Featured Children’s Health Articles
From the EHP Editors
Fluoride has been added to public drinking water in the United States since 1945 to help prevent tooth decay. It also occurs naturally in some drinking water. Bashash et al. used data from the Early Life Exposure in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) Project to study whether prenatal exposure to fluoride was associated with standard measures of intelligence in children at 4 years and 6–12 years of age. In a cohort of 299 mother–child pairs, the authors measured fluoride in mothers’ urine during pregnancy as a proxy for prenatal exposure. They found a statistical correlation between the children’s cognitive ability at 4 years and 6–12 years through standard intelligence testing. They estimated that a 0.5-mg/L increase in fluoride in mothers’ urine was associated with an average decrease of 3.2 points on the General Cognitive Scale (at 4 years) and 2.5 points in IQ (at 6–12 years). Although this study adds to evidence that fluoride exposure may affect neurodevelopment, the authors note that their findings need to be confirmed in other populations.
Morteza Bashash, Deena Thomas, Howard Hu, E. Angeles Martinez-Mier, Brisa N. Sanchez, Niladri Basu, Karen E. Peterson, Adrienne S. Ettinger, Robert Wright, Zhenzhen Zhang, Yun Liu, Lourdes Schnaas, Adriana Mercado-García, Martha María Téllez-Rojo, and Mauricio Hernández-Avila
Payam Dadvand, Cristina M. Villanueva, Laia Font-Ribera, David Martinez, Xavier Basagaña, Jordina Belmonte, Martine Vrijheid, Regina Gražulevičienė, Manolis Kogevinas, and Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen
From the EHP Editors
The benefits of being outdoors in green spaces include increased physical activity and reduced stress, but there may be risks as well. In a cross-sectional study of 3,178 children, the authors examined both health benefits and risks. First, they measured the distance from each child’s home address to green spaces classified as either forests or parks. Then they evaluated whether the distance to forests or parks was related to several health outcomes. They found that living near forests (but not parks) was associated with lower relative prevalence of obesity and less sedentary behavior (measured as excessive screen time). On the other hand, the prevalence of asthma and allergies depended not only on distance but also on the type of green space. Although the study did not distinguish among types of plants found in the green space, future research might explore whether this factor influences relative risks of asthma and allergy. See related articles on greenness and children’s health, below.
Payam Dadvand, Audrey de Nazelle, Margarita Triguero-Mas, Anna Schembari, Marta Cirach, Elmira Amoly, Francesc Figueras, Xavier Basagaña, Bart Ostro, and Mark Nieuwenhuijsen
Perry Hystad, Hugh W. Davies, Lawrence Frank, Josh Van Loon, Ulrike Gehring, Lillian Tamburic, and Michael Brauer
Payam Dadvand, Jordi Sunyer, Xavier Basagaña, Ferran Ballester, Aitana Lertxundi, Ana Fernández-Somoano, Marisa Estarlich, Raquel García-Esteban, Michelle A. Mendez, and Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen
Elmira Amoly, Payam Dadvand, Joan Forns, Mónica López-Vicente, Xavier Basagaña, Jordi Julvez, Mar Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, and Jordi Sunyer
Gina S. Lovasi, Jarlath P.M. O’Neil-Dunne, Jacqueline W.T. Lu, Daniel Sheehan, Matthew S. Perzanowski, Sean W. MacFaden, Kristen L. King, Thomas Matte, Rachel L. Miller, Lori A. Hoepner, Frederica P. Perera, and Andrew Rundle
Elisabeth Thiering, Iana Markevych, Irene Brüske, Elaine Fuertes, Jürgen Kratzsch, Dorothea Sugiri, Barbara Hoffmann, Andrea von Berg, Carl-Peter Bauer, Sibylle Koletzko, Dietrich Berdel, and Joachim Heinrich
Howard Frumkin, Gregory N. Bratman, Sara Jo Breslow, Bobby Cochran, Peter H. Kahn Jr, Joshua J. Lawler, Phillip S. Levin, Pooja S. Tandon, Usha Varanasi, Kathleen L. Wolf, and Spencer A. Wood
Children’s Health Resources
• Children’s Health Collections (2010–2015): all research, news, and editorials related to exposures, outcomes, and methodologies on children’s environmental health.
• Children’s Health section (NIEHS): the institute’s efforts and research goals in children’s environmental health.
• NIEHS Children's Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR) provides laboratory and data analysis resources for researchers in children’s health exposures.
• NIEHS Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) will focus on environmental influences on health outcomes and will include more than 35 U.S. cohort studies.
• NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers: research in all aspects of environmental exposures and outcomes in children.
• Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH, NIEHS) “a network of scientists, community members, educators, healthcare providers, public health officials, and policymakers who share the goal of increasing the impact of environmental public health research at the local, regional, and national level.”
• Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs): a network of physicians throughout 10 U.S. regions specializing in environmental conditions that influence reproductive and children’s health.
• President’s Task Force on the Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children (Executive Order 13045): intended to maintain government policies, standards, and programs to ensure the health and safety of children.
• Protecting Children’s Environmental Health (U.S. EPA): fact sheets, information on policy, health care, and related science, as well as various other web resources.
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Children’s Health Protection: regulation, research, and community programs that address environmental threats to children.
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Lead contains information about lead regulations, testing for lead levels, health effects, at-risk populations, and more.
• WHO Collaborating Centres for Children's Environmental Health: research centers around the world, including information about targeted exposures, cohort studies, and publications.
• Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI): an alliance of scientists, medical professionals, and advocates whose goal is “to identify, develop and promote solutions to improve children’s environmental health through scientific research, environmental education and public policy.”
• Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN): coordinates a variety of stakeholders around multidisciplinary research, education, policy, and public health awareness related to children’s health.
• Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE): an international partnership whose mission is to share scientific research, promote collaboration among constituencies, and facilitate actions to improve health.
• Healthy Schools Network: advocates for child-safe standards in school design, construction, siting, product purchasing, and potential exposures.
• International Network on Children’s Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES): an international organization that addresses environmental exposures and health outcomes in children as well as related policies.
• International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment (ISCHE): mission is “to synthesize and translate the science of children’s environmental health to physicians, public health officials, policymakers and parents via position papers, technical reports and testimony.”
• National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF): promotes environmental education and training, with a particular focus on children and other vulnerable populations.
• Project TENDR: Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks: scientists, health professionals, and advocates collaborate to investigate links between environmental toxicants and autism spectrum disorders, learning disorders, and other neurodevelopmental problems.
• SafeRoutes (National Center for Safe Routes to School): details on health and safety within the community as children walk to school: effects of income disparities, types of built environments, and infrastructure.
• A Story of Health (UCSF Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, ATSDR, CHE, OEHHA, SEHN)
• America's Children and the Environment, 3rd Edition (U.S. EPA)
• Assessing and Managing Children at Primary Health-care Facilities to Prevent Overweight and Obesity in the Context of the Double Burden of Malnutrition: Updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) (World Health Organization)
• Change Is in the Air: An Action Guide for Establishing Smoke-Free Public Housing and Multifamily Properties (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
• Children at Risk: Gaps in State Lead Screening Policies (Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families)
• Children’s Environmental Health Research Roadmap (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
• Creating Healthier Generations: A Look at the 10 Years of the Federal Safe Routes to School Program (National Center for Safe Routes to School)
• Don’t Pollute My Future: The Impact of the Environment on Children’s Health (World Health Organization)
• E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General (U.S. Public Health Service)
• Federal Research Action Plan on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds: Status Report (U.S. EPA, CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Consumer Product Safety Commission)
• Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!): Guidance to Support Country Implementation (World Health Organization)
• Health Effects of Low-Level Lead (National Toxicology Program)
• How Close are We to #ZeroHunger? The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
• Inheriting a Sustainable World? Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment (World Health Organization)
• Keeping the Vector Out: Housing Improvements for Vector Control and Sustainable Development (World Health Organization)
• Key Federal Programs to Reduce Childhood Lead (President’s Task Force on the Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children)
• Nutrition in the WHO African Region (World Health Organization)
• Reaching the Every Newborn National 2020 Milestones: Country Progress, Plans and Moving Forward (World Health Organization UNICEF)
• Rebuild Healthy Homes: Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
• The Cost of the Double Burden of Malnutrition: Social and Economic Impact (World Food Programme)
• The Neglected Link: Effects of Climate Change and Environmental Degradation on Child Labor (Child Labour Report 2017; Terre des Hommes International Federation)
• The State of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia (Food and Agriculture Organization/United Nations)
• The State of the World’s Children 2016 (UNICEF)
• Tobacco-free Generations: Protecting Children from Tobacco in the WHO European Region (World Health Organization)
• Towards Healthy Schools: Reducing Risks to Children (Healthy Schools Network) (Healthy Schools Network)
Search Children’s Health
Events of Interest
17 January 2018 (webinar): Measurement of Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents (National Institutes of Health)
24 January 2018 (webinar): At the Crosssroads: Forging New Intersections Between Environmental and Reproductive Justice Through Research and Advocacy. 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health: Nourbese Flint and Ami Zota (Collaborative on Health and the Environment)
6 February 2018 (webinar): Using Molecular Epidemiology to Understand Chemical Threats to Early-life Children’s Health, with Allan Just and Joseph Braun. (Collaborative on Health and the Environment)
1 March 2018 (webinar): 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health: Kelly Ferguson and Amy Padula. (Collaborative on Health and the Environment)
24–25 May 2018 (meeting): ICEHR 2018: 20th International Conference on Environmental Health and Remediation (Prague, Czechoslovakia)
27-29 June 2018 (meeting): International Network on Children’s Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES) Conference (Seoul, Korea)
26-20 August 2018 (meeting): ISES-ISEE 2018 Joint Annual Meeting (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
11 October 2018: Children’s Environmental Health Day (Children’s Environmental Health Network).
10-14 November 2018 (meeting): American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo (San Diego, CA).
EHP is pleased to present the abstracts from the 29th Annual Scientific Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), held in Sydney, Australia, 24–28 September 2017. The conference was hosted by The University of Sydney and cosponsored by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, with the theme “Healthy Places, Healthy People—Where Are the Connections?”
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