EPA Reports on Decade of Progress on Children’s Environmental Health - October is Children’s Health Month
In honor of Children’s Health Month, EPA releases its publication, Children’s Environmental Health: 2007 Highlights. This publication, seventh in an annual series, highlights EPA work to protect children from environmental risks.
This year makes the tenth year of explicit attention to the health of children following the Executive Order of 1997, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. EPA has funded research on how the environment affects children’s health, promoted the education of health care providers, assembled data to quantify the extent of the issues, and been an international leader of children’s health issues. The 2007 report captures all this and more.
Two programs in particular demonstrate that the passage of time improves the lives of children.
The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) are an ongoing partnership with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Association of Occupation and Environmental Clinics to provide exceptional advice to the health care community and parents on particular environmental agents of concern. In ten years, the PEHSUs have trained 100,000 health professionals about children’s environmental health. This program is popular enough to be replicated in other countries, where the need for readily available, academically driven, expertise on children’s environmental health is recognized.
The Children’s Research Centers are a partnership with the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences to advance the understanding of how the environment affects children’s health. The agencies have funded 21 centers over ten years which have provided valuable information about the effects of pesticide exposures, air pollution and asthma, chemicals in water, genetic and environmental interactions, and early indicators of environmentally-related diseases. Policy makers and health professionals have used this information to improve children’s health.
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