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 29)

Certain properties of environmental contaminates increase fetus vulnerability and exposure

Fetuses more vulnerable to some environmental contaminants penetrating into cord blood. Medical Xpress. June 26, 2015. A new research featured in the Environmental Science and Technology published by the American Chemical Society suggests that the fetus is more vulnerable to some pollutants with certain properties because they penetrate further into the feto-maternal system. 
[See the study: Partitioning behavior of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants among feto-maternal bloods and tissues]

Scope: Human Health, Communities/Environmental Justice

Focus: Exposures

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


Calendar of Events        (Updated June 29)

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

Scientists as Stronger Community Partners: Hear Me Out: Making Meaningful Connections through Storytelling

Monday June 29, 2015 • 3:00 p.m. Eastern time

Call for Abstracts
New Partners for Smart Growth

Deadline: Tuesday June 30, 2015

Changing Perspectives: 1st International Conference on Transport & Health

Monday through Wednesday, July 6 - 8, 2015 • London, England

Community Air Monitoring

Thursday July 9, 2015 • 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Eastern time

NEHA Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition 2015

Monday through Wednesday, July 13 - 15, 2015 • Orlando, Florida • at the Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive

Towards a New Global Commission on Environmental Pollution

Tuesday July 14, 2015 • 1:00 p.m. Eastern time

Addressing Health Disparities through the National Prevention Strategy and Partnerships

Thursday July 16, 2015 • 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Eastern time

Collaborative Negotiations and Conflict Management for Environmental Professionals

Thursday and Friday, June 16 - 17, 2015 • 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. • Bellevue, Washington • at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, 2102 Bellevue Way SE

2015 Community Involvement Training Conference

Tuesday through Thursday, August 4 - 6, 2015 • Atlanta, Georgia