Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-02-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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More than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed and released into the global environment during the last four decades. Today the World Health Organization attributes more than one-third of all childhood deaths to environmental causes, and as rates of childhood disease skyrocket -- autism, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and even birth defects -- it raises serious, difficult questions around how the chemical environment is impacting children's health.

Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know® offers an accessible guide to understanding and identifying the potential sources of harm in a child's environment. Written by experts in pediatrics and environmental health and formatted in an easy to follow question-and-answer format, it offers parents, care providers, and activists a reliable introduction to a hotly debated topic.

As the burdens of environmental toxins and disease continue to defy borders, this book provides a new benchmark to understanding the potential threats in our environment and food. No parent or care provider should be without it.

Author Biography

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, M.Sc., is Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and Founding Director, Children's Environmental Health Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Mary M. Landrigan, M.P.A., is a health educator who spent 25 years at the Westchester County Department of Health.

Table of Contents



1. Changing diseases in a changing environment

Patterns of childhood disease - then and now
Environmental changes

2. New chemicals and new childhood chemical exposures

Explosive growth of chemicals
Early warning signs
Gaps in safety and toxicity testing
Childhood exposure to new chemicals

3. Children's unique vulnerability to toxic chemicals in the environment

Unique windows of vulnerability exist in children
Children process toxic exposures more slowly than adults
Children's higher metabolism rates make different demands on their bodies than adults
Childhood exposures can incubate for many years and may cause adult disease
Exposures are proportionately greater in children than in adults
Normal hand-to-mouth behavior increases their exposure to toxins
Children live closer to the ground and have different exposures than adults
Other risk factors compound the problem

4. The links between childhood disease and toxic chemicals in the environment

The increase in autism, ADHD, and other problems of the developing brain
The increase in male birth defects, early puberty in girls, and testicular cancer in young mem
The increased incidence of asthma and allergies
New links between household toxins, obesity, and diabetes
The links between childhood exposures and adult disease
The growing problems with reproduction
The increases in childhood cancer

5. A Guide for Parents: Keeping Your Child Safe from Environmental Toxins

An environmental checklist for your home
Over 100 ways to protect your children and promote health as they grow

At home

10 ways to make baby's room safer
8 ways to avoid asthma and allergy attacks
10 practical ways to prevent lead poisoning
25 ways to minimize your child's exposure to endocrine disruptors
9 cautions about pesticides
11 ways to reduce exposure to unsafe foods
14 tips for avoiding exposure to household chemicals
6 ways to grow your child into a healthy adult

At day care

10 ways to make day care safer

At school

10 ways to make school safer

In the neighborhood

10 ways to make the neighborhood safer

Tips for future moms and dads

10 ways to protect future children

6. A Call to Action

Children's health, toxic chemicals and you

Policy and legislation: where we stand now

Evidence-based prevention
US standards vs standards in other countries
Consequences of our current situation

A call for a new public health revolution

New ways to protect children from environmental toxins
Our call to action - community based actions, state initiatives, federal legislation
Career opportunities for the future of public health

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