Asa Bradman, environmental health scientist and associate professor at the School of Public Health, received the Organic Center’s Award of Excellence at the organization’s annual benefit dinner on March 6. The award recognizes his work to improve environmental quality through research on the negative health impacts of pesticides and other agricultural contaminants.
"The Organic Center has developed a community of scientists committed to advancing organic and sustainable agriculture, and there is no one who is more dedicated and working more intensively toward this goal than Dr. Bradman," said Dr. Jessica Shade, director of scientific programs for The Organic Center, in a statement.
Bradman has co-authored some of the most important work on the impacts of pesticides on the health of pregnant women and children in agricultural communities, with several studies showing links between higher organophosphate pesticide exposure during pregnancy and poorer neurodevelopment in children. As an associate director at the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), Bradman directs exposure and health studies as part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) partnership in the Salinas Valley in California. CHAMACOS, which means "small children" in Spanish, is the longest running longitudinal birth cohort study of pesticides and other environmental exposures among children in an agricultural community.
Most recently, Bradman co-authored a peer-reviewed study that showed that switching from a conventional to an organic diet for six days significantly reduced levels of pesticides in both children and adults. This study tested for a broader range of pesticides than earlier studies and confirmed that diet is an important route of exposure for people living outside agricultural communities.
"I am honored to receive this award from The Organic Center, which is firmly committed to serving the organic community,” said Bradman. “Their research, ranging from projects examining fertilizer use and food safety, pollinator health, citrus greening, and soil carbon sequestration, to name just a few, reflect the breadth and depth of their capacity to bring light to key challenges in the organic sector, and also help set future priorities for new funding under the 2018 Farm Bill."