Advocacy
Groundbreaking News! Healthy Child Advisors Release Environmental Health Textbook!

Groundbreaking News! Healthy Child Advisors Release Environmental Health Textbook!

January 8, 2014

By Alexandra Zissu, Editorial Director

Two of Healthy Child Healthy World’s advisors, Dr. Phil Landrigan and Dr. Ruth Etzel have just completed editing the new Textbook of Children’s Environmental Health—the very first textbook ever written on this expanding discipline studying the profound impact of chemical and environmental hazards on child health.

While the book’s intended audience is primarily doctors, medical students, and students in schools of public health, Dr. Landrigan, a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and internationally recognized pioneer in children’s environmental health, says it is written in plain and understandable language. This means that non-medical audiences like elected officials, urban planners, and even moms and dads can learn from it.

“Reception to environmental health is changing in various sectors; there’s a much greater awareness,” says Dr. Landrigan. “That’s part of the reason we picked now to bring it out.” Over the past four decades, the prevalence of autism, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and birth defects have grown substantially among children around the world. Not coincidentally, more than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed and released into the global environment during this same period. Today the World Health Organization attributes 36% of all childhood deaths to environmental causes. “The timing is good and there has been an explosion of new knowledge in this field in the last 5 or 8 years,” says Dr. Landrigan.

The education this textbook provides is especially critical as we await stronger legislation of toxic chemicals. “If not this Congress, then in one of the next few,” Dr. Landrigan predicts. “The momentum is clearly building. It’s a scandal that we’re allowing a whole generation of children to be exposed to untested chemicals. It has to be fixed.”

Still, Dr. Landrigan says parents don’t need to feel overwhelmed. “They can take active, feasible, practical, and simple measures to protect families  against toxic chemicals. Eat organic to the extent you can. Worry about lead paint and asbestos in old houses. Eliminate the use of pesticides in and around the home, lawn, and garden. Minimize the use of plastics. Those measures will reduce a family’s exposure by 80 or 90 percent.”

For up-to-date information on the chemical, biological, physical, and societal hazards that confront children in today’s world: pesticides, indoor and outdoor air pollution, lead, arsenic, phthalates, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants, ionizing radiation, electromagnetic fields, and the built environment, as well as research linking pediatric disease with environmental exposures, order a copy today.

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