Category Archives: Media Coverage of PROTECT

PROTECT Researcher Dr. Nancy Cardona to Appear on Weekly Radio Show

As part of the Community Engagement Core’s social media campaign #ProtectResponde, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nancy Cardona will be making weekly appearances on the Puerto Rican radio show Radar Noticioso (News Radar). With host Professor Ramón Santana, Dr. Cardona will discuss environmental contamination and strategies for reducing exposure, every Tuesday at 9am through the end of […]

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EPA Appoints PROTECT’s Cordero and Veléz Vega to Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee

On May 20th, the EPA announced the appointment of PROTECT Researchers José Cordero and Carmen (Mili) Veléz Vega among 26 other members to the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC), out of a pool of 60 highly qualified candidates. The CHPAC is a body of external representatives from research, academia, healthcare, legal, state, environmental organizations […]

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PROTECT Study finds increased levels of flame retardant and plasticizing chemicals associated with the use of personal care products among pregnant women in Puerto Rico.

In a recent Study published in Environmental Research Journal, PROTECT researchers detected metabolites of several organophosphate esters (OPE), a class of chemicals used in consumer products as flame retardants and plasticizers, in urine samples collected from women during pregnancy in Puerto Rico. This is concerning since some OPEs have been associated with adverse reproductive health […]

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PROTECT Co-Director Alshawabkeh & Other SRP Leaders visit Capitol Hill

On Friday, February 28th PROTECT Co-Director Akram Alshawabkeh was among SRP Leaders who spoke with Congressional Staff on the strengths and impactful research coming out of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program. The group led by Akram also included SRP leaders Bevin Engelward (MIT), Lindell Ormsbee (University of Kentucky) and Margaret Reams (Louisiana State University) who […]

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PROTECT Study evaluates how CVOC chemicals are distributed and travel through the Karst System of Northern Puerto Rico

Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds (CVOCs) are a type of chlorinated solvent that are commonly used in industrial, business, and home settings. Some examples of common products which contain CVOCs include industrial solvents, metal surface degreasers, paint removers, and textile cleansing agents.. They are highly volatile, slightly soluble in water, and resistant to degradation, meaning they […]

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Low-cost activated carbon promises scalable water disinfection

Water security has always been high on the list of human sustainable development goals, because we rely on clean water for drinking, washing, and recreational purposes. However, widespread contamination continues to severely threaten the security of water supplies. Among these contaminants, water pathogens are of particularly great concern as they have been directly linked to […]

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PROTECT Study links common chemicals to preterm births in Puerto Rico

This publication was recently featured and honored in the NIEHS Newsletter Papers of the Month PROTECT researchers have identified an association between exposure to chemicals found in many common consumer products and a shorter duration of pregnancy, thus increasing the risk of preterm birth. More specifically, the scientists found that higher urinary concentrations of phthalate […]

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Concentrations of phenols, parabens and triclocarbans appear in higher levels among Puerto Rico cohort compared to mainland U.S.

Recent environmental articles have increasingly focused on the potential dangers of chemicals that seem ever present and almost unavoidable in many facets of modern life. At CRECE, PROTECT and ECHO, we study many different chemicals which are present in the environment and lifestyle products to see how they impact pregnancy outcomes and children’s development in […]

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PROTECT study finds that chemicals found in many household consumer products were widely associated with hormone concentrations in pregnant women

Since plastic became known as the “miracle material that has made modern life possible” in 1950, humanity has produced 9.2 billion tons of plastic. [1] Plastics are produced using a large variety of materials which are often harmful to the environment and have been commonly found in human tissue. [2] PROTECT studies Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals […]

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PROTECT Researchers evaluate Hurricane Maria’s Impact and suggest a ‘Visionary Rebuilding’ plan for Government Institutions

The impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the island is massive, with over a thousand lives lost and over $90 billion dollars in damage, part of which decimated the electric grid and 80% of the agricultural sector. Many Puerto Ricans were left homeless and a total of 215,000 people left the island for the […]

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PROTECT and University of Kentucky SRC Collaborative Study on Water Remediation

At the 2016 Annual Superfund Research Program Meeting, researchers from PROTECT and the University of Kentucky SRC discovered their respective research on water remediation overlapped in interesting and potentially significant ways. PROTECT’s Project 5 developed a technology that uses both palladium powder catalyst and electrolysis to remove contaminants from groundwater through a process called electro-Fenton. […]

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PROTECT and Silent Spring Institute Inaugurate a Mobile App to Provide PROTECT Participants their Research Results

On October 15, 2018, the PROTECT Human Subjects and Sampling Core (HSSC) and the Community Engagement Core (CEC) guided the first group of PROTECT participants in the process of accessing the results and information from their participation in the study. Dr. Carmen M. Vélez Vega and Dr. Phil Brown have led the CEC and HSSC […]

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Elevated Levels of Triclocarban Associated with Soap Use in Puerto Rico

Recent analysis from the CRECE Center, which draws on the PROTECT cohort to study effects of in-utero exposure on child development, reveals strong correlations between the use of specific bar soap brands and urinary triclocarban levels. Triclocarban has historically been used in antibacterial soaps, but the chemical was banned by the Food & Drug Administration […]

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Rovira, Former ROUTES Scholar, Discusses PROTECT Co-Op Experience in News@Northeastern

On December 12th, 2017, News@Northeastern featured the article “Co-op in Puerto Rico Expands Student’s Interest in Environmental Health,” which detailed the ROUTES experience of former scholar Alejandro Rovira, who worked with PROTECT and CRECE  throughout his co-op. The story highlights Alejandro’s explorative environmental health journey to Puerto Rico as the first scholar to work off-campus for their […]

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Nature features Cordero and Padilla for PROTECT Research Efforts in Puerto Rico Post-Maria

PROTECT and CRECE Co-Director José Cordero and PROTECT Project 4 Leader Ingrid Padilla were featured in the November 16, 2017, issue of Nature describing Puerto Rico’s struggles to assess the hurricane’s health effects. The article reports on PROTECT’s Post-Maria efforts to study the impact of environmental exposures on birth outcomes in Puerto Rico. As the piece details, […]

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Brown featured in NIEHS “Grantee Highlights” Archive for work with PROTECT

A National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) post titled, “Understanding Community Awareness and Actions on Environmental Health Issues,” highlights the work of Dr. Phil Brown, director of the Research Translation Core (RTC) and co-director of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) for PROTECT and co-director of the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) of CRECE. The piece was […]

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Alshawabkeh Co-Authors Op-ed Urging Legislators to Increase SRP Funding

On March 14th, 2017, The Hill, an American political journalism newspaper and website published in Washington, D.C., posted the Op-ed, “Reagan’s Superfund research must get back to Bush II funding levels” written by Akram Alshawabkeh, PROTECT Co-Director, along with Rebecca Fry and Elizabeth Glass Geltman. The piece argues for continued and increased support by Congress […]

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CDC Recommends DEET to Control Zika

The CDC recommends the use of DEET to protect people against the mosquito that carries the Zika virus, especially pregnant women. But there are very few published studies looking at the possible effects of DEET on unborn children, and none of the existing studies looked at exposure during the first trimester. One study conducted in […]

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PROTECT’s Dr. José Cordero Appears on NPR to Discuss Puerto Rico’s Efforts Against the Zika Virus

Dr. José Cordero, PROTECT Co-Director and leader of the Human Subjects and Sampling Core, appeared on NPR’s “Here & Now” on February 3rd to discuss Puerto Rico’s efforts against the spread of the Zika virus. Listen to the segment below, or visit this website to learn more. Zika is a tropical disease transmitted by mosquitos that typically causes […]

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PROTECT researcher’s work published in Science

PROTECT investigator Ferdi Hellweger‘s work was recently published in the journal Science. In collaboration with his graduate student, Neil Frederick, and Erik van Sebille from the University of New South Wales, Australia, Professor Hellweger quan­ti­fied the role of neu­tral processes by sim­u­lating divi­sion, muta­tion, and death of some 100,000 indi­vidual marine bac­teria cells with full […]

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PROTECT researchers quoted in Washington Post

On September 1, 2014, the Washington Post published an article by Jill U. Adams entitled, “Are parabens and phthalates harmful in makeup and lotions?” in which John D. Meeker (Project 1) and Julia Brody (Core F: Community Engagement) are quoted as experts in chemical additives and their health effects in humans. PROTECT researchers collect data […]

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August 2014 Spotlight: “Born Too Soon” – PROTECT featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education released a in-depth look at the PROTECT project, entitled “Born Too Soon: Can pollution lead to premature births?” The piece, written by Paul Voosen, reviews how the various disciplines within the project fit together to create a deeper understanding of the mechanism by which environmental contamination can lead to preterm […]

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June 2014 Spotlight: PROTECT awarded five-year renewal grant

PROTECT has received a five-year, $13.5 million renewal award from the National Institutes of Health to continue its interdisciplinary investigation into the complex relationship between contamination and preterm birth. Click here to access the full article.

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December Highlight: PROTECT publishes new findings on Environmental Phthalate Exposure and Preterm Birth

This week PROTECT Project 1 leader, John D. Meeker, ScD, and trainee Kelly Ferguson, MPH, published an article in JAMA Pediatrics on the relationship between preterm birth and chemical phthalate exposure during pregnancy. The JAMA article highlights the prevalence of preterm birth as a leading cause of neonatal mortality, and the increased odds faced by women exposed […]

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PROTECT featured in Puerto Rico newspaper

On July 30th PROTECT was featured in El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s most widely-read newspaper. The story, entitled Retos del Parto Prematuro (“Challenges of Preterm Birth”), raised awareness of the problem of preterm birth on the island and described the PROTECT study.  The story was released in advance of PROTECT co-Director Jose Cordero presenting at […]

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PROTECT Research Highlighted on Puerto Rican TV News

PROTECT Core C researcher Braulio Jimenez was interviewed in a recent news story on the rate of preterm birth in Puerto Rico.  The story, presented by WAPA-TV, discussed PROTECT’s investigations into the role of environmental contamination and preterm birth. The video (in Spanish) is available here.

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Jose Cordero quoted in Fox News Article on Preterm Birth

PROTECT co-director and Core C leader Jose Cordero was recently quoted in a Fox News article about the alarmingly high rate of preterm birth in Puerto Rico.  Said Dr. Cordero: “Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive face an increased risk of life-long health challenges, including cerebral palsy, breathing […]

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Meeker quoted on CNN

Project 1 Leader John Meeker (U. of Michigan) was recently quoted in a CNN article on the effect of BPA on the masculinity of male mice.  The study determined that female mice found BPA-exposed male mice to be less attractive, even though their adult hormone levels were no different than male mice who were not exposed. […]

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PROTECT researchers, work profiled in Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper

PROTECT Core C Researchers Dr. Jose Cordero and Dr. Hernando Mattei were profiled in an article published in the May 6, 2011 edition of El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper. The article, entitled “Ojo a peligrosa anticipación” (“Looking at dangerous prematurity”),  focuses on the issue of preterm birth in Puerto Rico and the goals […]

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Dorothy Vesper and student highlighted in WVU Magazine

PROTECT Researcher Dorothy Vesper (Projects 4 and 5) was highlighted in a recent article in the WVU College of Arts and Sciences Magazine.  The magazine cover features John Tudek, Dorothy’s student working on the PROTECT project.  Click here to download a PDF of the article or here to look at the entire publication.

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PROTECT featured in Engineering@Northeastern

Northeastern University’s Engineering@Northeastern magazine (a publication of the NU College of Engineering) highlighted PROTECT research in the 2010 issue.  See page 4 of the magazine, available here, for the story.

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Jose Cordero leads symposium on premature birth prevention strategies

In concert with colleagues at the March of Dimes and the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Dr. Jose Cordero (PROTECT co-Director and Research Translation Core Leader, March of Dimes Prematurity Steering Committee Chair, and Dean of the UPRMSC Graduate School of Public Health) recently held a symposium focused on premature birth prevention strategies. […]

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John Meeker featured in several recent articles

UMich Assistant Professor John Meeker‘s (leader, Project 1) work has been featured in several recent news articles. http://www.aolhealth.com/2010/08/04/exposure-to-plastic-chemical-may-harm-male-fertility/ http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2010/08/bisphenol_a_and_sperm_damage.html http://pubs.acs.org/isubscribe/journals/cen/88/i24/html/8824news4.html Dr. Meeker was also featured in another interesting article on plastics from last year: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/dangers-of-plastic

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PROTECT profiled by Associated Press

Mark Melia of the Associated Press looks carefully at the background problem – the high rate of preterm birth in Puerto Rico – and what PROTECT will be studying to combat this issue…read full article.

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Northeastern awarded $9.9 million NIH grant

Northeastern University has received a $9.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the impact of exposure to environmental contamination on preterm birth rates and to develop sustainable solutions. Read full article…

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PROTECT Co-Director Cordero speaks on Children’s Health

Featured in the Harvard Gazette, March 5, 2010: José Cordero, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico, spoke on “Children’s Health: Learning from the Consequences of our Success” at the Harvard School of Public Health March 4. Cordero said that today’s leading cause of child mortality is birth defects, […]

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Chemicals May Play a Role in Pre-Term Births

The Association of Schools of Public Health features research findings of PROTECT investigators: (ASPH Friday Letter – July 10, 2009) – A University of Michigan School of Public Health study of expectant mothers suggests that a group of common environmental contaminants called phthalates, which are present in many industrial and consumer products including everyday personal […]

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Phthalates May Play a Role in Pre-Term Births

July 7, 2009

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