C-CHEM² Presents: Know Better Live Better


We all come into contact with chemicals (aka toxicants) every day through what we eat, breathe, through our skin, and from pregnant moms to their babies.  Once these toxicants enter our bodies they can cause harm and over time, lead to disease.

Research that benefits African-American women and children is important to me because this is who I am. I am an African-American woman and I have children. There are environmental factors within our communities that influence our health outcomes differently than other communities. It is important to know why this is happening and how it can be changed. Research is the foundation to the change.- Natalie fields, MPH (SAB Member +Emory Staff)

Studies have shown that by making little changes in everyday living we can make BIG changes in our health over time. We want YOU to know better and live better.

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Who We Are

Mothers, Advocates, Researchers and Care Providers

We believe that an integrative approach in which community partners, staff, and research scientists inform each other can influence better health outcomes for all.

Our group is commonly referred to as the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) and our purpose is to share useful children’s environmental health information with African American women and families based in the Atlanta metropolitan area. We do this with the leadership and insight of our Stakeholder Advisory Board, which is made up of 12 members that can relate personally (as African American caregivers) and professionally (ranging from health care providers, environmental justice advocates, birth workers, farmers, and educators).

I work with parents from vulnerable populations, populations disproportionately affected by negative social determinants of health. In the communities I serve through volunteer and professional outreach, exposure to environmental hazards and toxins are common. I like the fact that Emory University has formed a community advisory board … as a way to ensure the community gets information in a timely manner and the researchers are able to learn from the community better ways to translate research into practice. My goal is to be able to connect my communities to the knowledge and resource of C-CHEM2.”

- Aneeqah Ferguson (Board member +PhD student)

COTC Staff

  • Dr. Linda McCauley, Project Lead
  • Haguerenesh Woldeyohannes, Community Outreach and Translation Director
  • Abby Mutic, Educational Outreach Coordinator and SE Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unity Liaison
  • Nathan Mutic, Administrative Liaison
  • Dr. Melanie Pearson, HERCULES Liaison

COTC Goals

  1. Maintain and expand bi-directional dialogue with metropolitan African American women of child-bearing age and their families
  2. Develop strategies to translate existing children’s environmental health knowledge and emerging findings into practical information that families can use to protect their children’s health.
  3. Guide C-CHEM2 scientists in community engagement and outreach.
  4. Integrate existing children’s environmental health knowledge and new C-CHEM2 research findings into educational programs for healthcare professionals.

Stakeholder Advisory Board

  • Collier Heights Assoc. for Revitalization, Resilience, And Sustainability (CHARRS)
  • Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere: ROSE
  • Center for Black Women's Wellness
  • Black Girls Breastfeeding Club
  • Favor Academy of Excellence
  • Hercules Exposome Research Center
  • Fulton County Health Department
  • Prevention Partners INC
  • The Satcher Health Leadership Institute
  • Grow Where You Are
  • A Womban's Place: Giving Birth to Wellness
Everyday Tips

Learn about the Microbiome

Learn about the Vaginal Microbiome

Learn about Cleaning Products

Learn about Flame Retardants

Learn about Simple Swaps

Learn about Phthalates

Learn about Foods Rated High in Pesticides (Tip: Buy Organic When Possible!)

Learn about Foods Rated Low in Pesticides (Tip: Do Not Need to Buy Organic!)

People of the African-American/Black population have increased levels of exposures to environmental hazards, have experienced different health outcomes, and in many cases have a lack of knowledge about how environmental exposures affect them. The work of the researchers and the Community Engagement Core of C-CHEMM are important so that African-Americans/blacks can understand the science of environmental health in order to make informed decisions for their health and that of their children, and hopefully, healthier outcomes are achieved in the community. - Monica Robinson- SAB member + Fulton County Environmental Justice Advocate

Research Articles
Educational Resources

It is important to consider the relationship between environmental exposures and Black maternal health because Black women often have disproportionate rates of exposures to many environmental factors known to affect maternal and child health. Improving our understanding of the role that the environment plays in relation to reproductive health could encourage women to modify their exposures to environmental chemicals and potentially improve morbidity and mortality risks among Black mothers and their children.       -Melissa Smarr, PhD (Emory Research Scientist + Assistant Professor


Educational Resources

Children’s Environmental Health:


Environmental Justice/Environmental Health:

Lead Exposure:

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