Love in the Time of Toxicants

CIRCLE investigators helped create a video to educate young couples on environmental toxicants.

“Improving Environmental Health Literacy Of Young Adults,” a project of the CIRCLE Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) at the University of California, Berkeley in collaboration with the Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), is intended to create awareness of the role of pre-conception and prenatal environmental influences on the development of childhood leukemia and other diseases including developmental disabilities, asthma, and reproductive health.

How and where we live, work, and socialize influence our physical and mental health every day of our lives. Healthy environments, good nutrition, regular exercise, positive social interaction, and avoidance of toxic exposures can help create the conditions for health across the lifespan. CIRCLE’s shadow-puppet-theater project, “Love in the Time of Toxicants” creates awareness of the role of pre-conception and prenatal environmental factors on the development of childhood leukemia and encourages young adults and prospective parents to learn more about safe practices and products to reduce environmental exposures and enhance lifelong health for themselves and for their children.

The ten-minute video uses a novel format that tells a story of a young couple learning about the risks of toxicant exposure before conception and during pregnancy.  The video is available in English and Spanish, below.

Video: “Love in the Time of Toxicants” [English version]

Vídeo: “Amor en el Tiempo de los Tóxicos” [En españaol]

These materials are based on the Story of Health eBook.  The video was created, written, and directed by Miranda Kahn and co-scripted by Maria Valenti and CIRCLE investigators, Victoria Leonard, Mark Miller, and Sharyle Patton.  Carolina Ignacia, Vargas Romero, Marissa Chibas, Gabriel Jimenez, and Lee Smith made constitutions as voice actors and puppeteers.  Barry Schienberg and Habitat Media were responsible for the photography and editing.  Music was performed by Tom Alvie Wilson, Sabina Estrella, and Tim Garland.  Cooper Babbes did the audio recording.  Special thanks to Maria Leon, Bethany Woolman, and Janie Geiser for their own contributions.

“Love in the Time of Toxicants” will be followed by an interrelated project called, “Rosa and Carlos get Married.”  This twelve-page comic book-style fotonovela continues the story of Rosa and Carlos to familiarize young couples with the risks of toxicant exposure before conception and during pregnancy.  The full fotonovela will be available for download and in hard copy in January 2017 from Western States PEHSU site.

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