From Seveso, Italy, where a chemical plant exploded in the 1970's to the agricultural Salinas Valley, California, where more than 9 million pounds of pesticides were used in 2012, to Limpopo, South Africa, where strong insecticides are used to combat malaria-carrying mosquitoes, CERCH studies the potential impacts of environmental exposures on children's health. Such factors include pesticides, flame retardants, chemicals in plastics, cosmetics and other consumer products and many other exposures. We also examine how the larger environment, including adversity, poverty, and cultural resilience, interact with chemical exposures. CERCH prioritizes engaging communities to inform study design, implementation, and dissemination and helping to identify key solutions to pressing environmental issues.
The Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) is a longitudinal cohort study of children examining exposures to pesticides and other chemicals and their potential health effects on growth, neurodevelopment and health. We have been conducting this study for 19 years and have been funded to continue for another 6 years of research.
The COSECHA Study, (which stands for CHAMACOS of Salinas Evaluating Chemicals in Homes and Agriculture) is a youth participatory action research project using novel technologies to examine how Salinas Valley teens are exposed to pesticides used in fields near their homes.
The Health and Environmental Research in Make-up of Salinas Adolescents (HERMOSA) showed that adolescent girls could reduce exposure to potentially hormone disrupting chemicals in personal care products by using low-chemical alternatives for 3 days.
Examining chemical exposures and improving environmental quality in child care settings in California, with the ultimate goal of protecting children’s health.