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Columbia Children's Center wins Award from EPA Office of Children's Health Protection for Integrated Pest Management and Healthy Home projects

April 14, 2005

    image of children
    The Columbia Children's Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) has been honored with a Excellence Award from the EPA Office of Children's Health Protection for its IPM (Integrated Pest Management) interventions and its "Healthy Home, Healthy Child" community education and outreach project. The first program trains and educates tenants to use IPM practices, which includes reducing the levels of toxic pesticide use inside their homes and sealing cracks and crevices, as well as reducing asthma-triggering pet allergens. The second program focuses on community education and outreach educates parents and caretakers of children about reducing environmental health hazards in the home, focusing on the seven environmental health topics that were found to be of greatest concern to residents in the local communities: air pollution, cigarette smoke, drugs & alcohol, garbage management, lead poisoning, pesticides and nutrition. The awareness campaign includes a series of bi-annual newsletters, community health fairs, and environmental health workshops for local leaders. The campaign also brings training programs to local hospitals where medical students learn about helping their patients reduce the risk of harmful exposures. The Columbia Children's Center was founded in 1998 to prevent environmentally-related diseases in children. The Center conducts scientific research and then applies the findings directly to disease prevention efforts in Washington Heights, Harlem, and South Bronx, New York.

    Also honored with an Excellence Award in 2005 was one of the Columbia Children's Center community partners, West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT) . West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT) has united researchers, health care professionals, parents, advocates, and community- and faith-based leaders for the last seven years in an effort to educate residents of Northern Manhattan on children's environmental health issues. In addition to the educational and community outreach programs initiated by the group, WE ACT has worked to pass legislation to prevent lead poisoning and has trained over 500 community residents and parents of health-affected children through bilingual asthma and lead workshops. After conducting a research project on mothers and infants in Northern Manhattan with the Columbia University Children's Environmental Health Center, results showed that exposure of expectant mothers to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides can lead to reduced birth weight. WE ACT continues to mobilize the community toward the education and protection of children's health.

    While the Environmental Protection Agency retains a major role in safeguarding children from environmental risks, industry, communities, and organizations can take action where they live, learn and play. The Children's Environmental Health Excellence Awards are designed to recognize ongoing and sustainable dedication to, and notable leadership in, protecting children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national, and international level.

Centers Funded By:
Centers Funded by Epa and NIEHS

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