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Scientists, Medical Professionals and Policymakers Join Forces to Protect Children from Environmental Threats

Release Date: 10/01/2009
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-604-8293

(Seattle, Wash.—Oct. 1, 2009) The future of children’s health is at center stage for the next two days as leading researchers, health care providers, and policymakers gather at the Northwest Children’s Environmental Health Forum in Tukwila, Wash. to share the most up-to-date research and develop an action plan to help protect children from environmental harms.

Children are more at risk for environmental exposures than adults because of their developing bodies and brains, as well as certain behaviors that put them at higher risk.

This forum will put the spotlight on why environmental links to children’s health is a critical issue for parents, the medical establishment, policymakers and communities. Scientists and policymakers will discuss a variety of subjects, including:

  • High-risk exposure times during pregnancy
  • How cell phones and electromagnetic radiation may affect children’s developing brains
  • Possible causes of autism
  • Why diseases and disabilities with environmental links are on the rise
  • The economic and social costs of not acting to protect children’s health
  • How policies can work to ensure children an environment that reduces harmful chemicals

“This impressive gathering of the sharpest scientific minds and policymakers in the field of children’s environmental health is exactly what we need to ensure a safer future for the next generation,” said Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10. “This forum will be a catalyst and will guide future work on behalf of our children.”

The two-day conference features the most current research presented by leaders in the rapidly developing field of children’s environmental health, including:

  • Shanna Swan, PhD, University of Rochester: Endocrine disruptors and children’s health
  • Ted Schettler, MD: Overview of the latest science on children’s health
  • Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, Simon Fraser University: Neurotoxicants, learning and developmental diseases and children’s environmental health

In addition, Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will address forum attendees on October 2nd.

“Today’s children are counting on us to secure a safe environment now so they can grow and flourish into healthy adults tomorrow,” said Aimee Boulanger of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. “This is a shared interest between all the agencies, individuals and groups involved in hosting this forum—we all want the same healthy future for our children.”

The forum will culminate with an Action Agenda that will be used to develop children’s environmental health practices and policies.

The Northwest Children’s Environmental Health Forum is presented by the Collaborative on Health and Environment – Northwest Chapter. The group includes federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology, People for Puget Sound, Public Health – Seattle & King County, the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County and many more.

Click here for more information on the Northwest Children’s Environmental Health Forum.

SPONSORED BY:

Environmental Protection Agency
Collaborative on Health and the Environment--Northwest
King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Washington State Department of Ecology
People for Puget Sound
Seattle and King County Public Health