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Winter 2022 ISCHE Newsletter

Welcome to the Winter 2022 ISCHE newsletter. Please read below for the latest updates outlining what is happening with ISCHE in the world:
  1. Message from ISCHE President - Dr. Wendy Heiger-Bernays
  2. Welcome Interim VP - Dr. Christine Till
  3. Renew your 2022 Membership 
  4. Hardingasete, Norway - June 13th-17th, 2022
  5. Fluoride Committee - Open Call for Nominations 
  6. Climate Action Committee Updates
  7. Social Media Job Opportunities and More

 Message from ISCHE President - Dr. Wendy Heiger-Bernays


As we head into 2022, we face a myriad of challenges. Some are daunting - climate, COVID, chemicals/plastics and their impacts on children across the Globe. And some of these are the challenges in our day-to-day lives as we worry about our own children, our parents, our friends, our partners and our communities. I am buoyed by the commitment that I see - in our Board members, our Senior Advisors and our members. Our work in environmental health has never been easy, but we are driven by the science demonstrating the impact of the environment on children and the potential for improvement!  In 2022 we have many opportunities, some are highlighted in this newsletter, to work collaboratively towards our collective goals - I am hopeful that you will be able to participate in one or many of the amazing efforts in which ISCHE is engaged. And, if you are not able at this time, perhaps send me an email, say hello and let me know if you think we are heading in the right direction! 

Wishing you a year of good health!
Wendy

 Welcome Interim Vice President: Dr. Christine Till

Dr. Christine Till is an associate professor of Psychology at York University and clinical neuropsychologist. In 2019, she was awarded the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award at York University.

Dr. Till has been spearheading a research initiative funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and NIEHS to examine the neurotoxicity of fluoride in pregnancy and across the lifespan. Her research leverages epidemiological cohorts from Canada, the USA, and Mexico City. Her research on fluoride has been published in leading scientific journals and continues to attract international attention for its public health relevance.

Renew Your 2022 ISCHE Membership Today!


The start of the new year means it's time to renew your ISCHE membership. Dues are the primary support for ISCHE, and allow us to focus on programs and member services. ISCHE dues are $200 for regular members and $50 for students and members from low-to-middle income countries. If you are renewing your membership, follow the steps below. New members can visit the ISCHE website to apply for a membership online. Members looking to change their membership type should email ISCHE coordinator, Emily Hammel (eghammel@bu.edu). 

We are excited to hold the annual retreat in Hardingasete, Norway in June 2022. You must be a paid ISCHE member to register, and spots will go quickly when registration opens. Don’t wait – renew your membership today!

  1. Log in to your ISCHE account.
  2. Navigate to the Member Dues page from the Members drop down menu, then select the box on the right beneath Outstanding Dues
  3. You have the option of paying for a 2-year membership, which will keep your membership up to date through December 31st, 2023* (student membership types excluded).
  4. Consider making a tax deductible gift to support ISCHE and future scholarships for the annual retreat.
  5. Click continue to proceed to billing information.
*Alternatively, you may select the recurring payments option on the billing information page to automatically renew your 1-year membership every year on Dec 1st. 

If you have any issues with renewing your membership please reach out to the ISCHE coordinator, Emily Hammel. 

Updates on 2022 ISCHE Retreat in Norway

Save the date! ISCHE will host the previously planned retreat in Hardingasete, Norway on June 13th-17th. Registration will open in late February. 

Previously registered attendees who opted to keep their registration active from 2020 will receive an invitation to confirm their registration status no later than January 31st. 

Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination including boosters against COVID-19. ISCHE will continue to monitor safety, health, and travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local health authorities. ISCHE will continue to evaluate based on these data and will keep members apprised of any changes as necessary. 

If you have any questions regarding your current registration status, please contact ISCHE coordinator, Emily Hammel (eghammel@bu.edu). 

Call for Self-nominations to Membership on the ISCHE Fluoride Committee

At its November meeting, the ISCHE Council approved the charge to a committee that will evaluate the evidence that prenatal and early postnatal exposure to fluoride is associated with neurodevelopmental toxicity. The approved charge is as follows:

The ISCHE Fluoride Committee: Rationale and Charge 

Rationale: The field of public health continues to evolve and must always be open to review of existing policies as new evidence accumulates.  Fluoride policy has been a contentious topic for many decades.  Recent epidemiologic studies suggest that adverse neurodevelopmental effects occur at current population levels of prenatal and early childhood exposure. There is no consensus, however, on whether these studies are sufficiently conclusive to warrant consideration of whether the purported benefits of fluoride exposure to pregnant women and young children outweigh the risks.  Given the enormous implications for public health and practice, it is urgent that all aspects of this issue be carefully evaluated by those with the requisite expertise.  ISCHE can contribute to this discussion by bringing to bear the knowledge and experience of its members in conducting epidemiological studies of the neurodevelopmental toxicity of chemicals.  

 

Charge: The ISCHE Fluoride committee will focus on the potential neurodevelopmental toxicity of fluoride exposure in the prenatal and early postnatal period (i.e., prior to tooth eruption, approximately 6 months of age).  The committee will prepare a statement that:

  1. Summarizes the current state of epidemiologic research on fluoride neurodevelopmental toxicity (including characteristics of the dose-effect relationship, potential critical windows of vulnerability, sensitive subgroups, etc.).
  2. Identifies critical knowledge gaps about fluoride’s neurodevelopmental toxicity. 
  3. Proposes strategies that could enhance the rigor of future studies of neurodevelopmental toxicity and fill the knowledge gaps.  
The ISCHE Fluoride committee will not itself evaluate the evidence regarding the benefits of fluoride exposure in pregnant women and young children.  At the discretion of the Chair, however, the committee can include as part of its statement consensus/position/policy statements published by dental and pediatric organizations (e.g., the American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC, the US Preventive Services Task Force) on the use of fluoride exposure in the prenatal and early postnatal period. 

Committee Selection and Membership: The Committee will include up to 10 members and will meet by teleconference (Zoom) once per month for two hours for a period of approximately one year. This might be extended depending on the Committee’s progress. Some work will likely be required between Committee meetings. Although the Committee will be limited to ISCHE members, individuals with critical expertise that ISCHE members do not have will be consulted on an as-needed basis. The product will be a statement that addresses the three elements of the charge. The statement will be submitted to the ISCHE Council for review (which might include requests for revision) and approval to submit it for publication. Members of the Committee will be listed as authors of the statement “on behalf of ISCHE.”

For the Committee to complete the work reflected in the charge, expertise will be needed in environmental epidemiology, neurotoxicology, neurodevelopment, exposure assessment, fluoride pharmacokinetics, pregnancy, and public health policy.  If you are interested in applying for membership on the Committee, please send your CV and a brief description (<250 words) of your expertise relevant to the Committee’s charge to the chair, David Bellinger, who will make the decisions about the composition of the Committee. All materials should be sent to David Bellinger (david.bellinger@childrens.harvard.edu) with the subject: ISCHE Fluoride Committee by February 1st, 2022. 

Early career members are encouraged to apply.  Applicants should disclose any public statements (including publications, testimony) that he or she have made, if any, pertaining to fluoride developmental neurotoxicity. Such activity will not necessarily disqualify one from membership on the ISCHE Committee but will be helpful in ensuring that the Committee is balanced in terms of public positions that Committee members have taken. The disclosures will be provided to all Committee members, as is routinely done for committees of the National Academies and other organizations. These disclosures will also be included in the publication of the ISCHE policy statement on fluoride.

 

Climate Action Committee Updates

We want to hear from you! ISCHE's Climate Action Committee is preparing a survey to better understand members' attitudes towards reducing their carbon emissions, particularly through travel. This stems from the actions outlined in ISCHE's 2020 commitment to reduce the organization's carbon footprint. Click here to read the EHP commentary written by members of the Climate Action Committee in 2020.

Read more about the Climate Action Committee's work on the ISCHE webpage and contact Brenda Eskenazi, Ruth Etzel, or Kam Sripada if you are interested in joining. 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND MORE

Have you recently published, or do you have new research coming out? Have you been quoted in a recent news article? You can have your work or appearance featured on ISCHE's social media platforms! Email Rivka Green (rrgreen@york.ca) to disseminate your work on ISCHE's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms. ISCHE collaborates with Little Things Matter Productions to help translate children's environmental health research into accessible, relevant, and actionable messaging for a global audience.

Little Things Matter-ISCHE’s social media team is hiring! We are seeking part-time student researchers or children’s environmental health advocates to help produce social media content for our platforms. Interested candidates should contact Rivka Green for more information. 

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