Prenatal Environmental Health Education Forum



On November 20 and 21, 2014, The Sandbox Project’s Environment Working Group presented a Prenatal Environmental Health Education Forum at the University of Ottawa. Over two days of presentations and discussions, many new ideas about strategies for improving prenatal environmental health education were generated. Participants' specialties ranged from prenatal care to education to policy to toxicology, all with a similar ultimate goal: to improve the health of Canada’s children.  

The PEHE Forum built partnerships among 80-90 prenatal health practitioners, researchers, educators, policy makers and environmental health experts from across Canada and the U.S. to develop strategies for improving prenatal environmental health education. To our knowledge, it was the first-ever Canadian forum of this kind.

17 scheduled presenters covered topics including environmental epidemiology and toxicology, high-risk populations, current prenatal environmental health educational practices and barriers, and opportunities for integrating educational programs into prenatal practice. 

The PEHE Forum was made possible through the collaboration and/or support of the following  organizations:

  • The University of Ottawa

  • Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health & Environment (CPCHE)

  • The Centre for Environmental Health Equity

  • Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Health Canada

  • The International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment (ISCHE)

  • The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

  • The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM)

  • The Environmental Health Institute (EHI) of Canada

  • The Canadian Association of Midwives

  • Canadian Paediatric Society, Paediatric Environmental Health Section

  • UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE)

  • Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

  • Toronto Public Health


For more information or to read the forum report, please visit the PEHE Forum website.

Videos of the keynote and panel presentations can be found here

Read the November 2014 op-ed piece, "Common toxins make big difference in brain development" written by Environment Working Group members Bruce Lanphear, Erica Phipps, Eric Crighton and Barbara McElgunn.