Communicating about potential hazards requires delicacy and clarity, the PRHE researchers and others say, with full acknowledgment of the limits of current scientific understanding.
Called The Clinic, and hosted on Mission Loc@l (a San Francisco-based online news website run by the journalism program at the University of California, Berkeley), the blog contains essays by PRHE researchers and program fellows on topics such as possible links between estrogenic chemicals and uterine fibroids, the decision whether to buy organic or conventional produce, and placental transfer of chemicals.
To gauge what practitioners know about the impact toxic chemicals can have on their patients' health, PRHE is currently partnering with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to survey its membership across the country and to raise awareness of environmental health issues.
PRHE is partnering with California's statewide biomonitoring program to measure more than 100 chemicals in several dozen mother--infant pairs and see if they can tease out primary routes of exposure and potential relationships between exposures and birth outcomes.
But even once people know about environmental exposures, other underlying issues such as financial- insecurity can thwart efforts to change behaviors and consumer choices, PRHE researchers and others point out.