Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Children's Environmental Health
Regional Children's Environmental Health Contacts:
Questions about Lead?
Questions about Indoor Air Quality & Asthma?
About Children’s Environmental Health
Children are often more heavily exposed to toxics in the environment. Pound for pound, children breathe more air, drink more water, and eat more food than adults. Their behavior patterns, such as playing close to the ground and hand-to-mouth activity, increase their exposure to potential toxics. In addition, they may be more vulnerable to environmental hazards because their systems are still developing, often making them less able than adults to metabolize, detoxify, and excrete toxics. Environmental risks to children include asthma-exacerbating air pollution, lead-based paint in older homes, treatment-resistant microbes in drinking water, and persistent chemicals that may cause cancer or induce reproductive or developmental changes. Learn More.
EPA Funding for Children's Health Training in the San Joaquin Valley and the U.S. Mexico Border
Outside of the home, children spend a significant amount of time in schools and/or childcare centers, which is why the Children's Environmental Health Program is committed to working with local partners to reduce or eliminate exposures in these settings through outreach, technical assistance, and training. Over the past year, the Children's Environmental Health Program used discretionary funds to support a special project with the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units of the University of California to provide healthy childcare and school environments training in two Region 9 geographic focus areas – the San Joaquin Valley and U.S.-Mexico Border Region. Both of these areas have significant environmental justice concerns and grapple with some of the poorest air quality in the country. Providing training directly to those who work in and have control to change aspects of child-occupied environments can help make positive changes on-the-ground to protect children's health.
More than 200 people attended training sessions offered in Fresno and Imperial counties that focused on addressing environmental challenges in school and childcare environments. Participants, who included school nurses, childcare providers, health promoters, and others, learned about how environmental factors can impact child development, what environmental hazards may be present in schools, childcare centers, and homes, and what steps can be taken to prevent, eliminate, or reduce these hazards. Training topics also included outdoor and indoor air quality, asthma, lead, mercury, pesticides and integrated pest management, and green cleaning and sanitizing.
The training sessions were presented by the University of California San Francisco Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, the UC Irvine Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, and the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health. Local organizations in both Imperial County (Comité Cívico del Valle and Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo) and Fresno County (Central Valley Children's Services Network, First 5 Fresno, and the UC Berkeley Children's Health & Air Pollution Study-San Joaquin Valley) provided information about their services and activities in the local area.
Children’s Environmental Health in the Pacific Southwest
EPA's Pacific Southwest Office has a number of programs to address children’s environmental health issues. These include programs for reducing exposure of children to lead, environmental asthma triggers, pesticides, and mercury. We also have programs for helping schools create healthy and green learning and teaching environments. Explore these programs or contact the Children's Environmental Health Coordinators for more information.
We are able to help connect interested individuals, schools, agencies, organizations, programs, and business with local partners to help further children’s environmental health at the community-level. If you would like help connecting with partners in your community around children’s environmental health issues, contact us!
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