Children's Environmental Health
                                           EPA Region  10
               Workins to Protect Children in Washinaton. Oreaon. Idaho, and Alaska
Why Focus on Children?
Nearly  three  million  children  live  in  the  Pacific
Northwest and Alaska. Children are especially sensitive
to unhealthy environmental conditions. Unlike adults,
their bodies are still growing and developing. This puts
them  at more  risk from  pollution, toxins  and other
environmental threats.

Why Should We Be Concerned?
There  are  currently over 80,000 chemicals  on  the
market in the U.S.  and the majority of these chemicals
lack information on health effects and toxicity. Many
chemicals have known or probable links to cancer, birth
defects,  reproductive   impacts,   and  other  health
problems such as learning disabilities. Current research
suggests that premature birth, low birth weight, early
puberty and childhood obesity may also be associated
with exposure to toxins.

Region  10 Children's Environmental  Health

•Asthma -  Over 200,000 children in Region 10 suffer
from asthma.
•  Lead - Exposure continues to threaten learning and
•  Pesticides -  Region  10 is  a leader  in  agricultural
production; children are exposed to harmful levels of
pesticides both in the fields and homes.
•  Radon - Found in homes throughout the region, radon
is the  leading  cause  of  lung  cancer  among non-
•  Environmental Tobacco Smoke - 20%  of children in
Alaska have routine exposure to secondhand smoke.
•  Mercury and PCBs - Contaminants in fish continue to
threaten children and women who are pregnant or are
of child-bearing age.
•  PBDEs - Used  in everyday items,  such as carpeting,
electronics, and furniture, these chemicals  persist in
the environment,  build up in humans, and  are likely
endocrine disrupters.
•  Autism -  Data  suggest  increasing  rates  and  a
potential link to environmental causes.
•  AD/HD - Although the cause is unknown,  many of the
behaviors that  are observed  in  children  with ADHD
have been  associated with exposure to  high  levels of
environmental contaminants such as lead and PCBs.
•  Health  Disparities  -Vulnerable populations  suffer
from high rates  of certain diseases. Research suggests
that health disparities  may  be  produced  by both
environmental and social factors.
How  Can   EPA  Region   10   Help  Protect
Indoor Air Quality: EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for
Schools program enables schools to address issues such
as mold, radon, pest-management and asthma.
Outdoor Air Quality: The Clean School Bus  program has
helped retrofit thousands  of diesel  school buses with
pollution control devices and has endorsed anti-idling
School  Assessment:   HealthySEAT  is   a  free  and
customizable  software  tool that helps school districts
conduct a facility assessment program. School districts
have   made    substantial  low-cost  and  efficient
improvements to their buildings.
Asbestos: EPA's Asbestos in Schools program can help
control fiber levels  by teaching  people  to  recognize
asbestos-containing materials and manage them.
Pest Management:  Integrated Pest Management  (IPM) is
a safer,  usually less costly option for effective pest
management in the school community.
Schools Chemical  Cleanout  Campaign:  This  program
helps schools remove dangerous legacy chemicals and
teaches responsible chemical management.
Tribal Nations Children's Environmental Health Summit:
Region 10 co-hosted a two-day training for environment
and health professionals on preventing and diagnosing
environmental exposures.

Other Notable Activities
The National  Children's Study
This  study will examine the effects of environmental
influences on  the health and development of more than
100,000 children across the United  States,  following
them  from before  birth until age 21. The goal  of the
study  is  to  improve the  health  and well-being  of

NW Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
EPA supports this  team of experts to provide practical
guidance  to doctors and nurses as well as the public on
health risks associated with  environmental exposures.

For more information on any of these programs,  please
visit www.epa.sov/r10earth/children.htm

                    Margo Young
 Regional Children's Environmental Health Coordinator
               young. margo@epa. gov
                  United States Environmental Protection Agency   Region 10  Children's Environmental Health
        1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ETPA-086, Seattle, WA 98101  206.553.1287