Basic Information about ACE
America's Children and the Environment (ACE) is EPA's report presenting data on children's environmental health. ACE brings together information from a variety of sources to provide national indicators and related information on the environment and children's health.
On this page:
The main purposes of ACE are to:
- Compile data from a variety of national sources to present concrete, quantifiable indicators for key factors relevant to the environment and children's health in the United States;
- Inform discussions among policymakers and the public about how to improve data on children's environmental health; and
- Help policymakers and the public track trends in children's environmental health and ultimately to help identify and evaluate ways to minimize environmental impacts on children.
ACE indicators are organized into four categories:
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.
- Criteria Air Pollutants
- Hazardous Air Pollutants
- Indoor Environments
- Drinking Water Contaminates
- Chemicals in Food
- Contaminated Lands
- Climate Change
Biomonitoring refers to the measurement of chemicals in human bodies, such as in blood or urine. The Biomonitoring section of ACE presents information on selected chemicals measured in the bodies of women of child-bearing age and children.
- Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
The Health section of ACE presents information on children's diseases, conditions, and outcomes that may potentially be influenced by environmental exposures.
The Supplementary Topics section of ACE covers additional topics for which adequate national data are not available, but more targeted data collection efforts could be used to illustrate children’s environmental health issues of interest.
EPA's first report, America's Children and the Environment: A First View of Available Measures, was published in December 2000 and presented the results of EPA's initial effort to collect and analyze existing, readily available data on measures relevant to children's health and the environment.
The second report, published in February 2003, improved on the first edition by adding new measures for important contaminants, exposures, and childhood illnesses, including data for additional years. The report also provided more analysis of these measures by race/ethnicity of children and family income.
The third report, published in January 2013, includes extensive revisions and updates to topics included in the previous editions as well as several new topics of importance to children's environmental health. For example, many additional chemicals were added to the biomonitoring section including PFCs, PCBs, PBDEs, phthalates, BPA and perchlorate.
Updates to indicators hosted online were made in 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022 and will continue to be made periodically. This website presents the most recent data and analyses prepared by EPA.
In May 2022, EPA posted updates to the indicators under the following ACE topics:
- Environments and Contaminants – Criteria Air Pollutants, Drinking Water Contaminants and Contaminated Lands;
- Biomonitoring – Lead, Mercury, Cotinine, Perfluorochemicals (PFCs), Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA); and
- Health – Respiratory Diseases, Childhood Cancer, Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Adverse Birth Outcomes.
- Download America's Children and the Environment, October 2019.
- Download past versions of the series.
For details on the sources of data and other general information, please see Frequently Asked Questions.