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Webinar: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and COVID-19
Thursday 18 June 2020 - 01:00pm - Thursday 18 June 2020 
Collaborative on Health and the Environment

Join us on June 18, 2020 at 10 am PDT / 1pm EST to hear Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Dr. Aly Cohen, and Dr. John Peterson Myers discuss the impacts of EDCs on population and individual health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Certain underlying chronic conditions associated with exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exacerbating the effects of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations. Older adults and those who have compromised immune systems, or other underlying conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or obesity have shown to be at increased risk of more severe illness from the virus. During this webinar, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Dr. Aly Cohen, and Dr. John Peterson Myers will discuss the impacts of EDCs on population and individual health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Emeritus Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), will begin the webinar with a discussion on how exposures in our environment are linked to millions of deaths every year. Many studies have shown increases in chronic, non-communicable diseases – obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer – to be associated with chronic low-level exposures to EDCs. These diseases make older individuals and those with underlying health conditions more vulnerable to COVID-19. Scientists and medical professionals have advised these susceptible populations to be exceptionally watchful of the virus. Dr. Birnbaum will present specific examples of chemicals we are all exposed to and their associated health effects that are also underlying conditions for COVID-19 such as PFAS and immune system disorders, BPA and diabetes, phthalates and obesity, and air pollution and asthma. 

Following this discussion, Dr. Aly Cohen, board certified rheumatologist and integrative medicine specialist, founder of Integrative Rheumatology Associates, and co-Editor of the textbook, ’Integrative Environmental Medicine’ (OUP), will present the work she has done on EDC's linked to inflammation. New research from CDC surveillance of COVID-19 infection shows disproportionate hospitalization and death among patients with history of co-morbid health conditions. Dr. Cohen will discuss underlying environmental factors, including EDCs that contribute to the inflammatory response in patients with co-morbidities and those that are severely ill. She will also discuss medications and nutrients being studied as possible therapeutics. She will share evidence-based recommendations regarding diet, medication use, smoking cessation, chemicals exposure, supplement use, and other lifestyle interventions that may impact morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.

Finally, Dr. John Peterson Myers, Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, and author of ‘Our Stolen Future,’ will discuss his work on the impacts of EDCs on human health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Myers will outline strategies for a path forward in restoring our future. He will provide an overview of major opportunities and challenges for reducing the environmental burden of EDCs contributing to co-morbidities that heighten COVID-19 health risks.

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