Jean Brender, Ph.D., RN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted a special session Nov. 1 at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C., to release scientific essays on the science of disproportionate environmental health impacts.

Jean Brender, Ph.D., RN, professor and associate dean of research at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, is an author of two papers commissioned by the EPA and published online in a special supplement to the December issue of American Journal of Public Health titled “Environmental Justice and Disparities in Environmental Health.”  Dr. Brender worked with Jay Chakraborty, Ph.D., (University of South Florida) and Juliana Maantay, Ph.D., (Lehman College, City University of New York) on both papers.

The first paper, with Dr. Chakraborty as the lead author, discusses “Disproportionate proximity to environmental hazards: methods, models, and measurement.” The second paper, with Dr. Brender as the lead author, reviews and critiques published studies on “Residential proximity to environmental hazards and adverse health outcomes.”

In the second paper, Drs. Brender, Maantay and Chakraborty reviewed 94 studies that examined residential proximity to various environmental hazards (e.g., hazardous waste sites, industrial emissions, busy highways) and adverse pregnancy outcomes, childhood cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and other adverse health outcomes. Based on the findings from these studies, they concluded that government agencies consider this evidence when establishing rules and other regulatory procedures to reduce pollution.  Both papers are available at: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/content/vol101/issueS1/.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell