EcoBirth-Women for Earth and Birth

Uniting the earth and birth movements for the well-being of our world


Environmental Health:
Educational Materials and Resources

**Note: Click the text next to the solid bullet to reach website.  

How the Environment Impacts Health
  • Practice Prevention Columns
    • Updated 2004-2011. CHE’s Learning & Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI) Workgroup. Overview of several contaminants using the following format: What is it? How does it affect children’s health? How are children exposed? How can you reduce exposure?  Includes info on arsenic, lead, mercury, mold, pesticides, plastics and several others.  Good overview of endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
  • The Precautionary Principle and the City and County of San Francisco (comprehensive overview)
    • March 2003. Comprehensive overview of the precautionary principle, including underlying science and principles, history, relevance for today, cost and policy.
  • Other resources explaining the precautionary principle:
  • CHE’s toxicant and disease searchable database
    • Summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions
  • Pesticide Action Network – North America (PANNA)
    • Dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide.  Website includes explanations of the link between pesticides and children’s health.
  • TEDX: The Endocrine Disruption Exchange
    • Dedicated to compiling and disseminating the scientific evidence on the health and environmental problems caused by low-dose exposure to endocrine disruptors.
  • ReproTox
    • Summaries on the effects of >5,000 agents and exposures on pregnancy, reproduction and development.
    • Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and toxic releases.

What You Can Do to Prevent Exposure

General Resources
  • Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE)
    • A national organization that works to eliminate toxic chemicals that impact women’s health by changing consumer behaviors, corporate practices and government policies. Includes tips on reducing exposure and advocating for change.
  • Environmental Working Group
    • Info on broad range of environmental health topics, including food, consumer products, children’s health, water; chemical index lists health effects and routes of exposure for many chemicals; health tips include easy-to-use guides on topics from sunscreen to cookware to plastics.
  • Breast Cancer Fund
    • Defines chemicals linked to breast cancer and routes of exposure; provides tips for preventing exposure, including “tip cards” to send to friends and family; describes many possibilities for advocacy, locally and nationally. Link to State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment; landmark 2010 report summarizing current scientific evidence, and linking the science to actions   we can take to reduce risk.
  • Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment
    • University of California San Francisco. Dedicated to creating a healthier environment for human reproduction and development by advancing scientific inquiry, clinical care and health policies that prevent exposures to harmful chemicals in our environment.  Website contains links to “Toxic Matters” brochure, an excellent overview on how to prevent toxic exposures and advocate for change, and to the “Shaping Our Legacy: Reproductive Health and the Environment” report. 
  • National Geographic’s Green Guide
    • Room-by-room guide to greener living. Tips for buying, cooking, and storing food. Guide to tap water and filters. “Why Tap Water is Better than Bottled Water” explores the environmental impact of bottled water, as well as health concerns regarding contaminants.
  • HealthyStuff
    • Consumer action guide to toxins in toys, children’s products, pets, cars, apparel & accessories, and home improvement.
  • Story of Stuff
    • Short, captivating animated films by Annie Leonard about the environmental impact of consumerism in the US; films include The Story of Stuff, The Story of Electronics, The Story of Cosmetics, The Story of Bottled Water, and The Story of Cap & Trade.
  • Healthy Child Healthy World
    • Nonprofit dedicated to educating parents, supporting protective policies, and engaging communities to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish. Website includes shopping pocket guides, Healthy Home party kit, healthy eating guide.
  • Oregon Environmental Council
    • Dedicated to advancing innovative, collaborative solutions to Oregon’s environmental challenges; website includes Eco-Healthy Home Checkup Kit. 
  • Goodguide
    • Rates consumer products based on their health, environmental, and social impact.
  • Medline Plus: Occupational health
    • Information on occupational exposure to contaminants and radiation.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Information on air quality, asthma, asbestos, mold, carbon monoxide and many other environmental health topics.
  • Portal to Science
    • The Collaborative on Health and the Environment. Searchable database of environmental health resources.
  • Pollution in People
    • A project of the Toxic- Free Legacy Coalition. Includes tips for reducing exposure from food, furniture, toys, medicines, electronics, pest control and home improvement.
  • Tox Town 
    • National Library of Medicine. Non-technical descriptions of chemicals, general environmental health information.
  • Sandra Steingraber
    • Author of the book Living Downstream, and the article “The Organic Manifesto of a Biologist Mother.” Explores chemical contamination from both a personal and scientific lens.
  • Center for Environmental Health (CEH)
    • Works to protect families and communities from toxic chemicals. Website includes helpful tips for reducing exposure, as well as information on advocacy.  
  • Food News
    • Environmental Working Group's Food News webpage. Includes link to EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides: guide for reducing pesticide consumption, especially when it is not feasible to buy all organic produce.
  • Eat Well Guide
    • Connects people to local farms, restaurants and stores that provide healthy, organic food.
  • Fish Shopping Guide
    • Natural Resources Defense Council. Pocket guide rating fish based on mercury content.
  •  Ground Water and Drinking Water
    • Environmental Protection Agency. Information on water contaminants and water protection.
  • Tap Water Database
    • Environmental Working Group. Rates U.S. cities   based on tap water quality.  Links to tips on water filters.
Advocate for Change

**Many organizations listed throughout the resources section are also dedicated to advocacy and societal change.  Check their websites to learn how to get involved (including MOMS, Breast Cancer Fund, Women’s Voices for the Earth, PANNA).

State-specific advocacy organizations

Declaration of Interdependence for EcoBirth

Interview about Women's Congress for Future Generations