefit analysis to justify individual environmental impacts and instead adopt the goal of maintaining the functioning ecological systems that we are so dependent upon.
Speaker's Bureau
SEHN staff members, including Carolyn Raffensperger, Ted Schettler, and Joe Guth, are available for speaking engagements, workshops, media contacts, or other collaborations with local groups. Please see Speaker's Bureau for more information.
Advancing The Precautionary Agenda
SEHN is pleased to release a new report, "Advancing The Precautionary Agenda," examining the role of the precautionary principle across sectors. The report draws a picture of shared ideas, challenges, and hopes for integrating precaution in a broad-based fashion.
Join SEHN's Facebook page.

Updates Archive

   Environmental Health News
Environmental Health News Website . . . Archives

   National Geographic's Freshwater
Fracking's Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach
by Sandra Postel in Water Currents on June 28, 2013

   Warning on Warming
Hour Detroit Magazine - "The thinking in the last few years is that air pollution, including ozone, actually can cause the onset of asthma" says Dr. Ted Schettler.

   Yes! Magazine
Yes! Magazine features the work of Ted Schettler and SEHN.

   Microbes on the genetic frontier
Cosmic Log on MSNBC quotes Carolyn Raffensperger in Microbes on the Genetic Frontier.

   Maker scraps methyl iodide
VICTORY! Pesticide manufacturer pulls dangerous product from the market. SEHN Science Director Ted Schettler, in coalition with many others, has been pushing for safer alternatives to methyl iodide for more than five years. Santa Cruz Sentinel

   Greenwire Chemicals article
Groups recommend changes in federal risk assessments
SEHN/ NRDC report co-authored by Ted Schettler
Feb 22 - Greenwire requires a subscription to view

   'Green Chemistry'
'Green Chemistry' Law Has Lawyers, Industry on Alert
The Record, quoting SEHN Legal Director Joe Guth.

   Fracking and Other Disasters
Huffington Post piece by SEHN Board member Peter Montague, citing SEHN legal director Joe Guth.

   Environmentally Responsible Practices
A Healthy Environment and Healthy Aging

   Video featuring Ted Schettler
Food Matters: Clinicians Address an Industrialized Food System Gone Awry YouTube

   Study quotes Ted Schettler
Biomimicry: How Copying Nature Leads To Healthier Humans, Planet

Carolyn Raffensperger will speak at TEDx Maui, Jan 22

   Michelle Obama: "First Mom" Needs to Stand up   to the Food Industry

   Can of Soup a Day Linked to High BPA Levels in
But Study Doesn't Show if High Bisphenol A Levels Affect Health
By Denise Mann, Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
WebMD Health News - Nov 22, 2011

   SEHN's Katie Silberman interviewed
The Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals in Providence RI
Video clips :47 - 1:21 and :26 - 1:18

   Environmental Science & Technology and
   Chemical Watch
Stress–Pollution Interactions: An Emerging Issue in Children's Health Research. The article cites SEHN.

   Toxic Brain Chemical Must Be Banned
Health Professionals Demand EPA Take Action

   The battle over bisphenol A (BPA)
How Lobbyists Are Spinning Weak Science to Defend BPA
They're arguing that a new study shows canned foods to be safe, even when lined with BPA. The problem? That's not what the study says.
The article quotes Ted Schettler.

   15 Toxic Threats
Danger! 15 Toxic Threats That Are Putting Your Kids at Risk
Find out where hazards are hiding at home, on the playground and in parks -- and how to protect your kids from them.
Study quotes Ted Schettler.

   Researchers examine cumulative health risks
"Now the Science and Environmental Health Network - a nonprofit that promotes a more precautionary approach for environmental and public health policy - and the Collaborative on Health and the Environment - an international partnership to address environmental health issues - have launched a national project to address the problem of multiple stresses on ecosystems, communities, and human health. The project’s website ( assembles information on the latest science, emerging best practices , analytical tools, and legal headway and obstacles."
New website to address cumulative harm on communities and the environment
The Green Blog

   Richmond, CA adopts Precautionary Principle
Richmond Confidential website

   Group Urging State To Protect Children From
   Toxic Toys
There's a local push to tackle a national problem. Dozens gathered at the State Capitol to urge lawmakers to protect children from toxic toys and other products. Arsenic, mercury and carcinogens- they're all toxic chemicals, but parents say it's impossible to know if these chemicals are in the products they buy for their children.

   Living Hero Podcast - Conversations with
   Living Luminaries and Mavericks
By Carolyn Raffensperger
Where's the Imagination? — Synthesis Series #1
"We need a new imagination for how we are going to live together, how we're going to do business, what we're going to permit in the body politic, as well as the human body. It is that failure of imagination that I think is the biggest roadblock that I've encountered."
Link to site and download.

In The News Archive

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