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Webinar: Links Between Cancer and Early Life Exposures to Environmental Pollutants

A webinar on the latest science and its implications for health professionals.

Watch the webinar recording.

View the Presentation Slides

While pediatric cancer is still a rare disease, the rate of new cancers has increased nearly 30 percent since 1975. A growing body of research links pediatric cancers to environmental exposures in utero and in childhood. Recent science also points to a role for early life exposures in priming the body for developing cancer in adulthood.

In this webinar, presenters reviewed the state of the science on the contribution of environmental exposures in early life to cancer, and reflect on its implications for clinical practice and engagement of health professionals in policy change. A special focus of the webinar is on air pollution. A description of exposures from mobile and point sources in Southwest Pennsylvania provide a case study in the challenges and opportunities for reducing exposures as industrial economies transition.


  • Phil Landrigan – Dean for Global Health and Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. Landrigan is an internationally recognized pediatrician, epidemiologist, and leader in public health, children’s environmental health and preventive medicine.
  • Jim Fabisiak – Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health. Fabisiak is a toxicologist with expertise in the mechanisms and injury of air pollutants.
  • Richard Clapp – Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health/Adjunct Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and former Director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry. Clapp is an epidemiologist who specializes in environmental and occupational cancer.


  • Polly Hoppin – Research Professor, Department of Public Health, Program Director, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell


  • Dr. Marsha Haley – Radiation Oncologist, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Dr. Edward Ketyer – Pediatrician, Pediatric Alliance
  • Matt Mehalik – Director, Air Quality Collaborative

Supporting Organizations:

Air Quality Collaborative, Allegheny Health Network, American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter, American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic. Children’s Environmental Health Network, Clean Air Council, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Homewood Children’s Village, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Silent Spring Institute, Southwestern PA Environmental Health Project, The Heinz Endowments, Women for a Healthy Environment