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NIEHS/EPA Children's Centers 2014 Webinar Series: Risks to Children’s Health: Chemicals in Consumer Products

Title: NIEHS/EPA Children's Centers 2014 Webinar Series
Date: February 12, 2014
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST
Location: Webinar

Join us for this month's webinar. The webinar features presentations and interactive discussions including recent findings and new developments in children’s environmental health.

Topic: Risks to Children’s Health: Chemicals in Consumer Products

There is increasing concern about children’s exposure to chemicals found in common consumer products such as furniture and electronics (flame retardants); cosmetics and personal care products (phthalates, triclosan and other phenols); food storage containers (BPA); and children’s toys (phthalates and metals). This webinar focuses on recent studies that are advancing our knowledge of the health effects of these chemicals, examining trends and changes in exposure over time and methods for communicating with patients about risks and lowering exposure. Presentations will be followed by moderated discussion.

Featured Speakers:

Kim HarleyKim Harley
Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH)
Presentation Title: Health Effects of Chemicals in Consumer Products: Flame Retardants
Presentation Summary: This presentation will provide an overview of what is known about the health effects of chemicals found in consumer products and an update on the new chemicals of concern as the old ones are phased out.

Antonia CalafatAntonia Calafat
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Presentation Title: Chemicals in Consumer Products: Trends in Exposure and New Chemicals of Interest
Presentation Summary: Synthetic chemicals, such as phthalates or bisphenol A (plasticizers), parabens (preservatives), triclosan (antimicrobial agent) and benzophenone-3 (sunscreen agent) can be used in personal care products, medications, paints, adhesives and in some medical products. Because some of these chemicals have demonstrated toxicity in experimental animals, alternative chemicals are entering the consumer market. This presentation will include information on how biomonitoring can be used to assess human exposure to these chemicals and to evaluate exposure trends.

Isaac N. PessahIsaac Pessah
Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCEH) - UC Davis
Presentation Title: How the Antibacterial Triclosan Impairs Muscle Function: Is it Relevant to Human and Environmental Health?
Presentation Summary: Triclosan (TCS) is widely used as an antibacterial chemical in many personal care products, including shampoos, soap, deodorant and toothpaste – and it is also a pollutant of growing concern to human and environmental health in the U.S. and worldwide. TCS impairs excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) in both cardiac and skeletal muscles and acutely depresses blood flow and grip strength in mice. In embryonic muscle cells, TCS initially stimulates electrically evoked calcium transients followed by complete failure of ECC by altering the function of two fundamentally important ion channels: L-type Ca2+ channels and ryanodine receptors. The mechanism by which TCS (and possibly related chemicals) weakens cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction may negatively impact muscle health, especially in susceptible populations.

Maida GalvezMaida Galvez
Mount Sinai Center for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research
Presentation Title: Chemicals in Consumer Products: An Overview of Clinical Questions to the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU)
Presentation Summary: Families today are deluged with headlines about environmental threats to children’s health present in consumer products, including children’s toys, furnishings and personal care products. They often turn to their physicians for answers. However, health care providers often lag behind their patients with respect to knowledge about environmental chemicals. This presentation focuses on examples and experience from the PEHSU National Network in translating emerging science on chemicals in consumer products to action.

Jerome PaulsonJerome Paulson
George Washington University
Discussion Moderator

Contact: Nica Louie (; 703-347-8125