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Tue, May 24



PFAS, Pregnancy, and Public Health: Experts Weigh In

Time & Location

May 24, 2022, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT


About the event

To view the webinar, click HERE.

You're invited! Join the Environmental Health Project and Halt the Harm as we host Blair Wylie, M.D., MPH, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University, and Jamie DeWitt, Ph.D., of East Carolina University, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Dr. Wylie will discuss the risks of exposure to PFAS substances during pregnancy, and Dr. DeWitt will discuss the toxicity and more specifically immunotoxicity of exposure to PFAS substances. This webinar will be moderated by Ned Ketyer, M.D., EHP’s Medical Advisor, who will begin the evening with a brief overview of what is known about the use of PFAS in shale gas development and potential routes of exposure.

Speaker & Moderator Bios:


Blair Johnson Wylie, M.D., MPH, is Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). She also holds an appointment as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and serves as the obstetric consultant to the New England Region’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Network (PEHSU).

Dr. Wylie received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She studied epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia, where she received her master’s in public health. Dr. Wylie completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington Medical Center and a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Columbia University.

Dr. Wylie’s clinical practice encompasses the full range of maternal-fetal medicine including prenatal diagnosis and ultrasound, high risk obstetric consultations, caring for pregnant women hospitalized during pregnancy, and deliveries. A unique contribution that she provides to women and their families is consultation about how environmental exposures can impact the health of the pregnancy and developing fetus. These potential toxins include lead, mercury, pesticides, phenols, phthalates, and perfluorinated alkyl substances.

Dr. Wylie’s research has focused on global maternal/child health with a particular interest in environmental exposures during pregnancy in international settings such as smoke from cooking fires or pesticides from subsistence farming. She has ongoing projects in Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and India. As recognition of her global expertise, Dr. Wylie has served on the Global Operations Advisory Group at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and as an External Advisor to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research. She is also a member of HMS’ Advisory Committee on Global Health, previously chaired the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s Global Heath Committee, and now chairs the Foundation for SMFM’s Queenan Fellowships for Global Health. She recently completed a three-year term on the Board for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.


Jamie DeWitt is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU). She joined ECU in 2008 and her laboratory’s research program focuses on functional effects of environmental chemicals on the immune system and its interactions with the nervous system during development and adulthood.

Dr. DeWitt has B.S. degrees in Environmental Science and Biology from Michigan State University and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Science and Neural Science from Indiana University-Bloomington. She completed postdoctoral training in ecotoxicology at Indiana University-Bloomington and in immunotoxicology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

With respect to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), Dr. DeWitt has published numerous primary research articles and review articles, two book chapters, and edited a book on their toxicity. She has served as an external reviewer of PFAS documents for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She also was a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer working group for the assessment of the carcinogenicity of PFOA. Her laboratory is currently assessing the immunotoxicity of emerging PFAS that are of concern in North Carolina.



Dr. Ned Ketyer is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area pediatrician. Dr. Ketyer enjoyed 26 years in private practice before retiring from patient care in 2017, although he continues to write a daily blog for AHN Pediatrics called The PediaBlog ( He remains a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health and Climate Change and is President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania. Dr. Ketyer is a consultant for the Environmental Health Project bringing attention to the health impacts of fracking in the Marcellus Shale gas patch.

Dr. Ketyer’s work connects the rapid expansion of shale gas extraction (fracking) and petrochemical/plastic development in the Ohio River Valley with the local and regional health impacts currently experienced by residents, and the global ecologic and public health catastrophes resulting from plastic pollution and climate change that threaten the health and well-being of all passengers on this shining ball of blue.

To view the webinar, click HERE.

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