This report primarily examines the lifetime influences of environmental factors on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and their underlying pathologic mechanisms. Our close look at the science of these diseases shows they are related to a number of features of modern society and that Alzheimer’s disease especially is linked to other serious health problems of modern times, which we call the "western disease cluster."
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NBC Today ShowEnvironmental Threats to Healthy Aging was released nationwide on NBC's Today Show in a segment with chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Dr. Snyderman discussed the report's key finding with host Meredith Vieira. The Today show is seen by 5 million viewers. The entire segment is available on the MSNBC website.
To order a hard copy of Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, please make a donation of $20 or more to SEHN.
Contact:Please contact Sherri at SEHN for any questions or comments.

More info on Healthy Aging on the CHE website.
    Scientists Endorse Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging

This important book from Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Science and Environmental Health Network presents in clear, balanced, and understandable terms the emerging evidence that toxic environmental exposures, in combination with nutritional, social, and exercise variables, contribute to the causation of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other chronic degenerative diseases of aging. It offers prudent suggestions in light of current knowledge for reducing exposures and building resilience against environmental threats. This book is a 'must read.'

Philip Landrigan MD, MSc
Professor & Chairman
Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York

Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging presents the most comprehensive compilation of information on the impact of the environment on neurodegenerative diseases. It weaves complex cutting-edge research information in this area and presents it in a manner that the average reader can comprehend. I know of no other work which has dealt with this subject with caring and social responsibility and a deep understanding of the environmental challenges to our health.

Nasser H. Zawia, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Department of Biomedical Sciences
University of Rhode Island

Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging is a weighty contribution to our public knowledge of the ecology of human health and disease across the lifespan. Written with concinnity, rigor, and passion, it should inspire and inform needed and urgent conversations about healthcare priorities in America. This report presents a clear warning against the profession-centered, reductionistic approaches of biomedicine that minimize the influences of cultural, experiential, ecological, and cumulative developmental contexts. It is a clarion call to promote an integrative model of human health and wellness.

Peter J Whitehouse, MD, PhD
Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University

Daniel R. George, ABD, MSc
Department of Medical Anthropology
Oxford University

Whitehouse and George are co-authors of The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis

Congratulations on getting this [report Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging] out - the distillation of information is fantastic and the layout wonderfully inviting.

Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT
INND (Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders)
Seattle, WA
Author: A Small Dose of Toxicology

Principal Authors' Bios
Jill Stein MD
Dr. Jill Stein is a board certified internist, and previously served as a staff physician at Harvard Community Health Plan and Simmons College Health Center. She was an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 1982-2005. She co-authored the report, In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, (GBPSR 2000), a call to action to protect children from toxic exposures that contribute to learning and behavior problems. The report has been the basis of continuing education conferences at medical centers across the country, and has been translated into four languages. As a leader in Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, Dr. Stein has been an effective voice of the health community, assisting citizen groups seeking stronger protections at the community, state and federal level from sources of pollution. She has appeared on the Today Show, 20/20 News Magazine and other media to discuss the health implications of toxic threats. Dr. Stein is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Harvard College. Jill also heads the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities.

Ted Schettler MD MPH
Ted Schettler MD, MPH is Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. He has a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, a masters in public health from Harvard University, and practiced medicine for over 30 years. Schettler also serves as science advisor for the Collaborative on Health and Environment Network and for the Health Care Without Harm campaign. He is co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment (MIT Press 1999) and In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development (GBPSR 2000). He has published a number of articles on related topics in peer-reviewed journals and has served on advisory committees of the US EPA and National Academy of Sciences.


Media Coverage

Since its release, the report has been featured in over 65 national and regional stories, and reached an audience of over 23 millions from television, radio, print, and online media coverage.

Media coverage of particular note:


  • NEW! Thursday, May 7, 2009: The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) hosted an important call on metabolic syndrome [a cluster of conditions occurring together that elevate a person’s risk of developing certain chronic diseases such heart disease, stroke and diabetes and its intersection with what is being called the Western Disease Cluster]. Dr. Jill Stein was one of the featured speakers. See the details and then listen to the call (MP3 audio format).
  • NEW! AARP Prime Time Radio interview with Drs. Jill Stein and Ted Schettler (aired on May 5, 2009, and also playing on many public radio stations around the country during the week following airing)
  • A full page in the April 2009 edition of Dr. Andrew Weil's Self Healing newsletter, circ. 150,000 in print (Dr. Weil is a leading integrative medicine expert)
  • GBPSR's Healthy Aging report op-ed appeared March 25, 2009 on the front page of the "Living" section of the Huffington Post (View the posting)
  • Dr. Jill's Stein's half hour radio interview on KEXP public radio Seattle's Sustainability Segment of "Mind Over Matters," which aired on Saturday, March 21 - 90.3 FM in Seattle and on the web at
    (Listen to Dr. Stein's interview in MP3 format)
  • A review in Rachel's Democracy & Health News #1000, February 26, 2009, where the report was termed "stunning." (see the review in PDF format)
  • Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 117, Number 1, Jan. 2009
  • USA Today's "A Better Life", Jan. 12, 2009, which generates over 9.5 million page views per month


  • Health Affairs, December 31, 2008, a trade/policy publication that focuses on healthcare policy and research with a readership of about 30,000 and more online (1.3 million page views per month)
  • The EPA Aging Initiative List Serve, December 2008, (which goes out to over 4000 EPA or federal agency professionals, press, academics, congressional staff, aging experts, and persons involved in the aging and public health field)
  • Articles on prominent Web sites that address aging and health issues, such as (Dec. 1, 2008) and The Tangled Neuron (Nov. 23, 2008)
  • The Washington Post News Service, Nov. 11, 2008, in an article that was picked up by seven top regional daily newspapers, including The San Diego Union-Tribune, which has a print circulation of 270,000
  • Yahoo! Health, Oct. 31, 2008, which receives over 8 million page views per month
   GBPSR | SEHNCreative Commons LicenseUpdated: 23-MAY-09