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
  • Because Health
    • In April 2018, the CHE launched a new environmental health educational website called Because Health. With a focus on making scientific based evidence approachable and actionable, Because Health makes environmental health more accessible. This lifestyle site hopes to inspire the next generation of environmental health activists and drive bigger change in the products and policies that impact daily life.
  • 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.
  • 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 Prevention Partners
    • 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. 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Molly Arthur's Maternal Lines digital story from molly arthur on Vimeo.

We women can face the pain and grief we have for our suffering Mother Earth and reclaim our story of creation and redemption with the power and beauty intimately held in our body’s cells from our maternal lines since the beginning of the cosmos. Our existential and communal grief heals within the loving gathering of our feminine compassion, connecting us to the truth and strength of our Mother Earth and all our kin. We start with Molly’s Personal Environmental Story-to explore the birth stories and places and times of ourselves, our mothers and grandmothers.Using the stories of our own maternal lines, with sharing, active listening and intention, we call on our ancestors, our inner wisdom and the shared circle to witness our story with compassion. Using ritual, song, movement, and sharing of our truths, in community and powerful circle as well as spending time on the land - we can acknowledge the oppression in our lives, feeling it in our bodies, grieving it, transforming it and ourselves in a safe, loving space. Our healing path connects our sacred lineage from the womb of our Mother Earth to integrate our inner and outer lives and discover our place in the connected caring cosmos. We are a part of a continuum of sacredness, lifeforce, divine energy including our Ancestors back to the stuff of the stars. We can reclaim our cells, our lineage and our legacy to the future generations. Like in birth labor, we must yield to our bodies innate knowing, to progress, to open, to birth our love. With our active surrender to fierce compassion we can restore our connection to the natural world and our own inner wisdom. We can drop our obsessive addictions to control and return to our healing, caring, befriending tendencies- innate for us nurturers. And then we can repair, regenerate, and renew our culture for tenderness and kindness, naturally embodied by us. We will be able to guard and protect ours and all descendents - becoming their Beloved Ancestors- by asking - What is possible now to transform our world for Future Generations?

Molly Arthur of EcoBirth- My Personal Environmental Story November 2012 from molly arthur on Vimeo.

Why EcoBirth’s My Personal Environmental Story
EcoBirth’s My Personal Environmental Story will help women tell their life story by considering the two primary environments- place and birth- for themselves, their mothers and their maternal grandmothers. Through this process each participant will come to realize the hazards in their environmental genealogy and realize the healing in telling their own story. And they will be empowered to affect the changes that are necessary for our Mother Earth and our children and grandchildren to thrive.
Imagine looking back to your grandmother's and mother's birth time to figure out what environmental influences you might have inherited? And have passed onto your children and grandchildren? Would you wonder what was in the air, water and food in their lives- and look twice at what diseases, birth defects, addictions there are in your family?