On January 24-26, 2017, the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) held its 17th National Conference and Global Forum: Integrating Environment and Health, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City near Washington, DC. The conference addressed the critical, interconnected issues of environment and health and how to improve the health and well-being of people and the planet.
UA SRP Associate Director Clark Lantz moderated a Session entitled: “Long Term Effects of Developmental Exposures: Implications to Policy”
Recent studies have highlighted the vulnerability of the fetal and early life developmental stages to chemical insults and dietary imbalance. Health impact can be observed in the short term (newborn weight, developmental anomalies) or in the long term at a distance from the exposure (increased susceptibility to obesity, metabolic disease, cancer, neurodevelopment, etc.). The evidence comes both from toxicological/experimental studies as well as from epidemiological studies as discussed in international meetings. Interestingly, studies on various stressors have converged to highlight the vulnerability of early life developmental stages. Such stressors include exposure to chemicals, particularly endocrine disruptors, nutritional imbalance and psychological stress. The speakers and subsequent panel discussion offered a unique opportunity to compare perspectives on scientific advances in understanding how early life exposures to chemicals can effect human health and to discuss current policy for investigating the health outcomes and regulating early life exposures. “Since the Panel was comprised of both French and US based scientists, it was great to meet and share information and to compare policies with colleagues from the European Union”.