Cumulative Impacts Project
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'Cumulative impacts' refers to the total harm to human health and the environment that results from combinations of assaults and stressors over time. The Cumulative Impacts Project is dedicated to promoting science, law, and policy that will reduce cumulative impacts.
Law Science Policy
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Human Health

RSSNew in the Collection        (Updated June 1)

The Great Barrier Reef is in peril: Federal and Queensland governments must get serious

Development and the Reef: the rules have been lax for too long. Bob Pressey, Alana Grech, Jon C. Day, and Marcus Sheaves, The Conversation. May 28, 2015. Through coastal development, people have changed the Reef's coastal zone dramatically, and the direct result is the decline of the Reef's ecosystems. No single development has tipped the balance, but a litany of poor choices has resulted in a tyranny of small decisions, with a large cumulative impact.

[This article is part of a series examining in depth the various threats to the Great Barrier Reef.] 

Scope: Communities/Environmental Justice, Ecosystems/Climate Change

Focus: Principles, Best practices, Planning & strategies, Methods, Current law

B.C. under pressure to better evaluate and monitor natural resource development

B.C.’s environmental assessment office is doing a better job at monitoring major natural-resource projects such as mines and power generation, B.C.’s auditor general, Carol Bellringer, has reported in a follow-up to a damning 2011 audit that found major gaps. In another report released this past week, Bellringer said government does not adequately consider what are termed “cumulative effects” of natural-resource development. She gave the example of a logging operation, which leads to mining, then cattle grazing and, finally, water draw for mining and agriculture.

Scope: Communities/Environmental Justice, Ecosystems/Climate Change

Focus: Principles, Best practices, Decision tools, Current law

Antibiotic use at early ages linked to diseases in adulthood

Infant antibiotic use linked to adult diseases. Pajau Vangay, Tonya Ward, Jeffrey S. Gerber, et al. Cell Host and Microbe, 17 (5). May 13, 2015. A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota has found a three-way link among antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria, and disease later in life. The imbalances in gut microbes, called dysbiosis, have been tied to infectious diseases, allergies and other autoimmune disorders, and even obesity, later in life. Medical Xpress.
[See the study: Antibiotics, pediatric dysbiosis, and disease]

Scope: Human Health

Focus: Methods, Exposures, Diseases, Decision tools

Social sciences central in understanding environmental health and justice

Social Science Collaboration with Environmental Health. Elizabeth Hoover, Mia Renauld, Michael R. Edelstein, and Phil Brown. Environmental Health Perspectives. May 12, 2015. Social science-environmental health team science has altered the way scientists traditionally explore exposure by pressing for cumulative exposure approaches and providing research data for policy applications. 

Scope: Human Health, Communities/Environmental Justice

Focus: Socioeconomic, Best practices, Methods, Exposures, Ecosystem, Diseases

Working with hormone-mimicking chemicals over the long term could increase lymphoma risk

Occupational exposure to chemicals may up lymphoma risk for men. Kathryn Doyle, Reuters, March 26, 2015. Men who work with hormone-mimicking chemicals for at least 30 years have a higher risk of cancers of the lymph tissue than others, according to a long-term observational study in several European countries. Reuters Health.
[See the study: Occupational exposure to endocrine disruptors and lymphoma risk in a multi-centric European study]

Scope: Human Health, Communities/Environmental Justice

Focus: Best practices, Methods, Exposures, Diseases, Decision tools


Calendar of Events        (Updated May 29)

For a complete calendar of events and more information, click here.

Building Bridges between Transportation and Health

Wednesday June 3, 2015 • 2:00 p.m. Eastern time

EJSCREEN Presentation and Demonstration

Wednesday June 3, 2015 • 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Eastern time

Applying a Health Lens II: The Role and Potential of the Private Sector to Improve Economic Well-Being and Community Outcomes

Thursday June 4, 2015 • 8:00 a.m. Pacific time • Irvine, California and virtual • at the Beckman Center of the National Academies

HHS Climate Justice Conference

Monday and Tuesday, June 8 - 9, 2015 • 9:00 a.m. • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina • at NIEHS, Building 101, Rodbell Auditorium, 111 TW Alexander Drive

The Business Case for Transparency in the Built Environment

Tuesday June 9, 2015 • 1:00 p.m. Eastern time

Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials

Thursday June 11, 2015 • 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. • Washington, DC • at the East William Jefferson Clinton Building, Room 1153, 1201 Constitution Avenue NW

A Story of Developmental Disability, A Story of Health: The Influence of Environmental Exposures and Opportunities for Prevention

Thursday June 11, 2015 • 1:00 p.m. Eastern time

2015 National Health Impact Assessment Meeting

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 16 - 17, 2015 • Washington, DC • at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16TH ST NW

Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened?

Monday June 22, 2015 • 11:30 a.m. • San Francisco, California • 555 Post Street