National Institutes of Health Brings Environmental Justice Leaders from Across the US for Environmental Justice Tour

December 10, 2007

Research Area: 

Highlights Include Somerville Demonstration by Brazilian Women’s Group Cleaning Cooperative, Occupational Health and Safety Tour of Flagraphics, Welcome by Director of Health Department, City of Somerville

Environmental justice leaders from around the country brought together by NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environmental Justice Conference will tour several Somerville sites on Monday, December 10. Silent Spring Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to studying links between the environment and women’s health, is hosting the conference. Local tour hosts include the Tufts University School of Engineering, the Immigrant Services Provider Group/Health, the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS), Haitian Coalition, and the Brazilian Women’s Group.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is funding a four-year effort to address on-the-job health risks to immigrant workers in Somerville, a city with a large and growing immigrant population. The Cambridge Health Alliance and the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) are additional key partners in this project.

Media are welcome to attend any of the following events:
Somerville, Mass.
10:00 AM
Remarks by Somerville Director of Public Health Noreen Burke, followed by a demonstration of non-toxic cleaning products by Vida Verde, a cooperative of primarily women housekeepers launched by the Brazilian Women’s Group, who switched from traditional commercial cleaning agents due to the health effects. Location: Christ Episcopal Church, 66 Fellsway W.
11:00 AM Occupational health and safety tour of Flagraphics, major manufacturer and installer of architectural textile graphics such as the World Championship flags for the Boston Red Sox. Flagraphics served as a field location for an occupational health and safety assessment performed by a group of Teen Educators formed as part of the Somerville project. Flagraphics founder Tony Lafuente will describe the history of the company and the training and development of a labor force. Location: Flagraphics, 30 Alston St.
12:00 PM Luncheon talk on the history of occupational health and labor issues in Somerville, led by UMASS Boston Professor of History and Labor Studies James Green. Associate Professor David M. Gute of the Tufts Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will introduce Professor Green. Location: 7th Floor of The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 170 Packard Ave.

Newton, Mass.
3:15 PM
Remarks by Silent Spring Institute founders Beverly Baccelli and Cheryl Osimo about environmental links to breast cancer, demonstration of household exposure study methods, and clips from the documentary No Family History. Location: Silent Spring Institute, 29 Crafts Street