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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Divestment

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Dear Gail,
We call it Divestment Central.
Part of GreenFaith’s Divest & Reinvest Now! Campaign, Divestment Central is a listing of all the known faith-based initiatives on fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in a clean energy future - worldwide.  
There are over 100 listings so far.  Help us add to the list by sending us links to information about religious institutions of any size that are considering resolutions to divest and reinvest.
Divestment Central showcases:
  • The University of Dayton, the first Catholic university to divest and Union Theological Seminary – an iconic Protestant seminary which voted to divest earlier this month.
     
  • The divestment commitments of the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association – the first and second national denominations to do so.
     
  • The remarkable work of Fossil Free PCUSA, which secured divestment support from regional Presbyterian groups in locations ranging from California to Boston to North Dakota, Arkansas and Florida, forcing national Presbyterian engagement of divestment within a year.
     
  • International divestment actions from Canada, England, New Zealand, and Australia – including the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, Asia, and New Zealand, the first Jewish group to vote to divest from fossil fuels in the world.
Sermon and Discussion Resources
Every week, more and more faith communities get involved in the Divest & Reinvest Now! Campaign.  Over 5,000 faith communities across the US are offering sermons or discussions on the topic.   See our resources to support sermons and discussions at faith communities.
Get involved in the Divest & Reinvest Now! Campaign - now.  Organize a discussion.  Deliver a sermon.  Support a resolution.  GreenFaith will help you succeed.
In faith,


Rev. Fletcher Harper
Executive Director

P.S. Please make a contribution today to support GreenFaith’s work.


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LEAD IN KIDS' BLOOD LINKED WITH BEHAVIORAL AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS

LEAD IN KIDS' BLOOD LINKED WITH BEHAVIORAL AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS

Emotional and behavioral problems show up even with low exposure to lead, 
and as blood lead levels increase in children, so do the problems, according 
to research funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 
(NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The results were published 
online June 30 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

"This research focused on lower blood lead levels than most other studies 
and adds more evidence that there is no safe lead level," explained NIEHS 
Health Scientist Administrator Kimberly Gray, Ph.D. "It is important to 
continue to study lead exposure in children around the world, and to fully 
understand short-term and long-term behavioral changes across developmental 
milestones. It is well-documented that lead exposure lowers the IQ of 
children."

Blood lead concentrations measured in more than 1,300 preschool children in 
China were associated with increased risk of behavioral and emotional 
problems, such as being anxious, depressed, or aggressive. The average blood 
lead level in the children was 6.4 micrograms per deciliter.

While many studies to date have examined health effects at or above 10 
micrograms per deciliter, this study focused on lower levels. The CDC now 
uses a reference level of 5 micrograms per deciliter, to identify children 
with blood lead levels that are much higher than normal, and recommends 
educating parents on reducing sources of lead in their environment and 
continued monitoring of blood lead levels.

"Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, 
because lead can affect children's developing nerves and brains," said senior 
author Jianghong Liu, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania School of 
Nursing, Philadelphia.

Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal, but sources of lead exposure are 
often due to human activities, including burning fossil fuels, mining, and 
manufacturing. In the United States, lead exposure usually comes from 
lead-containing products, such as paint, caulking, and pipe solder, in older 
homes. In China, lead exposure is more often related to air pollution.

"The sources of lead exposure may explain why concentrations of lead are 
different," explained Liu. "In China, we found that blood lead concentrations 
increased with age in preschool children. In the United States, however, 
blood lead concentrations increase with age in children up to 2-3 years old 
and then decline."

For the study, the researchers analyzed one blood sample taken from each 
child between the ages of 3-5. Behavioral problems were assessed at age 6 
using standardized questionnaires. The questionnaires were filled out by the 
children's teachers and parents, which the authors noted is both a strength 
and limitation. "The study used scores from two sources, but the ratings 
do not provide a clinical diagnostic measure of behavioral problems," said 
Liu.

U.S. studies have reported that lead exposure causes what psychologists call 
externalizing behavior problems, such as aggressiveness and bullying, which 
may lead to truancy and even jail time as children get older. In this study, 
children with higher blood lead levels had internalizing problems, such as 
anxiety and depression, as well as some externalizing problems. Though not 
addressed in this study, Liu said these differences could be explained by 
cultural, genetic, or environmental variations, or research gaps.

The authors emphasized, "Continuing monitoring of blood lead concentrations, 
as well as clinical assessments of mental behavior during regular pediatric 
visits, may be warranted."

NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human 
health and is part of NIH. For more information on environmental health 
topics, visit <http://www.niehs.nih.gov>. Subscribe to one or more of the 
NIEHS news lists <http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/releases/newslist/index.cfm
to stay current on NIEHS news, press releases, grant opportunities, training, 
events, and publications.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical 
research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of 
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal 
agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical 
research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both 
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, 
visit <www.nih.gov>.

NIH...Turning Discovery into Health -- Registered, U.S. Patent and Trademark 
Office
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REFERENCE: Liu J, Liu X, Wang W, McCauley L, Pinto-Martin J, Wang Y, Li L, 
Yan C, Rogan WJ. 2014. Blood lead levels and children's behavioral and 
emotional problems: a cohort study. JAMA Pediatr; doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.332.