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Celebrating Children’s Health Month

EPA scientists and their partners provide key research outcomes for reducing environmental risks and improving children’s health.

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Spending time outside. Playing in the dirt. Crawling around on the floor. Exploring the world through touch, taste, and feel. Things are different for children. And while many of us see their unique differences—behaviors, diets, and growing bodies—with an eye toward responsibility and perhaps a bit of nostalgia, to environmental and health scientists, these differences raise important questions.

Do the differences experienced by individuals in the early stages of life open them up to increased environmental risks?  Studying this question has given EPA scientists and their partners important insights into reducing environmental risks and improving children’s health. An overall goal is to provide parents, teachers, policy makers, local communities, and other caregivers the information they need to keep children healthy.

To help celebrate October as Children’s Health Month, this issue of Science Matters includes a special section to highlight just a few of the research programs and partnerships EPA scientists are leading in the area of children’s environmental health.

Featured stories:

  • The Virtual Embryo Project (v-Embryo™), an effort to advance the science of developmental toxicology with high-tech computer models and vast data and knowledge bases
  • The Children’s Environmental Health Centers program, a partnership between EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that has awarded more than $150 million over 12 years to support innovative, community-based, transdisciplinary children’s environmental health research
  • The National Children’s Study, the largest federal study ever to explore the environmental influences on the health and development of children; and EPA’s Highlights of the Child Specific Exposure Factors Handbook, the go-to source for health experts needing a scientifically-based, quick reference guide to a host of factors used to estimate children’s exposure.

Protecting children from environmental threats is a priority for EPA and a core part of its mission to protect human health and the environment. As this issue of Science Matters shows, those efforts begin with science.

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