ACE Environments and Contaminants
Pollutants or contaminants that may affect the health of children can be found in air, water, food, and soil. The Environments and Contaminants section of ACE describes contaminants in the air children breathe, the water they drink, and the food they eat. It also describes conditions of children’s surroundings by considering indoor environments, contaminated lands, and climate change.
The ACE Environments and Contaminants indicators address the following topics:
Criteria Air Pollutants
The six most common air pollutants are called “criteria” air pollutants, and include carbon monoxide, lead, ground-level ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide and EPA has established air quality standards. The indicators are based on: criteria pollutant concentrations above air quality standards, ozone and particulate matter and good, moderate or unhealthy air quality.
Hazardous Air Pollutants
Air pollutants are known or suspected to cause serious health effects, such as birth defects or cancer, or adverse environmental effects. The indicator is based on hazardous air pollutant concentrations above air health benchmarks.
Chemicals found in homes, schools, child care facilities, and other buildings where children spend most of their time. The indicators are based on children exposed to tobacco smoke at home and lead hazard from indoor paint and dust.
Drinking Water Contaminants
Chemicals and biological contaminants in drinking water provided by community water systems. The indicators are based on community water systems that did not meet all drinking water standards and community water systems with violations of drinking water monitoring and reporting requirements.
Chemicals in Food
Pesticide and industrial chemicals detected in foods commonly eaten by children. The indicator is based on fruits and vegetables with organophosphate pesticides.
Proximity of children to sites where chemical contamination is present. The indicators are based on Superfund corrective sites and contaminated lands, distributed by race/ethnicity and income.
Significant changes in climate variables such as temperature, precipitation, or wind that last for decades or longer. EPA is evaluating candidates for indicators and if EPA completes development, it will be made available here.