Keeping You Connected

The SCCMA keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events

Environmental Health

Chair: Steve Jackson, MD & Cindy Russell, MD
Staff: Emily Coren

Mission: The Santa Clara County Medical Association's Environmental Health Committee is committed to the health of our community by educating physicians and the public about important links between environmental issues and public health. Using sound independent science we aim to illuminate emerging and established public health threats. Precautionary measures are often recommended as it takes decades for adverse effects to be realized. In addition, for the most vulnerable populations, pregnant women and children, there is a greater safety concern for both short and long-term exposures due to critical windows of development that, if interrupted, cause late effects on organs or defects that are then passed on to the next generation. 
We invite physicians who are interested in environmental and public health to join us as we learn about these issues.

The articles below have been published in the Santa Clara County Medical Association publication "The Bulletin." Publication dates are indicated next to the title along with the link for viewing.

Policy Recommendations 

Recommendations for Best Practices for Safe Technology in Schools (2023)

Letters and Communications

Artificial Turf Letter to Saratoga High School Board (2023) | Spanish Version

Artificial Turf Letter to Saratoga High School Board (The Bulletin version)

Artificial Turf Letter to Fremont Union High School District Board (2023)

Artificial Turf Letter to Sunnyvale City Council (2023)

Special Issues 

Q2 2023 Bulletin: Special Issue - Water and Health (2022)

SF/Marin County Medicine, Vol. 93, No 3 - Environmental Health - Saving Laguna Honda (2022)

August/September Bulletin: Environmental Health and Climate Change (2019)

New Articles

Climate Change, Drought, and the Lessons of Flint: The Time for a Rational Water Policy is Now

Water Supply

Making Water Safe for Use and Reuse 

The Purified Water Project 

The Challenge of Water Pollution Prevention: A Call to Action for Toxic Reduction


Fossil Fuel Pollution and Climate Change (November 2023)

House on Fire: The 10-Year Plan for the Climate Crisis- Climate Action and Climate Justice (August/September 2019)

Individual Choices: What are the Most Effective Actions to Combat Climate Change? (August/September 2019)

Regenerative Farming for the Future, Farming and Forestry: Can it Capture Carbon in the Soil and Reverse Climate Change? (August/September 2019)

A 5G Wireless Future: Will it Give Us a Smart nation or Contribute to an Unhealthy One? (color version) (Jan/Feb 2017 Bulletin)

Addressing Climate Change in The Health Care Setting: A New Climate of Action (Mar/Apr 2009)

Air Fresheners: Clean and Green Reducing Your Risk of Asthma and Cancer  (July/Aug 2008)
Recent studies now show that many cleaners and air fresheners contain chemicals which may cause or trigger asthma...

Autism Rising - Part 1 | Pandemic Rates of Autism Cannot Be Ex[plained by Genetics or Diagnosis Alone (May/June 2014)
April was Autism Awareness Month, but if you are a parent of an autistic child you are aware of autism every day of every month. The individual and societal implications of the burgeoning autism rate are staggering...

Autism Rising - Part 2 | Metabolic, Genetic, and Environmental Mysteries (Sept/Oct 2014)
Researchers have been scrambling to unlock the mysteries behind the alarming rise in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism causes a dismaying amount of suffering, loss of human potential as well as financial burden. ASD is increasingly recognized as a serious public health problem...

Bisphenol A in Register Receipts (Mar/Apr 2011)

Brominated Flame Retardants: What Your Kids, Cats, Couch, TV, and Food Chain Have in Common (Sept/Oct 2008)
Several decades of research have shown that the flame retardants commonly used in furniture, mattresses, infant car seats, and electronics are increasingly found in humans and wildlife...

Creating a Healthier and Greener Medical Office: Saving Green by Going Green (Sept/Oct 2010)
Learn valuable information and resources on "Greening Your Medical Office..."

Eating Nano - Processed Foods and Packaging Already Contain Nanoparticles, Some of Which Could be Harmful to Our Health (Sept/Oct 2013)
Our food supply is not nearly as safety-tested as we would like to believe. unbeknownst to just about everyone, nanoparticles made a quiet entrance into the nation's food supply at least a decade ago...

Fracking Our Farmland, Our Families, and Our Future: A New Toxic Legacy
Summary (Sept/Oct 2013)

Greening the OR (Mar/Apr 2014)
Aesthetic gases have been demonstrated to be powerful greenhouse gases. Nitrous oxide, in addition to being a greenhouse gas, is also destructive to the ozone layer

Keep the Oil in the Soil: Climate Change Update  (Sept/Oct 2010)
Is global warming a hoax? Increasing numbers of the public think so...

Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food (Nov/Dec 2012)
A letter to the American Medical Association Reference Committee - Office of House of Delegates Affairs - Author Cindy Lee Russell, MD

You Have a Right to Know: Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods (July/Aug 2012)
GE food is everywhere. Before you start to think that you can't possibly be eating GE foods because you know better, realize that if you eat any kind of processed or convenience food, you probably already are...

Nanotechnology to Nanotoxicology: A New Cause for Concern (Sept/Oct 2011)
Nanotechnology using ultrafine particles (UFP) has been hailed as the next industrial revolution, but like many other industrial processes such as chemical manufacturing, human toxicity and ecotoxicity are studied well after their release into the environment. Early studies show that some nanoparticles can have significant long-term toxic effects due to their shape, small size, structure, biopersistence, and attachment to the product. These are, unfortunately, the very properties that give nanoparticles their unique functionality.

Saving Your Landline May Save Your Life! (May/June 2016)
Do landlines seem obsolete? Do You have a landline? A new Claifornia bill AB 2395 backed by AT7T and introduced in February 2016 is poised to remove regulated landlines...

Shallow Minds: How the Internet and Wi-Fi in Schools Can Affect Learning (Sept/Oct 2013) 
Most of us cannot live without our computers, text messaging, e-mail, and immediate access to the vast cloud of information, especially kids and teenagers who have grown up in the age of the internet...

Travels With Tesla: A Doctor's Electrifying Journey. (Sept/Oct 2013)
One typical sunny California morning, El Camino Hospital anesthesiologist Phil Stillman turned on his computer and began planning a driving tour in his new electric car...

What's the Diagnosis Doctor? - By Scott Eberle, MD
Case Study: A 56-year-old high-functioning professional man (Dr. Eberle) presents with a recent decline in mental capacity, coupled with daily headaches and insomnia...Read entire article to read this fascinating self-case study of electromagnetic hypersenstivity (EHS)

Why Fi? Is Wireless Communication Hazardous to Your Health? (Sept/Oct 2010)
We are exposed to increasing levels of microwave electromagnetic radiation from many devices, which offer convenience and speed. But what do we know of the health and environmental effects of this enlarging wireless web we are in?...

Wi-Fi in Schools: Are we Playing it Safe With Our Kids? (Mar/Apr 2015)
“Current FCC standards do not account for the unique vulnerability and use patterns specific to pregnant women and children. It is essential that any new standard for cell phones or other wireless devices be based on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded throughout their lifetimes.” American Academy of Pediatrics Letter to FCC August 29, 2013. (20)

Wireless Silent Spring  (September/October Bulletin) (click here for color version)
Our ill-fated desire to control nature as well as our tendency to ignore our own complicity in its destruction for profit was the focus of a seminal 1962 book, “Silent Spring”. This publication is widely credited with ushering in the modern environmental movement. 

Video - Doctors Present Evidence of Wireless Radiation Impacts on Children
Wireless Technology and Public Health Symposium October 10, 2015, Mountain View, California.

On October 10, 2015 the Santa Clara County Medical Association Alliance Foundation sponsored a forum, "Wireless Technology and Public Health: Health and Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World," at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts in Mountain View, California. The event brought together leading experts from various disciplines who presented current scientific research regarding the health effects of electromagnetic radiation from cell phone, Wi Fi and other electronic devices on biological systems. The experts presented the science and personal stories behind the recent call for safer wireless radiation standards by over 200 international scientists. Links to autism, cancer, infertility, adverse effects on wildlife, cell phone safety and Wi Fi precautions were discussed. The forum was videotaped and can be viewed online. See links below. You can also visit for additional information as the links are posted there as well.


Environmental Health Webinar Series Resources

Click HERE to view all sessions of the Environmental Health Webinar Series 

Session 1: The Earth Has a Fever: A Physician's and a Physicist's Energy Transforming. 

By Amory Lovins and Dr. Santosh Pandipati ‚Äč

April 22, 2021 


Pandipati, S. (2020, December 14). Where Do We Go From Here? Medium.

Pandipati, S., MD. (2021, January 29). The Earth Has A Fever. Retrieved from

Pandipati, S., MD. (2020, June 11). Anticipated Impacts of the Climate Crisis on Women's Health: A Call to Action. Retrieved from

Pandipati, S., MD Climate Change Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from


Amory Lovins - Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era (2013) 

Session 2: Technology and Children: Schools, Screens, and COVID-19

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, Dr. Victoria Dunckley, Joe Clement & Matt Miles 

May 6, 2021


Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. By Pal Hawken, Amory Lovins and L Hunter Lovins. (1999)

Nicholas Kardaras- Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids - and How to Break the Trance. (2017)

Dr. Victoria Dunckley- Reset Your Child's Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time. (2015) 

Screen Schooled: Two veteran Teachers Expose How Technology  Overuse is Making our Kids Dumber.   Joe Clement and Matt Miles. (2017) 

24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week. A prescription for a heathier, Happier Life. Tiffany Shlain. (2019)


Parents with kids with too much screen time get an intervention with Dr.Victoria Dunckley


Pediatricians Elaborate on Screen Guidelines: American Academy of Pediatrics elaborates on official screentime guidelines. Dr. Victoria Dunckley. (2013) 

AAP American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations  for Children’s Media Use. (2016) room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Announces-New-Recommendations-for- Childrens-Media-Use.aspx 

Lissak G. Adverse physiological and psychological effects of screen time on children and adolescents: Literature review and case study. (2018) Environ Res. 2018 Jul;164:149-157.

Hutton JS et al. Associations Between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children. (2019) JAMA Pediatrics. Nov 4:e193869.

TIME FLIES: U.S. ADULTS NOW SPEND NEARLY HALF A DAY INTERACTING WITH MEDIA. (2018) nearly-half-a-day-interacting-with-media/ 

MOBILE KIDS: THE PARENT, THE CHILD AND THE SMARTPHONE.2/28/17. Nielsen Report. parent-the-child-and-the-smartphone/ 

Yuan (2011) Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder. Yuan K et al. PLOS One. June 3, 2011.

Zhou (2011)Gray matter abnormalities in Internet addiction: A voxel-based morphometry study. Zhou Y et al. European Journal of Radiology. July 2011. Vol 79. Issue 1, Pg 92-95. 

Taheri E. Association of Physical Activity and Screen Time with Psychiatric Distress in Children and Adolescents: CASPIAN-IV Study.J Trop Pediatr. 2019 Aug 1;65(4):361-372. 

Pardede P. (2017) Factors Attributed to Contradictory Research Findings in Print Reading vs. Digital Reading Effectiveness: A Literature Review. Oct 2017. Proceedings of the EED Collegiate Forum. 

Association of Children’s Mode of School Instruction with Child and Parent Experiences and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic — COVID Experiences Survey, United States, October 8–November 13, 2020.Verlenden JV et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly. MMWR

Twenge JM Associations between screen time and sleep duration are primarily driven by portable electronic devices: evidence from a population-based study of U.S. children ages 0-17.. Sleep Med. 2019 Apr;56:211-218.

Across the Board, Scores Drop in Math and Reading for U.S. Students: The latest results from the Nation’s Report Card show declines in student performance across demographics. Oct 30, 2019. Lauren Camera. U.S. News and World
Report. board-scores-drop-in-math-and-reading-for-us-students 

Wait Until 8th Grade: Let Kids Be Kids a Little Longer.

Mobile phone bans 'improve school exam results'. BBC News. May 17, 2015.

Wisconsin school districts ban cellphones in classroom. Sept 18, 2019. AP. ban-cellphones-in-classroom/article_f0b76040-6390-5a87-85bf-216400a396ca.html 

The Surprisingly Low-Tech Way Schools Are Keeping Students Off Tech. EdSurge. Aug 29, 2019.

A new study shows that students learn way more effectively from print textbooks than screens.

Beland LP and Murphy R. Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance. Center for Economic Performance. 

E-books versus Print: Which do we Retain Better? Terri Frank Nov 2017. 

Print Versus Digital: What Does the Latest Research Tell Us? 11/19/18

Illustrated story books are better for kids' brains than video or text, study finds. story-books-are-better-for-kids-brains-than-video-or-text-study-finds-1.4678195

Book Review - Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal (Sept/Oct 2013)
Author: Melanie Warner  |  Reviewed by Cindy Russell, MD

Did you ever open a long-expired box of cookies and find they looked and smelled perfectly normal? You may have eaten them without any gastric distress at all. It might have made you wonder, however, what the true expiration of processed foods really is and why...

Session 3: Children's Environmetal Health 

Dr. Philip Landrigan and Gina Solomon

May 20, 2021


Textbook of Children’s Environmental Health Landrigan PJ, Etzel RA (Editors).. London: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Handbook of Pediatric Environmental Health. American Academy of Pediatrics.. 3rd ed. Etzel RA, Balk SJ (editors). Elk Grove Village, Ill: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2012.


Dr. Philip Landrigan- Children's Environmental Health Chapter

Public policy and health in the Trump era. Woolhandler S. et al. Lancet. 2021 Feb 20;397(10275):705-753.

Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. Grandjean P and Landrigan PJ . Lancet Neurol. 2014 Mar;13(3):330-8.

Why are We Subsidizing Childhood Obesity? Dr. Philip Landrigan , Dr. Lisa Satlin, Dr. Paolo Bofetta. Mt Sinai Physicians and Scientists.

The Monsanto Papers.  Roundup (Glyphosate) Cancer Cases. Secret Documents.

The developmental origins of adult disease. Barker DJ.J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23:588S-95S.

Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. National Academy of Sciences. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1993.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Environmental Health. Available at:

Academic Pediatric Association, Special Interest group on Environmental Health. Available at:

Children’s Environmental Health Network. Avaialble at:

Environmental Health Perspectives, the peer-reviewed, open-access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regularly publishes articles on topics in children’s environmental health. Available at:

International Network on Children’s Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES). Available at:

International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment (ISCHE). Available at:

International Society for Environmental Epidemiology presents multiple reports on topics on children’s environmental health at their annual scientific meeting. Available at:

World Health Organization. Network of Collaborating Centres for Children’s Environmental Health. Available at:

Children’s vulnerability to toxic chemicals: A challenge and opportunity to strengthen health and environmental policy. Landrigan PJ, Goldman L. Health Affairs. 2011;30:842–850.

Psychological Stress: A social pollutant that may enhance environmental risk. Wright RJ.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011;184:752-4.

Environmental Justice and the Health of Children.Landrigan PJ, Rauh VA, Galvez MP. Mt Sinai J Med 2010; 77:178-87.

Session 4: Food and the Environment 

Dr. Ted Schettler and Courtney Crenshaw

June 3, 2021

Health Care Without Harm

Practice Green Healthand Annual Clean Med Conference.

The Science and Environmental Health Network

In harm's way: toxic threats to child developmentArticle. Stein J, Schettler T et al. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2002 Feb;23(1 Suppl):S13-22.

In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development. Book.2000. Ted Schettler MD, MPH Jill Stein MD, Fay Reich PsyD, Maria Valenti, David Wallinga MD.

Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment.  Annette Huddle, Ted Shettler, Maria Valenti and Gina Solomon.  

Summaries here-

To order book via MIT Press go here-

The Ecology of Breast Cancer: The Promise of Prevention and the Hope for Healing. Dr. Ted Schettler. 2013.

Inseparable futures: Healthy food and sustainable agriculture

Dr. Ted Schettler. Dec 2016. San Francisco Magazine.

Environmental Nutrition: Redefining Healthy Food in the Health Care Sector.

The CHAMACOS Cohort Studyexamining chemicals and other factors in the environment and children’s health. UC Berkeley.

USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 

USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.
Genetically-Modified Food: Fantastic or 'Frankenfood'? Ted Schettler, MD, and Steve Heilig, MPH. Huffington Post Blog. Oct 8, 2013.

Genetically Modified Foods and Social Concerns. Maghari BM et al. J Med Biotechnol. 2011 Jul-Sep; 3(3): 109–117.

Glyphosate-based herbicide formulations and reproductive toxicity in animals.Jarrel ZR et al. Veterinary and Animal Science. Vol 10, Dec 2020.

The Introduction of Thousands of Tonnes of Glyphosate in the food Chain—An Evaluation of Glyphosate Tolerant Soybeans. Bohn T et al. Foods.  2019 Dec; 8(12): 669.

Genetically Modified Organisms and the Future Global Nutrient Supply: Part of the Solution or a New Problem? Phillips PW. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2016;115:153-63.

Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: A consensus statement. Myers JP et al. Environmental Health Journal BMC. Feb 17, 2016.

Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans.Bohn T et al. Food Chem. 2014 Jun 15;153:207-15.

Allergenicity assessment of genetically modified crops--what makes sense?Goodman RE et al. Nat Biotechnol. 2008 Jan;26(1):73-81.

Modified genes spread to local maize.Nature. Nov 12, 2008. Rex Dalton.

Mexico pressing ahead with GMO corn, glyphosate bans, says key official. Feb 19, 2021.

GMO Labeling Laws per Country

Prioritizing Nutrition Security in the US.Mozaffarian D et al. JAMA. April 1, 2021.

Eating Nano: Our Food Supply is Not Nearly as Healthy as We Would Like to Believe.Brita Belli. Nov 2012. E Magazine.

Breastfeeding as an Exposure Pathway for Perfluorinated Alkylates. Mogensen UB et al. Environ Sci Technol . 2015 Sept 1:49.

Toxicology of Autoimmune Diseases. Chem Res Toxicol. Pollard KM et al. 2010. Mar 15: 23(3): 455-466.

Wireless Technology and Public Health Forum

Mountain View Center for Performing Art 

October 10, 2015

Part 1  Joel Moskowitz, PhD - Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy
Joel M. Moskowitz, PhD, Director, Center for Family and Community Health, U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, associate producer of the movie Mobilize: A Film about Cell Phone Radiation, discussed new research related to wireless technology, public health and policy. His website is a valuable resource for journalists and the public. In the past year, he helped organize the International EMF Scientist Appeal (EMFScientist.orgsigned by more than 200 EMF scientists and consulted on the Berkeley cell phone “right to know” ordinance

Video (46 mins.):

Part 2  Martin Pall, PhD - How Wireless Devices Cause Cell Harm: Voltage-Gate Calcium Channels

Martin Pall, PhD, Professor Emeritus, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, author of numerous scientific papers on oxidation and inflammation, discussed the cellular mechanisms of action that explain the adverse biological effects of wireless devices on the human body. 

Video (31 mins.):

Part 3  Suruchi Chandra, MD - Environmental Factors in Autism and EMF Radiation

Suruchi Chandra, MD, Harvard-trained integrative psychiatrist discussed stressors on the developing nervous system, childhood developmental delays, research related to microwave EMF and other toxic exposures, and how this knowledge changed her approach to clinical care.

Video (18 mins.):

Part 4  Peter Sullivan - The Autism Puzzle: Reducing Digital Overload in a Wireless Era

Peter Sullivan, founder of Clear Light Ventures and a Silicon Valley computer scientist, discussed his personal family experience with autism spectrum disorder and how he improved the health of his family through EMF reduction.

Video (16 mins.):

Part 5  Toril Jelter, MD - Health Effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation in Children

Toril Jelter, MD, pediatrician and general practitioner who treats children and adults with electrohypersensitivity, discussed her clinical experience with autism and behavioral changes related to electromagnetic radiation.

Video (20 mins.):

Part 6  Victoria Dunckley, MD - Electronic Screen Syndrome: The Overstimulated Child

Victoria Dunckley, MD, award-winning child psychiatrist and author of "Reset Your Child's Brain," discussed the identification and management of screen-time's physiological effects on mood regulation, cognition, sleep, and behavior in children.

Video (28 mins.):

Part 7  Katie Singer - Electronics in Our Ecosystem: EMF Effects on Wildlife, Birds and Bees

Katie Singer, author of "An Electronic Silent Spring," reported on the impact of exposure to electromagnetic radiation on wildlife.

Video (24 mins.):

Loretta Lynch, JD, attorney and former President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), discussed corporate influence in government, profiteering and the smart meter issue at the CPUC. Ms. Lynch served the CPUC through California’s energy crisis fighting manipulation of energy sellers.

Video: not available

Part 8 Question and Answer Session

Wireless Technology and Public Health
On May 3, 2016 the nation's leading experts on wireless radiation and human health impacts participate in a live press conference prior to their panel at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Baltimore. Featuring Dr. Devra Davis, Dr. Hugh Taylor, Dr. Martha Herbert, and Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair. "The doctors offered the advice during the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Baltimore where they also said parents should limit their children's use of cellphones, iPads and other wireless technology because it can cause behavioral and concentration problems." Baltimore, Sunday, May 6, 2016.

Video (24 mins.):