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America's Children and the Environment (ACE)

ACE3 Draft Indicators: Health

The following information was provided by EPA in conjunction with the opportunity for public comment on the draft indicators for ACE3, which ran from March 8 – April 21, 2011. The public comment period is now closed.

Many different factors contribute to children’s health, including nutrition, prenatal and childhood exposure to toxins in the environment, genetics, socioeconomic status, access to medical care, and exercise. Tracking children’s health outcomes provides important information on the successes and shortcomings of efforts to protect children’s health, and also helps identify opportunities for future action. In particular, monitoring health outcomes that have been associated with environmental factors can suggest areas where environmental action may help protect children’s health. Monitoring children’s health outcomes for which causes are unknown or not well established can stimulate hypotheses, some of which may point to environmental factors.

The draft indicators for America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition (ACE3) include health indicators that were developed using data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The ACE3 health indicators summarize data for important children’s health outcomes that might be influenced by environmental factors.

A separate draft document is available for each ACE3 health topic. Each document includes an introduction describing the importance of the topic to children’s environmental health. The document also includes a section describing how the indicators were calculated. Data for each indicator are presented in a graph. All topics include an indicator that presents time series data. For some topics, an additional indicator presents comparisons across demographic groups using the most current data available. Beneath each figure are explanatory bullet points highlighting key findings. Following the indicator figures and bullet points, each document provides data tables, references, metadata, and details of how the indicators were calculated.

Detailed background on the ACE3 health indicators

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The ACE3 health indicators address the following topics:

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