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Children's Health Protection

Children's Health Month 2008

EPA celebrates Children's Health Month each October by developing publications and activities that highlight the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. On October 6, 2008 EPA launched a new campaign to educate middle and high school students about climate change and its effects on children's health. Teens will create a new climate for action by taking action to address global climate change and encouraging their friends and families to do the same.

Also in support of Children’s Health Month 2008, OCHPEE will provide the following:

Choose from the EPA Programs or EPA Regions below to learn how each celebrated Children’s Health Month 2008. For a summary of EPA activities, materials, and accomplishments for previous Children’s Health Months, choose from the options below.

EPA Programs

Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) http://www.epa.gov /epawaste/partnerships/sc3/index.htm
The Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) developed a series of valuable tools to help protect children’s health in their school environments including:

  • Green Cleaning Fact Sheet which emphasizes responsible chemical management beyond the curriculum;
  • SC3 and Schools Web sites updated to feature new links and content. Also added to the site were two new pages, one for pre-service teachers and another for partners.
  • SC3 Green Scene: This blog explains SC3 and encourages schools and partners to take action;
  • SC3 Workbook updated to include new content on greening the curriculum, partnerships, getting started, training and sustainability.

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EPA Regions

Region 1: Maine, New Hampshire. Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts

http://www.epa.gov/region1 /children/index.html
Region I celebrated Children's Health Month this October by publicizing and promoting the national activities and publications that highlight the importance of protecting children from environmental risks including the following:

  • Proclamation on Child Health Day issued by the President of the United States.
  • In addition, we featured the New England Regional winner of EPA's 2008 CEH Champion Award, Naomi Mermin, and the winner of the national SHADE poster contest (who is from Massachusetts) on our R1 CEH website.

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Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands http://www.epa.gov/region2/

  • Region 2 celebrated Children’s Health Month 2008 by kicking off a series of informative podcasts for the public. The first one offered consumer advice on healthy fish choices. Other upcoming podcasts will include one with a focus on resources for parents of asthmatic children in Puerto Rico (in Spanish).

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Region 3: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia http://www.epa.gov/reg3esd1/childhealth/index.htm

  • Regional Administrator Don Welsh sent an awareness message to Regional employees informing them on the history of children’s health month and the new climate change educational campaign
  • The Regional telephone “hold” message provided callers with children’s environmental health information.
  • A display in the Regional Public Information Center featured climate change and children’s health, children and emergencies, health disparities, fact sheets on asthma and second hand smoke, and the school chemical clean out campaign information.
  • In collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania Urban Asthma class, student interns developed interactive games that can be used when conducting outreach with middle and high school students on the climate change educational campaign.
  • 6th Annual Children’s Health Conference explored the intersection between the environment and child health issues including climate change, translational research, disparities, the National Children’s Study, public policy, healthy homes, obesity and the built environment, children in nature, and exposure to toxicants.
  • 1st Annual Philadelphia Children’s Health Lead Awareness Fair provided direct services to the public in the form of education, testing and treatment pathways and explored the dangers of lead exposure and lead-poisoning around the home and information on prevention.
  • The Region 3 Beyond Translation event provided a forum to identify environmental concerns most important to the community, explore ideas for improvement of outreach, education and public involvement efforts initiated by EPA and enhance partnerships and networks.

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Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

As part of the national effort, the focus of Children’s Health Month 2008 in Region 4 was “Youth Creating a New Climate for Action.” Campaign Goals include: Young people will understand the connection between climate change and its effects on children’s health; young people will take actions to reduce their personal carbon footprint; and youth-based organizations will engage young people in efforts to address climate change. To support this campaign, activities included:

  • EPA Region 4 hosted the Children’s Health Month Kickoff at Inman Park Middle School with activities for 225 6th grade students to learn more about climate change, its effects on children’s health, and actions teens can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue issued a proclamation declaring October 2008 as Children’s Health Month with October 6, 2008 as Children’s Health Day in Georgia.
  • A new Children’s Health Month Exhibit addressing Climate Change and children was set up on the EPA’s Atlanta Federal Center lobby during Children’s Health Month. In addition, Regional Administrator Palmer sent a letter to all EPA Region Staff emphasizing the importance of the “Creating A New Climate for Action” campaign and calling for their support.
  • EPA staff participated in the Sunbelt Agriculture Exposition 2008 in Moultrie, GA providing approximately 5,800 visitors with information and materials increasing their awareness of Children’s Environmental Health Issues.
  • Girl Scout Awareness Training was held in Stockbridge, GA featuring a workshop where veteran Girl Scouts learned about EPA’s resources and how to present them to their peers.
  • At the Eco-Action Patch event, Cadet Girl Scouts learned what they can do to be eco-friendly and spread environmental awareness including becoming Climate Change Ambassadors.
  • EPA Region 4 and Spelman College hosted the 2008 Collegiate Environmental Sustainability Conference where colleges and universities throughout the Southeast and Puerto Rico learned about the environmental and economic benefits of greening their campus.
  • The Beyond Translation Hispanic Community Outreach Initiative in Research Triangle Park, NC focused on programs and priorities affecting Hispanic communities including children’s environmental health and pesticides.
  • EPA staff provided interactive children’s environmental health outreach awareness and education at schools in the Greater Atlanta Region and Augusta, GA reaching 1200 middle school students with the “Creating A New Climate for Action” campaign.
  • Region 4 highlighted Children’s Health Month, Climate Change and Children’s Health Education and Action Campaign in its EPA 4Front Publication.
  • Emory University’s Rollins Environmental Health Action Committee (REHAC) hosted an Alternative Transportation Day where graduate students, administration, and staff at the Rollins School of Public Health were encouraged to use carpooling, mass transit, bicycling, and other forms of alternative transportation to reduce their global carbon footprint.
  • 65 nurses, teachers, school administrators, and other participants representing 421 schools and 418,000 students from area counties attended EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Conference in Atlanta, GA.
  • The “Healthy Schools Environment Workshop” in TN was held as part of an effort to develop a comprehensive program for TN school systems that encompasses the Healthy SEAT, IAQ Tools for Schools, radon, Green Cleaning and the School Chemical Cleanout Programs as outlined in the Performance Partnership Agreement between TN and EPA.
  • Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service developed children’s environmental health publications, radio scripts, a website, and flyers reaching hundred’s of thousands of people across the state.
  • Duke University’s Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) under the leadership of Marie Lynn Miranda, Ph.D., was selected as a winner for the 2008 EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award for its outstanding efforts to reduce childhood lead exposure. L
  • Dr. Luanne Williams was selected by Region 4 as the 2008 Region 4 Children’s Environmental Health Champion. Dr. Williams, a former Public Health Toxicologist for the North Carolina Division of Public Health, has been a pioneer and leader in the prevention of exposures of children to hazardous environmental chemicals.

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Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

  • Approaches, outcomes and lessons learned of the West Michigan Children's Environmental Health Pilot were shared by EPA with graduate students, faculty and residents at the University of Illinois, School of Public Health's Interdisciplinary Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Seminar.
  • USEPA Pesticide Outreach staff partnered with the Illinois Department of Human Services at a Chicago area Job/Health Fair to provide pesticide safety and other public health information and materials to more than three hundred people.
  • The Hispanic Special Emphasis Program and the Children's Health Program sponsored a panel discussion on green and healthy schools.
  • The Akron City Health Department sponsored its annual Baby Faire at the John S. Knight Conference Center, Akron Ohio. The Faire attracted expectant mothers and families living in Akron and the surrounding area. EPA featured a Healthy Homes display
  • With the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, EPA and held its first Tribal Indoor Air Quality Summit. Most of the Region’s 35 tribes participated. There were speakers on various indoor environmental quality topics including asthma, environmental tobacco smoke, radon, mold and moisture, children’s health and tribal housing concerns.
  • EPA's new Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Rule was a featured highlight at the Building Environment Council of Ohio's (BECO) 20th Annual Environmental Conference in Columbus, OH.
  • The Lead Outreach Program displayed at the Chicago Department of Housing Expo, Chicago Center for Green Technology, the Chicago Department of Housing Expo, the Chicago Lead Poisoning Prevention Fair and the Ninth Annual Oak Forest Senior Health Fair
  • The Evanston Department of Health's Lead Program sponsored a seminar intended to provide parents and care givers information on the dangers of lead poisoning to small children.
  • EPA initiated its first collaboration with the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan and the Region 5 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU)for training Tribal health care providers on Children's Environmental Health
  • EPA hosted the second in a series of Children’s Environmental Health Seminar Calls with more than 30 local health departments in Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The call featured the Region 5 PEHSU. www.pehsu.netExit Disclaimer This teleconference allowed for an information exchange across state and local health departments that will help to build capacity around protecting children where they live, learn, and play.
  • Illinois Department of Health sponsored its Lead and Healthy Homes Conference in Springfield, IL. The event attracted municipal and county healthcare professionals and contractors and provided them with an opportunity to learn about the latest developments and trends affecting children's health. The EPA Lead Program gave a presentation and had a display.
  • Region 5 participated in the first Conference of the Chicago Consortium for Reproductive Environmental Health in Minority Communities which aimed to not only train participants on basic concepts in reproductive environmental health, but to gain their feedback on a draft environmental health screening tool.
  • The Northeast Indiana Community Environmental Health Initiative in Ft. Wayne Indiana was launched. The goal is to bolster local efforts to protect the community from air pollution in the ambient and indoor environments, including exposures from lead-based paint and dust.
  • The Region 5 PEHSU was the featured at the Muskegon, MI, Community Lead Awareness and Public Policy Seminar. Dr. Hryhorczuk gave a presentation on "The Cause, Effect and Economic Impact of Lead Poisoning."

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Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

This fall, the Children’s Environmental Health (CEH) program is re-focusing efforts on raising awareness about children’s health both inside and outside the Agency.

  • CEH co-sponsored with the Regional Science Council a presentation by Steve Hinkley, Director of Education for the Museum of Nature and Science. Steve discussed the museum's science and nature program and opportunities for EPA staff to partner with the museum on science education and community activities.
  • EPA joined the Museum of Nature and Science for the grand opening of their new exhibit, Your Incredible Body. The EPA Children's Environmental Health program had a table at the opening of the new permanent gallery where they distributed digital thermometers, provided information about mercury and fish, talked about tips to protect children's health, and gave away children's health growth charts, stickers, public health information and more.
  • EPA launched the nationwide Climate Change and Children’s Health Education Campaign, to encourage middle school and high school students to take actions to address global climate change and children's health, to become “Climate Ambassadors” and encourage their friends and families to do the same.
  • At the Environmental Educator’s Roundtable, Paula Selzer, Regional CEH Coordinator, presented the new Climate Ambassadors program to Regional environmental educators to promote participation in the national campaign.
  • The Regional Science Council presented the monthly science quiz with an emphasis on children’s health protection and science in October.
  • The Children’s Environmental Health Program participated in the second Environmental Treasure Hunt at the Discovery Gardens at Fair Park. In partnership with Fox4 TV, Dallas Sustainable Skylines Initiative, the City of Dallas, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments, EPA provided information and sponsor activities on CEH to parents and children.
  • Paula Selzer attended the “Beyond Translation” meeting in McAllen, Texas to share ideas and promote CEH initiatives in the Rio Grande Valley. She facilitated a panel discussion on environmental health and provided insights on funding opportunities for CEH.
  • Region 6 proudly announced that Winifred Hamilton, PhD, Director of Baylor College of Medicine’s Environmental Health Section is the Children’s Environmental Health Excellence award winner from this Region.

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Region 7: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska

  • Region 7, in conjunction with the Healthy Indoor Environments Coalition of the Heartland, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Children's Mercy Hospital, and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit held the 5th Annual Healthy Sustainable Environments Conference at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas. The goal was to continue to provide high-quality education at a low cost to state, county and city public health officials by bringing in national and local experts to share the most current information relating to the environmental issues of buildings and their occupants. Three educational tracks were offered: The Environment and Public Health; The Environment of Buildings and Communities; and The Environment, Science, Research and Technology, as well as sessions which focused specifically on children’s health such as: A Child’s Perspective of Asthma, Pesticides and Particulates: Their Impact on Children with Asthma in Rural America, and Asthma and School Absenteeism.

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Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming http://www2.epa.gov/region8/protecting-childrens-environmental-health-regi on-8

  • The October Region 8 Children’s Environmental Health (CEH) News List Serve announced the nationwide Climate Change and Children’s Health Education Campaign to their membership.
  • The Region’s Montana Office presented information and staffed a booth about CEH at the Montana Environmental Health Association's fall conference for sanitarians.
  • CEH staff hosted a booth at the Montana teachers' and school administrators' conferences in Missoula and Billings as well as the Montana Conference on the Education of Young Children in Helena.

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Region 10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

  • Regional Administrator Elin Miller, met with Redmond High School students to discuss climate change and to celebrate Children's Health Month. The students held a roundtable with Elin where they shared components of their Go GREEN Program, the beginning of a three-year project to join Redmond High School and the local community in the common goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Some of the projects include Cool Schools, Cool Businesses, and working on installing a windmill at the school. Elin watched students conduct a "cool school" audit, got a tour of the new composting facilities, and listened as students presented EPA's new "Climate for Action" presentation to help educate students about the relationship between climate change and children's health. More than ten students have become Climate Ambassadors already and they are working on recruiting many more. The students also presented Elin with the Climate for Action Proclamation, signed by their Principal.
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