Children's Environmental Health
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.
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!
Partner With Us!
We are interested in updating a public list of children’s health partners in the Pacific Southwest. Contact us to be included.
Recent News and Publications
Visit the new Don’t Mess with Mercury! website.
EPA’s updated guidance on PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts(FLBs) for school administrators and maintenance personnel is now available on EPA’s website.
Check out EPA Region 7’s Healthy Schools Toolkit. The Healthy Schools Toolkit consists of more than 50 educational and informational documents to help school administrators, service providers, and others keep school buildings and facilities clean, green and healthy. The Toolkit is structured around 15 separate subject areas: Asbestos, Chemical Cleanout, Composting, Energy Star, Green Cleaning, Healthy Schools, School Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Lead, Mercury, Mold, PCBs, Radon, Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens and Recycling. Materials include PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets, brochures, flyers, and lists of helpful resources and contact information, all grouped by subject.
Upcoming Webinars to Promote and Support Healthy School Environments
Please see the EPA Schools website for additional details and previously recorded webinars.
November 19, 2013, 12 – 1 p.m. PST: Sensible Steps for Mold and Moisture Control in Schools
This is the seventh session in the webinar series. In this webinar, facilities managers and health experts share current information and outline strategies you can use to address mold and moisture control problems and prevent related health issues in schools. Join us for this webinar to:
- Get current information about health effects of mold and its impacts on schools;
- Learn sensible steps you can take to solve moisture and condensation problems before they become mold problems; and
- Get the most up to date information about effectively addressing indoor mold growth and contamination if it does occur.
December 17, 2013, 12 – 1 p.m. PST: Renovate Right: EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule
This is the eighth and final session in the webinar series. Federal law requires contractors that disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Join us for this webinar to:
- Get up to date information about serious health effects of lead on children;
- Learn how federal law applies to K-12 schools; and
- Discover sensible steps that administrators, facilities managers, school nurses and early childhood learning professionals can take to protect their students from lead poisoning.
Training and Information Resources
The University of California, Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) has updated and translated its online prenatal environmental health kiosk, which is an interactive, self-guided computer program that teaches pregnant women about reducing their exposure to environmental chemicals. The online kiosk is available in both Spanish and English. CERCH also has an online resource center (available in Spanish and English) that provides brochures with environmental health information for parents and families, child care providers, teens and kids, community groups, and health professionals.
The University of Arizona
released Promotora Training Modules
which were developed for use by promotoras de la salud, or community health advocates, and encompasses three themes: arsenic; pesticides; and environmental toxicology. Each module is available in both English and Spanish, and contains background information, additional resources (websites and videos), and training tools (PowerPoint presentation, training extensions, and concept activities). The modules are based on a “train-the-trainer” model; thus, providing instructional materials that guide promotoras on the development and implementation of interactive trainings.
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