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Release: Immediate

UI to host conference on environmental health issues

IOWA CITY, Iowa --The University of Iowa Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) will host the "Iowa Conference on Emerging Environmental Health Issues" Sept. 23-24 at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City.

Public health officials, researchers in environmental sciences, toxicology and epidemiology, and water quality experts from around the country will gather to present current research findings, address current policy issues and discuss control and prevention measures on health issues affected by water quality and the environment.

The conference will focus on three key environmental health topics:

* Drinking water disinfection by-products -- Topics will include concerns about cancer, birth defects and other health risks from the by-products of chlorination of community water systems. Dr. Charles Lynch, UI professor of preventive medicine and environmental health, and director of the Iowa Cancer Registry, will serve as facilitator for the session.

* Synthetic organic chemicals and birth defects -- Presenters will discuss the impact pesticides, industrial chemicals, and genetic and environmental conditions have as risk factors for birth defects. Dr. Jeffrey Murray, UI professor of pediatrics, will lead the session.

* Endocrine disrupting chemicals -- Topics will include the effects of environmental chemicals on estrogen receptors in humans and wildlife, testing for endocrine disruption, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency perspective on these issues. Dr. George Hallberg, associate director of the UI Hygienic Laboratory, will facilitate this session.

Scheduled speakers include Dr. Richard Jackson, director of the National Center for Environmental Health. Jackson will give a speech titled, "Environment, Health and the Future" on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. during a banquet for conference participants.

Dr. John McLachlan, director of the Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, will deliver a keynote speech titled "Estrogens, Genes and Development" on Sept. 24 at 9 a.m.

The conference is open to the public. Registration is $35. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend UI-sponsored events. If you are a person who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, or for registration or other information, call the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes (319) 335-3231 or 1-800-551-9029.