EPA and Partners Host Children’s Environmental Health Symposium in New Orleans, Louisiana
DALLAS – (June 11, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, the Louisiana Department of Health and other partners recently hosted a symposium on children's environmental health, focusing on issues such as lead poisoning and reducing asthma rates. Healthcare professionals, public health professionals, and other participants attended sessions on a variety of environmental health issues over the two-day symposium, held Monday and Tuesday. Acting Regional Administrator David W. Gray gave opening remarks.
“Protecting children and their health is one of the most important aspects of EPA's mission,” said Acting Regional Administrator Gray. “Bringing together healthcare providers, community leaders, and other partners at this year's symposium will help us raise awareness of the potential environmental health impacts kids face, and help keep them safe where they live and play.”
“The Louisiana Department of Health prioritizes social determinants of health, including stress, housing and other environmental factors such as early childhood experiences, and their impact on health,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, assistant state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health. “We need not only to treat the health conditions but also address the factors contributing to disease.”
EPA program experts, children’s health providers and local health leaders held talks and workshops on a variety of topics, such as avoiding and testing for lead exposure, addressing pests and pesticide use in schools and childcare settings, and environmental justice issues. These discussions emphasized the symposium’s objectives of helping participants recognize the continuing threat of lead poisoning to children, regardless of socioeconomic level; identify emerging threats to children’s health; and identify triggers and preventive methods for environmental illnesses such as asthma.
Children are not little adults! They are often more vulnerable to pollutants because of differences in behavior and biology, which can lead to greater exposure and susceptibility during development. EPA remains committed to protecting children from environmental harms where they live, learn and play. Since the fall of the 1996, the Agency has followed a seven-step National Agenda to Protect Children's Health from Environmental Threats. In October 2018, EPA reaffirmed its support of this important policy.
More on children's environmental health: https://www.epa.gov/children
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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central
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