Brenda Eskenazi

Brenda Eskenazi

Professor of Epidemiology and Maternal & Child Health
School of Public Health
(510) 642-3496
(510) 643-8236
Research Expertise and Interest
public health, epidemiology, maternal & child health
Research Description

I work locally and globally on the effects of environmental exposures on the health of children.  I am interested in environmental exposures ranging from chemical exposure, such as pesticides and dioxins, to air pollution to climate change. I study how these environmental exposures may interact with social adversities to affect the development of children. My work tends to focus on populations who are of lower income and who may be at higher risk of adverse effects. Much of my research questions are answered by the conduct of birth cohort studies and I have engaged in or advised birth cohorts around the world.

In the News

March 11, 2014

CHAMACOS: How pesticides harm young minds

Children born to mothers who work in California’s pesticide-treated fields show signs of developmental problems, according the pathbreaking CHAMACOS study, led by UC Berkeley professor Dr. Brenda Eskenazi in the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health.

November 15, 2012

Flame retardants linked to neurodevelopmental delays in children

Prenatal and childhood exposure to flame retardant compounds are linked to poorer attention, fine motor coordination and IQ in school-aged children, a finding by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health that adds to growing health concerns over a chemical prevalent in U.S. households.

October 4, 2012

BPA linked to thyroid hormone changes in pregnant women, newborns

Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like compound that has drawn increased scrutiny in recent years, has been linked to changes in thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women and newborn boys, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

August 30, 2011

Flame retardants linked to lower birthweight babies

A new study led by UC Berkeley researchers links prenatal exposure to flame retardant chemicals commonly found in homes to lower birthweight babies. For every tenfold increase in levels of PBDEs in a mother’s blood during pregnancy, there was a corresponding drop of 115 grams in her baby’s birthweight, the study found.

April 20, 2011

Prenatal pesticide exposure tied to lower IQ in children

A new UC Berkeley study has found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides – widely used on food crops – is related to lower intelligence scores in children. Every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in children at age 7, the researchers found.