April 22, 2005

Women and Health Protection researcher a finalist in Canadian Geographic Environment Awards

"Drugs in our water" campaign highlights environmental concerns


Batt is being recognized for her work alerting policy makers, health intermediaries and the general public that our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater contain trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs that can enter our drinking water.  "The growing list includes plenty one would rather not down in a glass of water on a hot day: antibiotics and painkillers, hormones and tranquilizers, drugs to treat blood cholesterol, epilepsy and cancer, musk fragrances, and phthalates, a family of chemicals found in cosmetics, perfumes and hair products," says Batt

Batt's writings on this topic, which include a detailed research paper, an educational pamphlet, an OpEd in a major Canadian newspaper, and a mainstream magazine article on the topic, in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible, have earned her a finalist position in the category of "Environmental Health" in the Community Awards division.   

"Sharon understands fully and is masterful at articulating all of the forces at play in the environmental impact on our health," says Anne Rochon Ford, spokeswoman for Women and Health Protection, a national non-profit working group of researchers, health providers, educators, and consumers interested in policy-directed research and public education on health protection issues and their impact on women's health.

The Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN), which nominated Batt for this prestigious award is pleased that this serious issue is being given the spotlight.

"Sharon Batt's work highlights the need for us all to understand that a healthy community starts first with a healthy environment," says Kathleen O'Grady, spokeswoman for the CWHN.

The Community Awards is the flagship program of the Canadian Environment Awards. Now in its fourth year, this program celebrates 17 finalists who have been chosen by a panel of environmental luminaries from nominations submitted by the Canadian public.

Each of the 17 Community Awards finalists will be recognized at an Awards Gala, June 6, and each gold award winner will receive $5,000 to donate to the environmental cause of their choice.

The Canadian Environment Awards 2005 is a partnership between the Government of Canada and Canadian Geographic Enterprises.

For media interviews, contact:

Sharon Batt, Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University
Phone: 902-494-1899

Anne Rochon Ford, Women and Health Protection
Phone: 416-712-9459

Kathleen O'Grady, Canadian Women's Health Network
Cell: 514-886-2526

Resources by Sharon Batt include:

"Full Circle: Drugs, the Environment and our Health"

Magazine Article: "Drugs in our Water"

Fact Sheet: "Pharmaceuticals in Our Water: A New Threat to Public Health?"

*Hard copies of the Fact Sheet are available free of charge; simply
For more information on the Canadian Geographic Environment Awards, visit
Or contact (416) 788-8271


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Supported by the Women's Health Contribution Program,
administered by the Gender and Health Unit of Health Canada.

In partnership with The Canadian Women's Health Network.