PBS - After controlling for certain lifestyle factors, a 2010 investigation found that workers exposed to 0.6 to 2.5 parts per million of formaldehyde had fewer red and white blood cells and a higher prevalence of DNA mutations in the blood stem cells. BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor said the mutations found in these studies resemble ones made by benzene, a known leukemia-causing agent that also lowers blood counts.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The ArcelorMittal steel mill at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor emitted 173,000 pounds of benzene during 2016, making it the nation’s largest industrial source of a volatile chemical known to cause leukemia. More could be on the way but regulators can't explain where the steel mill's pollution ends up. “It’s a constant fight,” said EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.
Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh would be an ideal place for further study on the links between air pollution, asthma, and autoimmune disease, says EOH chair SALLY WENZEL. "There's a lot of evidence now that what you breathe may impact your lungs in many ways, and could actually start an autoimmune process. That's a link we haven't fully explored in this region yet."
MEDPAGE - Two trials showed that dupilumab was associated with reduced exacerbations, better lung function and improved asthma control in patients with moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma. EOH professor SALLY WENZEL says, “for patients who have a lot of comorbidities, and are missing a lot of work or school, it has the potential to be cost effective.”
THE HILL - “In the name of ‘cooperative federalism,’ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is out to gut one of the finest examples of cooperative federalism in environmental law — that of setting outdoor air pollutant standards,” writes EOH’s BERNARD GOLDSTEIN. “This new approach... should be judged in conjunction with other major decisions about the incorporation of science into EPA.”
Environmental and Occupational Health has traditionally offered the Keleti Award at Dean’s Day to recognize the presentation that demonstrated excellence in environmental health. This year’s Keleti winner is RAHEL BIRRU (PhD '18).
This year’s Delta Omega prize was awarded to AMRITA SAHU (EOH ’19), and the Herbert Rosenkranz Prize was given to EMMETT HENDERSON (BCHS ’21).
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - A proposal by the EPA administrator that aims to limit the scientific research that the agency can use to set rules illustrates a widening rift between republicans and the scientific community. If finalized, the action would limit studies only to those whose data is publicly available. In environmental health research perfect, randomized, double-blind clinical studies aren’t possible, says EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN.
On April 28, 2018, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.
Congratulations to EOH's AARON BARCHOWSKY who received the award for the passion and interest with which he teaches, for always encouraging his students, and his constant work to improve as an instructor. As one nominator put it, "He respects students and he is the best professor I've known."