Who we are
The Environment and Health Fund (EHF) is a nonprofit organization committed to expanding expertise, upgrading policies, raising awareness and sharing knowledge about Environment and Health in Israel, with the ultimate goal of enhancing human health and well-being. We believe that improved policy and regulation will lead to a reduction in the risks to public health caused by exposure to chemicals in the environment.
Environmental Health – What do we mean?
Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health and disease that are determined by low-dose, chronic exposure to pollutants in the environment. Important sources of environmental health risks include industrial waste, air emissions from transport and industry, industrial and residential water discharges, chemicals in consumer products, and ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Health effects with known or suspected environmental etiologies include cancer, cardio-pulmonary diseases, asthma and other respiratory diseases, allergies, neuro-toxicity and neurological impairment, obesity, gastro-intestinal diseases, developmental and congenital abnormalities, and acute poisonings.
What we’ve achieved
EHF was established in 2007 by Yad Hanadiv. During its early years EHF focused on enhancing capacity and capabilities in Environmental Health in Israel by promoting scientific research and academic training and enhancing the expertise of professionals in government. Among its various activities, EHF established two University Centers of Excellence, awarded numerous research grants and fellowships, including postdoctoral and returning scientists’ fellowships and research grants, organized conferences and workshops, and published various reports and publications.
What we do
At present, EHF’s work is focused on reducing the exposure of infants and children to chemicals in food and consumer products, such as heavy metals, pesticides, phthalates and flame retardants. Infants and children are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of exposure to chemicals. EHF’s activities are intended to support the science that can inform policy in this area, to raise awareness, and to point out where policy changes are required to improve the protection of these vulnerable groups. In addition EHF continues to support the development of relevant research capabilities, assist scientists in integrating strategically into the job market, and host international experts in the field.
Why we do it
People can be healthy only in a healthy environment and we cannot isolate ourselves from the environment in which we live - the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and products we use. In everyday life we are rarely exposed to one chemical at a time. Many of the chemicals are so widespread that we are most likely exposed to several of them together, in low doses and for weeks, months or even years. The level of risk of each of the different environmental pollutants depends in part on the stage of life during which we are exposed. Research shows that fetuses, infants and children are especially susceptible to environmental toxins. Such health effects could be substantial and irreversible. To protect our health we must be aware of the hazards and act to reduce them. Environmental health policy should provide public protection, particularly with regards to sensitive populations such as infants, children and pregnant women.
Dr. Ruth Ostrin, Director
Ms. Ronit Medina Geva, Finance and Administration
Dr. Sari Rosen, Program Development and Coordination
Ms. Na'ama Shilony, Logistics
Ms. Einav Horev, Research Assistant
Prof. Ilan Chet, Chairman
Mr. Yehuda Bronicki
Dr. Orna Dreazen
Prof. Boleslaw Goldman
Prof. Yitzhak Hadar
Mr. Morris S. Kahn
Mr. Shlomo Nehama
Prof. Ilana Shoham-Vardi