Children's Environmental Health Institute is constantly
developing new programs, seminars, projects, networks
and ways of distributing information that will make
the environment safer for children.
AAA Texas Great Battery Roundup
Scientific Symposia on Children's Health as Impacted
by Environmental Contaminants
physicians and other professionals have access to
the latest research information.
- Fourth Biennial Scientific Symposium on Children’s
Health as Impacted by Environmental Contaminants – McKinney
Roughs Nature Park, McKinney Roughs Nature Center,
Cedar Creek, TX. Featured presentations and workshops
will include the National Children’s Study,
Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Children’s
Health & Well Being and Children’s Health
as Impacted by the Built Environment.
first symposium was conducted in October, 2000 at
McKinney Roughs Environmental Learning Center, Austin,
2002 symposium was
conducted at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace
Medicine at Brooks City Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Proceedings from the symposium are available for
purchase or download and provide 11 hours of home
study continuing medical education credit for physicians.
2004 Biennial Symposium
was conducted on September 24-25, 2004 at McKinney
Roughs Environmental Learning Center, Austin, Texas.
(Protecting Life and Children’s Environmental
age of global environmental stress, faith communities
are called to live with excellence — to
be those people who chart their futures by what they
can give to the next generation — not by what they
can take from it. The Children's Environmental Health
Institute, in partnership with the Church Facilities
Center, Baptist General Convention of Texas is offering
Faith PLACES to churches to reduce the unnecessary
exposure of children to environmental contaminants
during operation, building, and renovation of their
child care facilities. The Children’s Environmental
Health Institute and the Church Facilities Center,
Baptist General Convention of Texas, hope that Faith
PLACES will be a gift of health to children and families.
Currently, simple, readily understandable environmental
health information related to the well-being of children
is limited. The Faith PLACES program includes guidelines,
resource materials, discussion questions, and checklists
for increasing awareness. Vince Torres, MSE, PE,
CMRS, Associate Director for the Texas Institute
for the Indoor Environment at The University of Texas
at Austin and CEHI Board Member serves as an advisor
and oversee the on-site review process. The on-site
review focus is on identifying environmental risk
factors in the facilities and providing recommendations
for follow-up actions. Upon completion of Faith PLACES,
churches will have an educational program to ensure
safe and healthy environments for children where
they worship, play and grow.
between environmental toxins and child development
is a new area of public health
science. It is only in the past few years that we
have begun to grasp the potential adverse health
effects to children. Evidence is mounting that environmental
exposures play an important role in contributing
to the incidence of childhood diseases. Every day,
children are exposed routinely to a wide variety
of environmental pollutants. Childhood, a time of
rapid growth and development, increases the potential
for illness caused by exposure to environmental toxicants.
Faith PLACES sends a “we care” message.
It is based on a body of scientifically validated
knowledge to provide educational materials and training
for childcare facility staff members and church administrators.
Providing standard environmental health guidelines
protects the health of children by reducing their
risks to environmental contaminants where they worship,
play, and grow. This perspective is growing in importance,
especially as it has become recognized that indoor
environmental toxins are directly related to human
health. Increasingly, there will be a need for church
administrators to provide effective strategies for
building operations and maintenance to assure healthy
environments for children.
Faith PLACES guidelines will assist church administrators
to focus on critical factors that pose health risks
to occupants, especially children who are most vulnerable
to toxins. Routes of exposures for children, such
as dermal and oral routes will be targeted since
children are in direct contact with toys, flooring,
furniture, and residue from cleaning products. Primary
environmental quality factors include: indoor and
outdoor air quality; internal and external sources
of pesticides and chemical exposure; noise and lighting;
renovation and repairs; operation and maintenance
practices. Policy guidelines will be provided to
administrators and staff.
Healthy Homes = Healthy Families
The Children’s Environmental Health Institute,
with support from the St. Suzi Foundation is addressing
the fundamental challenges confronting the unnecessary
exposure of residents in public housing to environmental
toxins. Specifically, of critical concern is the
unique adverse health impacts posed to children.
Environmental Health Housing Guidelines (EHHG) and
a Toxic Profile Housing Inventory (TPHI), a standardized
form to help managers and/or superintendents provide
an inventory of toxic substances focusing on factors
that pose health risks to occupants — especially
children who are most vulnerable to toxins, will
Environmental Health for Children Forum
Indoor Environmental Health for Children Forum
was conducted at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Center for
Children and Families in San Antonio on May 3, 2003.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
Region VI, was the primary sponsor. The forum provided
a starting point for introducing the medical community
in San Antonio and South Texas to the importance
of addressing children's environmental health issues.
Environmental Health Town Meetings
communities, the general public, the public/private
sector and corporations in collaborative efforts.
A town meeting was conducted in El Paso, Texas in
February 2002 through a partnership with the National
Institute of Environmental Sciences and the local
medical society. Participants from Texas, New Mexico
and Mexico participated in the two-day event to
learn and discuss local issues impacting children's
Health Tracking Network Education Sessions
to establish a reliable tracking
system that links environmental exposures to
chronic diseases. Through partnerships with the
Physicians for Social Responsibility and Centers
for Disease Control, physicians in Texas participated
in focus groups, Grand Rounds, medical forums, and
conference workshops to learn and provide input
on the development of the health tracking network.
with child care staff/administration and parents
to provide education on Reducing Exposures to Airway
Pollutants (REAP), and other environmental toxins.
Through partnership with Region VI Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), several initiatives in
Austin and San Antonio, Texas were implemented:
child care/elementary schools were introduced to
the EPA program Tools for Schools.
child care facilities participated in the A
is for Asthma program.
bilingual community forum on asthma was offered
to parents and children with asthma with medical
experts available to talk one-on-one with parents
while children participated in an asthma education
partnered with a local radio station, Catholic
Charities, and the local health department to
implement a non-smoking pledge drive with a live
radio remote at a community music festival.
health professionals, child advocates and parents
on children's environmental health resources through
telephone consultation, a Web site, public presentations
The CEHI website continues to
expand to offer current information and resources
to parents, caregivers and medical professionals.
Presentations are made at conferences and training
events for medical professionals, child care providers
and community organizations on children's environmental
recommendations and advising national, state
and community decision makers regarding policies
which strengthen support systems for preventing
children's exposure to environmental contaminants.
CEHI staff serve on workgroups such as, the National
Children's Study, Nationwide Health Tracking Network
and the Childproofing Our Communities Campaign.
The Children's Environmental Health Institute
addresses environmental health risks to children
through the support of the National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences, Physicians for
Social Responsibility, Centers for Disease Control,
Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Medical
Association, Texas Medical Association Foundation,
Lower Colorado River Authority, the Public Center
for Environmental Health, Cielo Wind Power and
the RGK Foundation.
Health Perspectives includes article in the December
issue on the 2004 Biennial Symposium on Children's
Health as Impacted by Environmental Contaminants
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives
[EHP] has included an article on the Children's
Environmental Health Institute's 2004 Symposium.
The article was written by symposium attendee Dr.
Martha M. Dimes from the Division of Research Coordination,
Planning, & Translation, Environmental Health Perspectives
Branch of the National Institute of Environmental
more articles go to: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2004/112-17/niehsnews.html
Health Perspectives is now an open access journal.
All content is freely available to everyone online
immediately after publication.
Volunteer for the CIELO event, Maureen Britton
CEHI Executive Director, Janie Fields with grandson,
with Cielo Wind Power and Robert Earl
Keen May 17, 2003
Children's Environmental Health Institute was hig-lighted
by Cielo Wind Power during the American Wind Energy
Association's annual WINDPOWER conference on May 17.
Cielo Wind Power hosted a hospitality event for conference
attendees and friends in Austin. Robert Earl Keen
played for a packed house at Stubb's BBQ Restaurant.
event helped raise over $1,200 for the Children's
Environmental Health Institute. To view additional
pictures from the event, go to Cielo's Web site at
Health Week: Children's Environmental Health
the week of April 7, 2003, the World Health Organization
focused on environmental causes that are killing more
than 5 million children a year worldwide. In Texas,
the Children's Environmental Health Institute (CEHI)
focused on the use of everyday pesticides and the
environmental hazards they present to children. CEHI
developed a press release and fact sheets on pesticide
year-round, but especially in the spring, people
begin to put pesticides on the yards, gardens and
in their homes. Pesticides are poisons intended to
kill living insects, rodents or plants. By their very
nature, most pesticides create some risk to all living
creatures, including humans," said Janie Fields, Executive
Director of CEHI.
are more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. That's
because they are small and their brains, immune system
and detoxification organs are still developing. Children
are naturally curious, which leads them to touch and
Pesticides and Children Fact
Hardest Hit by Asthma and Ozone
1998, Texas ranked seventh in the nation in the number
of cases of pediatric asthma, the most prevalent chronic
disease among children in the U.S., and over two and
a half million children (2,528,719) lived in counties
that exceeded the eight-hour ozone standard. This is second
only to California.
for Social Responsibility released Degrees of Danger:
How Smarter Energy Choices Can Protect the Health
of Texans. Degrees of Danger is a state-specific series
that examines the public health impacts of climate
change, air pollution and fossil fuels. The Texas
report also highlights the vast, but fairly untapped,
potential for Texas to become a national leader in
renewable energy production. CEHI Board members Dr.
Fernando Guerra, Dr. Martin Lorin and Dr. Bill Shelton
served as reviewers for the report. CEHI Executive
Director Janie Fields also served as a reviewer.
events were held on June 17 in Houston, June 18 in
Austin, and June 19 in San Antonio with the help of
Dr. Fernando Guerra, Director of Health for the San
Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Dr. Martin Lorin
of Texas Children’s Hospital and State Representative
A copy of the report is available at www.envirohealthaction.org/upload_files/ACF2727.pdf