EOH Department News

Wenzel, Kagan, Newman are Highly Cited Researchers for 2021

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Congratulations to EOH’s Sally Wenzel and Valerian Kagan and EPI’s Anne Newman for their inclusion in the 2021 list of Highly Cited Researchers. The list identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. A total of 18 researchers from Pitt were included in this year's list.   

Misled on lead: The campaign to keep toxic lead in hunting ammo and fishing tackle

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - EOH student Sam Totoni authored a two-part feature series to inform the public. “Hunting and fishing have a science denial problem. Special interest groups are misleading hunters and anglers—some of the country's proudest conservationists—into poisoning wildlife. Hunters are also being misled into risking the health of their families and recipients of donated meat. Even small amounts of lead affect nearly every organ ... 

Wenzel talks about endotypes and precision medicine in podcast

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PHYSIOL REV - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel is a world authority on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, a chronic disease with significant implications to public health. She talks about her paper “Are we meeting the promise of endotypes and precision medicine in asthma?” on a recent episode of the Physiological Reviews podcast.  

Lichtveld touts equity in climate change science at NAM annual meeting

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“The absolute bottom line for us in the area of science is that we are responsible for making climate and health science work for those most vulnerable. Across all presentations, every single presenter talked about issues of equity and issues of vulnerability,” Lichtveld said. “A climate focus must include science, resilience, protecting public health, and special emphasis on environmental justice."   

Lichtveld on how Huntington Beach Oil Spill Might Affect Human Health

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VERYWELL HEALTH - Breathing crude oil vapors can cause coughing, throat and nose irritation, dizziness, headache, and nausea, according to a 2016 medical study of the DWH clean-up workers. This is particularly worrisome for vulnerable populations like children, older adults and people with lung conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, says Dean Maureen Lichtveld.  

Clues about how society emerges from COVID-19 can be gleaned by looking back on 1918 Spanish flu, Burke and other experts say

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Between Sept. 22 and 24, noses in Beaver County did what they are supposed to do, said EOH’s James Fabisiak, director for the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities. They alarmed. “Your nose is actually designed to inform you if something is wrong,” Fabisiak said. But there’s a catch: “You’re incredibly good at finding things with your nose, but you’re not that good at knowing what it is” or building a risk profi... 

Shell cracker plant confrirms a sweet-smelling odor came from its Beaver County facility

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - "Factual identification of the actual agents responsible for or released in association with the reported smells should be a high priority, in the absence of which assigning any potential health risk becomes very problematic," says EOH's James Fabisiak, Breath Project member. He also pointed the reporter toward CDC facts to help explain that the rumors that the smell was due to ethylene glycol were likely incorrect, keepi... 

Floods Have Swamped the US. The Next Health Problem: Mold

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WIRED - A summer of floods means mold and fungi are to follow. Yet we lack proper surveillance systems for mold infections and that leads to a data gap that increases the burden of these infections, particularly on marginalized groups. “We cannot isolate the impact of a natural disaster from historic burdens of health disparities, whether they are in the Gulf Coast or in the Caribbean or in New Jersey,” says Dean Maureen Lichtveld.  

Wenzel on the Impact of Code Orange Alert On Our Bodies (video)

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KDKA - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel, director of Pitt's Asthma Institute at UPMC, explained that recent weather creates conditions where particulates in our atmosphere can't escape. "These are plumes in the air that damage the lungs and the blood vessels of people, especially vulnerable people," said Wenzel. She recommends staying inside in the air conditioning as much as you can, visiting public spaces with air conditioning if you don’t have it in yo... 

A 'space race' level attack on future public health crises will involve Pittsburgh

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Maureen Lichtveld's nearly 40 years in environmental public health has focused on a central principle: how to prepare for the next big crisis. "The COVID-19 pandemic, as the limited coverage for childhood vaccinations [in the past], is a public health problem, requiring public health strategies of preparedness, vaccination and control," said Lichtveld, who is aiming to position Pitt at the forefront of this deeper bu... 

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