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Environmental Threats to Health: When Do We Act and Prevent?, Toronto, Ontario

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Alumni Association (PHAA) presents the fourth annual In The Loop featuring Leonardo Trasande, an internationally renowned leader in children’s environmental health.

Reception: 5:30 p.m.

Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

About the Talk:

Environmental threats to health arise out of economic activity but also harm others not involved in the production of goods and services. They also affect the economy. Synthetic chemicals that disrupt hormones cost the US $340 billion (2.3% of the Gross Domestic Product) each year. And differences in policies between the US and Europe in policy protections produce starkdifferences in exposures that contribute to disease, and greater costs to society in the US due to flame retardants. This presentation lays out the science that supports these findings, and describes how industrializing companies need not sacrifice economic growth in exchange for rapid industrialization. Low- and middle-income countries run the risk of repeating epidemic increases in chronic diseases linked to chemical exposures, just when they have emerged from fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The benefits of prioritizing the use of safer chemicals are real and large, as exemplified by the removal of lead from gasoline, which produces a $2.45 trillion annual economic stimulus to low- and middle-income countries.

Leonardo Trasande’s (MD, MPP) research focuses on identifying the role of environmental exposures in childhood obesity and cardiovascular risks, and documenting the economic costs for policy makers of failing to prevent diseases of environmental origin in children proactively. He also holds appointments in the Wagner School of Public Service and NYU’s College of Global Public Health. He is perhaps best known for a series of studies published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that document disease costs due to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the US and Europe of $340 billion and €163 billion annually, respectively. Dr. Trasande leads one of 35 centers across the country as part of the National Institute of Health’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes program. After receiving his bachelor, medical and public policy degrees from Harvard, he completed the Boston Combined Residency in Pediatrics and a legislative fellowship in the Office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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