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BPA, cancer, climate, media & fish

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July 29, 2010
BPA scare spreads to receipts
SFU health scientist Bruce Lanphear, the co-author of an earlier study linking prenatal Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure to behavioural problems in children, isn’t surprised by the latest study. Lanphear can comment on a Washington, DC group’s new finding that BPA, a cancer-causing compound, is in cash register receipts. “We have an article that will be published in the next several months that found several risk factors for high levels of BPA in pregnant women: high tobacco exposure, low socioeconomic status, high consumption of canned vegetables and occupations using cash registers,” reveals Lanphear.

Bruce Lanphear, 778.387.3939 (cell),

Cancer campaign targets South Asians
A cervical cancer awareness-raising campaign, targeting South Asians and started by two molecular biology undergrads of South Asian decent, is snowballing. Chantelle Chand and Nidhi Nayyer have recently recruited five more students to target two sub-groups of South Asian women separately. Chand can explain why the campaign will target high-school-aged to 25-year-old women separately from those aged 25 to 70. She can also elaborate on their women’s-only picnic, 1-5 pm, at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park on Saturday, July 31. Pamphlets in English and Punjabi about cervical cancer, provided by the B.C. Cancer Agency, will be free for the taking.

Chantelle Chand, 604.375.8730,

Grasping the math behind climate change
You can’t grasp or predict the impact of climate change on the spread of forest fires and insect infestations without creating math models to analyze statistical data and knowing how to create math models that do this. In a world where the impact of climate change is becoming a daily concern, SFU is hosting a summer school on climate change and spatial statistics that ends tomorrow (Friday, July 30). Charmaine Dean, a statistics and actuarial science expert in the Faculty of Health Sciences, can introduce you to students from around the world who are analyzing B.C.’s climate change plight.

Charmaine Dean, 778.782.3803,

Social media spook traditional PR
Are social media killing traditional PR? Not totally…not yet. Commenting on the closure of PR blockbuster the Wilcox Group, communication specialists Richard Smith and Stuart Poyntz have different takes. Smith says, “Some PR firms are doing very well incorporating social media as part of their overall business.” Poyntz offers, “It’s rather obvious on numerous fronts that the monetization of social media has not developed at a pace that corresponds to the way such media is disrupting older forms of broadcasting, reporting and PR management.”

Richard Smith, 778.782.5116,
Stuart Poyntz, 778.782.7293,

What’s up with fish?
Summer may be in full swing but are the salmon biting? The Centre for Coastal Studies, which holds ongoing public dialogues and scientific summits on the fate of Fraser River salmon, has just posted online the proceedings of its latest summit. Fish biologists John Reynolds and Patricia Gallagher can explain the significance of the findings in Understanding Stock Declines and Prospects for the Future. The summit looked at the challenges facing salmon at various points in their life cycle.

John Reynolds, 778.782.5636, (unavailable Aug. 6-20)
Patricia Gallagher, 778.782.4653,
Laurie Wood, 778.782.5466,


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