The Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 9, 1998
Nov. 9, 1998
VOL. 28, NO. 11


Chesapeake Bay Problems Will Be Focus Of Upcoming Public Health Colloquium

By Lisbeth Pettengill
School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

As if the state's high cancer rates weren't enough, recent statistics show that Maryland ranks No. 6 in the country for states whose waters receive the most persistent toxic metals. That water would be the Chesapeake Bay. Crabs harvested from Baltimore Harbor have concentrations of lead high enough to cause concern if children should consume them. The oyster population has shrunk to the level where what was once harvested in several days would now take a full year to glean. The bay is everyone's problem, from those who consume its contents to those whose livelihoods depend on it.

The School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future will examine the bay in trouble and the trouble it causes for the health of Marylanders in a colloquium on Nov. 13. "Health of the Bay, Health of the People" will look at three broad topics: environmental threats to the bay that are also threats to human health; research and policy needs to assess the health of the bay; and ways to develop measurable parameters to serve as indicators of environmental and human health threats.

The morning program will look at the recent pfisteria outbreak, the effect of toxic chemicals on this delicate ecosystem and environmental contamination. The afternoon session will turn to ways to measure and improve the relationship between the health of the bay and the health of the people, especially those who live in watershed areas.

For more information, or to register, call Polly Walker at 410-223-1608. A registration fee of $15 covers the cost of lunch and copies of the white papers.