Webinar Series: How Fracking & Natural Gas Impact Maternal Health

Nationally renowned doctors and scientists joined the Center for Environmental Health for a six-part webinar series designed to provide the resources and information necessary to help you in the ongoing fight against the harmful effects of fracking. You can now watch them all below.

About the series: Many of the chemicals associated with gas extraction and development have been connected with acute and chronic health problems in children and women, including respiratory, neurological, reproductive, and developmental impacts. This webinar series focuses on our current understanding of possible impacts and how we can advance our knowledge through research, medicine, and public health practice.

Session 1: Natural Gas, Public Health, and Protecting the Most Vulnerable Populations

  • Who this is for: Mothers, families, the scientific community, and healthcare professionals.
  • Description: Carol Kwiatkowski speaks about the public health implications of natural gas development, with an emphasis on air pollution and the risks they might hold for vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women.
  • About The Speaker: Carol Kwiatkowski, Executive Director of TEDX, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, and an Assistant Professor Adjunct at the University of Colorado Boulder. During her time at TEDX, she has created the Critical Windows of Development website, which presents a timeline of how the human body develops in the womb, with animal research showing when low-dose exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during development results in altered health outcomes.
  • Link to the PowerPoint presentation

Session 2: How Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction Effects Children

  • Who this is for: Health professionals.
  • Description: Paulson speaks about the unique physiology of children and the potential health implications of unconventional natural gas extraction for infants and children.
  • About the Speaker: Jerome A. Paulson’s is a nationally renowned expert on issues relating to the environment and its impact on children’s health. He is Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the GW School of Public Health & Health Services.
  • Link to the PowerPoint presentation

Session 3:  How Dangerous is Natural Gas Drilling for Pregnant Women?

  • Who this is for: Mothers and families
  • Description: Nurse-Midwife Katie Huffling speaks about the susceptibility of women and fetuses during pregnancy in connection to unconventional natural gas drilling.
  • About the Speaker: Katie Huffling is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and is the Director of Programs for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments where she directors projects related to environmental health nursing practice, research, education, and policy and advocacy. She is also part of a national and international network of nurses that work to integrate environmental health into nursing education and provide guidance and resources to pregnant women, parents, and others about health risks to children and their families.
  • Link to the PowerPoint presentation

Session 4: How Environmental Exposures Can Reduce Cognitive Function in Children

  • Who this is for: Mothers and families
  • Description: Dr. David O. Carpenter focuses on environmental exposures that are known to result in reduced cognitive function in children, usually associated with shortened attention span, increased antisocial behavior and poorer performance in school.
  • About the Speaker: Carpenter is a public health physician whose current position is Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, as well as Professor of Environmental Health Sciences within the School of Public Health at the University at Albany. After receiving his MD degree from Harvard Medical School he chose a career of research and public health.
  • Link to the PowerPoint presentation

Session 5: How Environmental Toxins are Linked to Metabolic Disorders and Chronic Diseases

  • Who this is for: Health professionals.
  • Description: Dr. Sheila Bushkin-Bedient speaks on the prenatal origins of disease and why we should be focusing on studying possible connections between unconventional natural gas extraction and diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
  • About the Speaker: Sheila Bushkin is a member of the Institute of Health and the Environment at the State University at Albany, and Concerned Health Professionals of New York.  She has been a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York for 15 years. Her specific areas of interest involve environmental health issues, chronic diseases, health concerns of older adults, and CME for physicians.
  • Link to the PowerPoint presentation

Session 6: How A Mother’s Proximity to Natural Gas Development Effects Birth Outcomes

  • Who this is for: Professionals in the health research and science community.
  • Description: Dr. Lisa McKenzie speakings about the findings in her most recent study assessing birth outcomes and proximity to natural gas development regions in rural Colorado.
  • About the Speaker: McKenzie’s research has contributed to the understanding of how air pollutants and other exposures affect the health people living in natural gas development areas. She is a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) on the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus.  She holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Colorado, an MPH in Epidemiology from the CSPH, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Montana.
  • Link to the PowerPoint presentation
  • Tags: children’s healthfrackingmaternal healthparentspregnancy