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EPA Honors Dr. Jeanne Conry as Children’s Environmental Health Champion 2012

Release Date: 01/08/2013
Contact Information: Michael Ardito, 415-972-3081, ardito.michael@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld today recognized Jeanne Conry, M.D., Ph.D., of Roseville, Calif. at an environmental award ceremony held at the University of California, San Francisco Parnassus Campus. The Pacific Southwest Region’s 2012 Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award was presented to Dr. Conry, elected as president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), beginning May 2013.

“EPA applauds Dr. Jeanne Conry for her national leadership to promote better health for babies and women by preventing harmful chemical exposures during pregnancy,” Blumenfeld said. “She has made reproductive environmental health a key new emphasis for the obstetrics community.”

Dr. Conry emphasizes a healthy approach to life with exercise, healthy diet and preventive care. Before the award ceremony today, Dr. Conry spoke to a group of medical students and health professionals on “Reproductive Health and the Environment: Well Women Care and Preconception Health on the National Agenda.”

Dr. Conry is assistant physician in chief at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Roseville, and associate clinical professor of ob-gyn at the University of California, Davis. She also currently serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Select Panel on Preconception, a coalition of government and health care providers seeking to improve pregnancy outcomes by emphasizing the need for healthy choices across the reproductive life span of women.

“Our studies have found that virtually all pregnant women in the U.S. are exposed to multiple chemicals and our recent survey of ACOG fellows found that OB/Gyn’s often feel underprepared to address this issue with their patients,” said Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Professor and Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at UCSF. “We nominated Dr. Conry because of her commitment to teaching her patients and colleagues of the importance of avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals during pregnancy. “

Research indicates that most pregnant women have measurable levels of chemicals (such as lead, mercury, pesticides, bisphenol A, flame retardants, etc.) in their bodies that may impact fetal development. Fetuses can be exposed to chemicals because some metals and chemicals pass through the placenta. Researchers have found that prenatal exposures to chemicals may impact birth size, neurodevelopment and may increase the risk of birth defects and adverse health outcomes later in life. People can consult their health care providers to discuss ways to prevent or reduce harmful exposures, especially during the perinatal and prenatal periods.


Children and fetuses are more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults because their systems are still developing, which makes them less able than adults to metabolize, detoxify, and excrete toxins. Children born to mothers in minority, low-income, and indigenous communities are at a greater risk of experiencing adverse effects from environmental pollution and hazards because of factors such as poverty, poor nutrition, pre-existing health conditions, lack of access to health care and information.

The EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitments and significant contributions to protecting the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Groups and individuals were selected from nominees received this year from businesses, government officials, tribes, media, academia, environmental organizations and community activists. For more information on the other 2012 award winners please visit: http://epa.gov/region9/awards .

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