Webinar: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Shale Gas Development

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

This event has passed. The recording is available here.

Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP) and Halt the Harm Network hosted a webinar on Tuesday, May 18.

The webinar featured presentations on endocrine disrupting chemicals and shale gas development, led by presenters Chris Kassotis, PhD, of Wayne State University, and Laura Vandenberg, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The webinar was moderated by EHP's medical advisor, Ned Ketyer, MD, FAAP.

Dr. Chris Kassotis
"From Fracking to Fat Cells: How Unconventional Oil and Gas Production May Influence Metabolic Health"

Dr. Chris Kassotis is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Department of Pharmacology at Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed his PhD at the University of Missouri working with Susan Nagel and Fred vom Saal to assess unconventional oil and gas operations as a novel source of endocrine disrupting chemicals and potential for adverse human and animal health outcomes. During a postdoc at Duke University, he assessed the metabolic health disruption potential of complex chemical mixtures (e.g. indoor house dust) via a combination of cell and zebrafish models. Now in his own laboratory, he is funded with a K99/R00 award from NIEHS to better evaluate metabolic health risks from exposure to various ethoxylated surfactants, used in hard surface cleaners, detergents, and also in hydraulic fracturing. His lab is focused on identifying and characterizing novel endocrine disrupting chemicals from diverse sources, including unconventional oil and gas operations, and evaluating potential health effects from these exposures.

Dr. Laura N. Vandenberg
"A Poisoned Web: from Unconventional Oil and Gas Production to Plastics to Endocrine Disruptors"

Dr. Laura N. Vandenberg is an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences. Her work addresses how low doses of chemicals during critical windows of development can alter gene expression, cell differentiation, and tissue organization in subtle ways that can lead to adult diseases such as cancer, obesity, and infertility. She is specifically interested in endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and has worked extensively with chemicals used as plasticizers and flame retardants. Her work also focuses on how traditional toxicology assays have failed to identify a number of ubiquitous endocrine disruptors, and how current risk assessment practices can be improved in the study and regulation of this class of chemicals.

Dr. Ned Ketyer
Moderator

Dr. Ned Ketyer is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area pediatrician. Dr. Ketyer enjoyed 26 years in private practice before retiring from patient care in 2017. He remains a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health and is a board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Pennsylvania. Dr. Ketyer is a consultant for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, bringing attention to the health impacts of fracking in the Marcellus Shale gas patch.