symposium 2014 cover photo


The Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) is pleased to present our Eighth Biennial Scientific Symposium
Prenatal Environmental Exposures as a Determinant of Early Childhood and Adult Disease
November 13-14, 2014

Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with reception following
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

McKinney Roughs Nature Park and Education Center
Cedar Creek, Texas (13 miles East of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)

Join us at the 2014 Scientific Symposium as global experts challenge us to elevate critical thinking on ways to address the prevention of environmental health risks to children at the 2014 Scientific Symposium.

As with our previous symposia, we will provide prevention-oriented research to support and expand programs addressing environmental health risks to children.

2014 Declarative Statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine…
Toxic chemicals in the environment harm our ability to reproduce, negatively affect pregnancies, and are associated with numerous other long-term health problems, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In a joint Committee Opinion, The College and ASRM urge ob-gyns to advocate for government policy changes to identify and reduce exposure to toxic environmental agents. (Click here for link to opinion and pdf document)

Meet the Keynote Speakers:

ConryJeanne Conry, MD, will present the Keynote Address on Day One – Reproductive Health and the Environment: Well Woman Care and Preconception Health on the National Agenda

Dr. Conry, of Granite Bay, CA, served as the 64th president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), based in Washington, DC.

Continuing her emphasis on the importance of preventive care, “I will spend my presidential year promoting the message that we need to pay more attention to the impact of our environment on reproductive health,” Dr. Conry said. The chemicals known collectively as “endocrine disruptors” are of greatest concern, she said. “These chemicals interfere with our own body’s homeostasis and can impact this generation and generations to come.

Dr. Conry is assistant physician in chief at The Permanente Medical Group in Roseville, CA, and associate clinical professor of ob-gyn at the University of California, Davis. She serves as a member of the Select Panel on Preconception Care, Center for Disease Control.

Grandjean2011Philippe Grandjean, MD, Phd, will present Keynote Address on Day Two – Chemical Brain Drain: Metals, Science, and Prevention Failures

Dr. Grandjean is an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health,Harvard School of Public Health, Professor and Chair of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark.

Dr. Grandjean will discuss how prenatal and early postnatal brain development is an extremely complex process that we now know is uniquely vulnerable and what he terms “chemical brain drain”.  “We need to do something to protect the next generation’s brains,” said Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The fetus is not protected by the placenta and therefore shares the mother’s cumulated exposures to toxic chemicals.

Infants and children are likewise exposed to a cocktail of foreign substances against which the body has no innate defense.  Recent research suggests that many chemicals, perhaps thousands, may the gain access to the developing brain and exert their toxicity to brain cells.  This new insight needs to be translated into public policy to protect the brain functions of the future generations.

Target Audience
Join medical professionals, public health and private sector agencies, not-for-profit agencies, faith communities, public policy representatives, built environment sector and child and family advocate organizations, research scientists and government officials in attending the 2014 Scientific Symposium and celebrating the Children’s Environmental Health Institute’s 15th anniversary!

Please join the Children’s Environmental Health Institute’s Mailing List or email to sarah.jones@cehi.org to receive notification of registration opening.  Registration capacity at McKinney Roughs Nature park is 120 participants.

Register By Mail Form

Link to the Symposium Page for Speaker Objectives, Lodging and Location details.




CEHI Releases Executive Summary of Houston Roundtable

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Environmental Health Institute, it is my pleasure to present the Executive Summary from the Houston Roundtable Discussion on the Environment Related to Asthma and Respiratory Diseases in Pre-School and School-Age Children. We want to extend to all of the presenters, participants, sponsors, staff and supporters an expression of appreciation for their time and effort on behalf of this project to improve the quality of health for current and future generations in the Greater Houston Area.

Martin Lorin, M.D., Steering Committee Chair
Children’s Environmental Health Institute
Professor Baylor College of Medicine
Texas Children’s Hospital
Houston, Texas

picture of Executive Summary coverClick Here To Open Houston Roundtable Executive Summary PDF In A New Window

Click Here for Houston Roundtable FULL Final Report pdf

The Houston Roundtable Discussion focused on environmental health risks related to asthma and respiratory disease in the Greater Houston Area.  Houston has made much progress, and yet many unknown or missed opportunities remain to protect children from exposure to toxics in the air they breathe and where they live, learn, and play.  In addition, the Roundtable Discussion addressed policy-making opportunities and the importance of over-arching approaches to support education and action plans to to decrease asthma and respiratory disease in children.

Rich and Dr. Lorin compressed and cropped

Dr. Martin Lorin, CEHI Board Member and Chair of the Roundtable Discussion with keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Corsi, The University of Texas, Department Chair, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and Co-Director, Center for Sustainable Development.

We wish to recognize and thank the sponsors of the Roundtable Initiative and Discussion. Undertaking the Houston Roundtable Initiative and Discussion would not have been possible to do without the support and financial contributions from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, Saint Susie Charitable Foundation, the Texas Children’s Health Plan, Kirksey Architects, Reliant Energy, the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health,  the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (List Sponsors).  In addition, words cannot adequately express our gratitude to the Roundtable Discussion members for their time, skills and support in participating in conference calls, planning committee meetings.   Their generosity in reserving the full measure of a day from their calendar to serve on the Roundtable Discussion reflects their dedication to improving the quality of life for all children.

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Towards Healthy Schools 2015 Report Now Available!

The Towards Healthy Schools 2015 Report cites multiple studies documenting the benefits of healthy indoor learning environments on attendance and achievement, then presents state-level data and policy summaries. (Click report cover below to link to the full report).


Spotlight on CEHI Student Volunteer


Upasana Prabhu, freshman at Westlake High School and CEHI volunteer, with her parents at the reception at the Dell Children’s Medical Center for the Seventh Biennial Scientific Symposium,  How School Environments Affect the Health and Educational Performance of Students, hosted by the Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI).  To read Upasana’s address to the participants, please go here .



Picture the Children Photo Exhibit

Children and Their Food

Sponsored by the Whole Kids Foundation

The Children and Their Food Photo Exhibit debuted in October 2012, during National School Lunch Week, at CEHI’s Seventh Biennial Scientific Symposium at the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas.

The Picture the Children program of the Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) is an approach to evoke an emotional experience for the viewers to envision the unique relationship children experience in their environment and the impact on their wellbeing. The images document the joy, discovery and positive health outcomes children experience in natural and healthy environments.

WaffleIn partnership with the Whole Kids Foundation, the focus is on children and their relationship with food for the Picture the Children Photo Exhibit. In an effort to advance the discussion about children’s health and their environment, select photographers were invited to turn their lenses toward children and their food. Photographers were selected by the Advisory Panel to submit photographs representing the relationship between children and food.

Eating is a learned behavior. Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and is associated with reduced risk for many diseases, including several of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Poor nutrition is a major cause of health problems such as obesity and chronic disease, which are now increasingly beginning in childhood.

Jury Members:

Susanna Finnell, PhD, Jury Chair

Marla Camp, Owner and Publisher of Edible Austin

Marise McDermott, President & CEO, Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas

Lise Ragbir, Owner of Ragbir Art, Art Consultant

Penny De Los Santos, Senior Contributing photographer to Saveur Magazine and a regular contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine and Martha Stewart Living

To view the Picture the Children: Children in Nature Photo Exhibit by Roberto “Bear Guerra” go to http://bearguerra.com/children-in-nature/.