Keeping You Connected

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

Environmental Health

Chair: Cindy Russell, MD
Staff: Sameera Manucher 

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.

Dr. Russell is VP for Community Health and chair of the Santa Clara County Medical Association Environmental Health Committee.

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.

August/September Bulletin: Environmental Health and Climate Change 

New Articles

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)  for the Sept/Oct 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.


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.):

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...