September 2008 MedBytes: Environmental Health

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Tex Med . 2008;104(9):64.

Research increasingly points to pollutants as the cause of many health problems and diseases. These Web sites provide information and tools physicians can use to counsel patients on the dangers of certain environmental toxins and to brush up on the latest scientific findings.

American Academy of Pediatrics
For a comprehensive collection of resources on the effects of environmental health hazards on children, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  Web site . There you can access the  AAP Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence Second Hand Smoke InitiativesChildren, Terrorism, and Disasters: A Compilation of Resources and MaterialsCommittee on Environmental Health ; and  Partnership to Establish an Environmental Health Safety Net for Children . You can also link to  PDF s on  ambient air pollutionenvironmental tobacco smokelead exposureenvironmental mercurymolds , and  ultraviolet light . Educational resources for parents include tips for protecting children from environmental hazards in the home and information on determining whether children should be screened for lead. And you can share with patients audio files that provide information on pesticides in the food supply and spring cleaning instructions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The  Environmental Health Web page  of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contains public health facts and information about toxic substances, as well as education and training resources in environmental medicine and public health. To the right of the page, you'll find links to Campaigns & Programs covering  air pollution and respiratory healthenvironmental public health trackinghealthy placesnewborn screening quality assurance , and more. Data & Statistics will direct you to  asthma data and surveillancecruise ship outbreak summariesenvironmental public health indicators , and more. Learn about the CDC's  National Center for Environmental Health .

National Institutes of Health
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aims to understand the environment's impact on the development and progression of disease. On the  Web site , click on  Health Topics  for an in-depth examination of eight common diseases and conditions that may be strongly linked to environmental exposure -  asthmaautismbreast cancercancerlung diseaselupusParkinson's disease , and  reproductive health . The For Health Professionals portion of the site hosts the following PDFs:  Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma: Guidelines for Health Care ProvidersGuidelines for the Protection and Training of Workers Engaged in Maintenance and Remediation Work Associated with MoldPesticide Safety Handbook , and  Teaching Manual: Pesticide Safety . In addition, MedlinePlus, a service of NIH and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, contains an ample collection of journal articles, research findings, reference materials, news coverage, clinical trials, and other vulnerable resources on its  Environmental Health Web site .

Texas Department of State Health Services
Since 2001, the  Texas Environmental Health Institute  (TEHI) has been examining ways to identify, treat, manage, prevent, and reduce health problems associated with environmental contamination. The institute is a joint venture of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. On the TEHI Web site, you can learn more about projects funded by the institute, including  lead exposure in West Dallas and Cadillac Heightstoxic release inventorydatabase of environmental hazardsscreening for asbestos-related lung diseases associated with W.R. Grace & Co./Texas Vermiculiteassessing the role of prenatal lead exposure on infant blood lead levels , and more.

World Health Organization
The  Environmental Health Web page of the World Health Organization features resources aimed at preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments across the globe. Health care professionals will find the  Programmes and Projects  section helpful. Click on  Public Health and Environment  to be routed to technical information about  ultraviolet radiationenvironmental health in emergencies , and  outdoor air pollution . Also available are links to newsletters and listservs that focus on children's health, global occupational health, water sanitation, and emergency response.

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, e-mail  Crystal Conde . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.

 

 

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