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Children's Health Protection

Childhood Diseases

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This section of the report presents measures of adverse health effects in children that may be influenced by exposures to environmental contaminants.

There are many important diseases that affect children, some in which environmental contaminants are known to play a role and others for which the role is unclear. This report focuses on important childhood diseases for which we have nationally representative and readily available data, and for which some evidence exists to indicate or suggest that the disease is partially influenced by environmental contaminants. The diseases selected for this report are asthma, chronic bronchitis, and childhood cancer. The Interagency Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety to Children, organized by EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services, has identified asthma and childhood cancer as priorities.

Additional diseases that may be partially influenced by environmental contaminants include other respiratory diseases, waterborne diseases, methemoglobinemia, birth defects, developmental defects, and learning disorders. Diseases that may result from childhood exposures to environmental contaminants, but that do not manifest themselves until adulthood, are not addressed in this report.

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