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President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children

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The President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children is the focal point for coordinating federal government efforts to explore, understand, and act together to improve children's safety and environmental health.

Asthma Disparities

The Task Force works to address preventable environmental factors that lead to differences in the burden of asthma for poor and minority children relative to their peers.

Lead Exposures

The Task Force coordinates interagency efforts to better understand and prevent disease and disabilities in children from lead, including development of a new federal lead strategy.

Chemical Exposures

Understanding and predicting disease and disabilities in children across their life stages that result from exposures to chemicals and metals, including pesticides, manufacturing ingredients, lead, and others, is a focus of the Task Force.

Climate Change

The Task Force seeks to identify key strategies to understand and address climate change impacts on children’s health and to inform federal agencies and others engaged in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and response.

Healthy Settings

Healthy settings (such as homes, schools, and daycares) have eight primary qualities: dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well ventilated, well maintained, and thermally controlled. The Task Force works to ensure healthy settings for all children.

Featured Activity

EPA and HHS Encourage Use of Federal Lead Resources in Early Care and Education Settings

EPA and HHS Encourage Use of Federal Lead Resources in Early Care and Education Settings

The EPA and HHS are working together to reduce children’s exposure to lead as signatories on a Memorandum of Understanding on Reducing Lead Levels in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities, and together co-chair the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, comprised of 17 federal agencies and White House offices. This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint letter to governors to encourage state and local governments to use federal funding to take actions to reduce and remove lead in drinking water in early care and education settings, like elementary schools and daycare facilities. Together, these initiatives highlight the federal government's dedication to taking action to reduce their risk of disease and impairment by lowering children's exposure to lead using federal and state resources and initiatives.

Children are especially vulnerable to lead effects because their bodies are still developing. Infants and young children are at the highest risk for life-long health problems from lead exposure. Lead poisoning can have both physical and psychological repercussions. Exposure to even low amounts of lead in children can cause anemia, behavioral and learning issues, and other problems. Therefore, states must coordinate their efforts to address lead in early care and education settings, where most American children spend a significant amount of time.

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Featured Resource

Climate Change and Children’s Health and Well-Being in the United States Report

Climate Change and Children's Health and Well-being in the United States

Our climate is changing, and the health and well-being of children will continue to be affected in many ways. Children are uniquely vulnerable to climate change due to a variety of physical, cognitive, behavioral, and social factors. Climate change-related impacts in childhood can have lifelong consequences due to effects on learning, physical health, chronic disease, and other complications.

This national-scale, multi-sector EPA report quantifies projected health effects associated with extreme heat, air quality, changing seasons, flooding, and infectious diseases. Where possible, the analyses consider the extent to which these risks disproportionately fall on children from overburdened populations.

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