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Featured Activities are snapshots of current and ongoing actions, programs, and initiatives to address children’s environmental health, both of the Task Force and from across federal departments and agencies. Featured Activities also may include those that are led by non-government organizations but that are federally co-sponsored or supported, or that have significant engagement of federal agencies. Coverage of Featured Activities does not imply any priority status on the part of the Task Force or the federal government.
On October 28, 2021, the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children (Task Force) convened a full meeting of the Task Force Principals from across the federal government. Task Force co-chairs Michael Regan, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Xavier Becerra, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary hosted the meeting.
This event brought together cabinet level officials to reinvigorate the federal government’s commitment to protecting children from environmental health and safety risks and promoting action on children’s health in support of equity, climate change, and environmental justice. Becerra and Regan noted that while federal agencies have made great strides to protect and improve children’s health, there is more work to do, especially reducing inequities to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential in life and protecting future generations from health impacts from exposures happening today.
Leaders from federal agencies including HUD, DOJ, DOT, NOAA, OMB, OSHA, USDA, CPSC and others noted their support for the interagency work of the Task Force. Three Task Force priority areas were highlighted: asthma disparities; lead exposure and safety; and climate, emergencies, and disasters.
As part of closing remarks, Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, urged agencies to increase the degree to which they are addressing children’s environmental health and safety as part of their climate agendas.
Prior to closing the meeting, Regan reiterated a request that Task Force principals designate or confirm staff to serve on the Task Force steering committee and related subcommittees.
President’s Task Force Principals Meeting Attendees (99KB)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) has released a new initiative, Closer to Zero, that identifies actions the agency will take to reduce exposure to toxic elements in foods eaten by babies and young children to lowest levels possible. FDA has prioritized babies and young children because their smaller body sizes and metabolism make them more vulnerable to the harmful effects of these contaminants.
Previous work of the FDA and stakeholders has led to meaningful reductions in exposure to toxic elements. The FDA’s action plan builds on this progress and outlines a science-based, iterative approach for achieving continual improvements over time.
Further reductions in the levels of toxic elements in foods will be made by:
The purpose of this initiative is to convene state, county, and tribal representatives from rural and non-urban communities to discuss how collaborative efforts can be initiated or strengthened to identify and address elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in tribal children. Additionally, we will explore current processes that tribal nations use to test BLL and any known barriers and facilitators for testing and related activities.
At the convenings, key stakeholders will work together to generate region-specific solutions to enhance BLL testing and related activities. Additionally, tribal participants will gain an improved understanding of how state and county lead programs might work with tribal nations, what resources and materials may be available, and potential opportunities for future tribal-state and tribal-county partnerships to accomplish this work.
NIHB will focus energies on two Indian Health Service regions, based on expressed interest from elected tribal leaders and tribal programmatic and clinical staff who work in lead. Please note: NIHB will support the travel of all approved tribal convening attendees.
If your tribe is interested in participating in this initiative, please contact Stephen Valliere, Public Health Coordinator, by Tuesday, April 30, Close of Business at email@example.com or 202-507-4802.
Kick Butts Day is March 20, 2019. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor Environments Division supports efforts to educate America’s youth about the health risks of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) 2018, which will be held October 21-27, is an annual “call to action” aimed at bringing together families, individuals, community-based organizations, state, tribal, and local governments, and others, to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness and increase efforts to reduce childhood exposure to lead. NLPPW also highlights the many ways parents can reduce children’s exposure to lead in their home environment and prevent its serious health effects. The three themes this year are: Get The Facts, Get Your Home Tested, and Get Your Child Tested.
HUD, EPA, and CDC are providing information on how people and organizations can plan for and implement activities during NLPPW. A Partner Information Kit contains resources for implementing local NLLPW activities, information about lead and lead poisoning prevention, tips for outreach, and more. This Kit is targeted for use by a wide range of stakeholders, including community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, health providers, state, tribal, and local governments’ health, housing, and environment departments, and others. Also available on the NLPPW websites of the agencies are a sample social media package, including sample posts for each day of NLPPW; posters, flyers, and website icons/buttons with versions in six languages; web banners with versions in three orientations; additional social media and websites that address lead; and international LPPW information.
The agencies, in collaboration with USDA, are hosting 1-hour webinars of federal agency and other expert presenters on each of the three 2018 themes. Information and registration links are available at HUD NLPPW Webinars Schedule
The EPA will conduct a webinar for contractors, landlords, realtors, and property managers on its Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. The RRP Rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA-authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices. For information click here.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is October 22-28. This year's theme is "Lead Free Kids for a Healthy Future." Task Force members including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have developed outreach materials to help generate awareness and educate parents about protecting kids.
The goal is to encourage organized, community events, and to empower families to take action. Across the nation, stakeholders will host and participate in outreach and educational activities designed to raise local awareness about the dangers of lead exposure and poisoning, and to educate parents about how to reduce exposures to lead in their environment in order to prevent serious health effects, and about the importance of testing children for lead.
The call to action is:
The NLPPW Campaign Resource Package provides details about NLPPW and downloadable materials for community outreach.
The NLLPW Toolkit, created by HUD, provides:
Children’s health and well being are vulnerable to impacts of climate change related to extreme heat, increased air pollution, changes in food and water, changes in vectorborne diseases, and extreme weather such as flooding and wildfires. The Climate Change and Children’s Health Policy Roundup gathers stories of policy actions being taken by government and non-government groups to address such impacts, with the goals of creating a community of practice around children’s health and climate change and providing a resource of ideas, approaches, and lessons learned.
Around the country, recognition of the unique vulnerability of children is spurring policy actions and programs to protect children’s health against the impacts of climate change. These activities are happening at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels through both government and non-government efforts. The President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children gathers stories to highlight these policies and activities and to help build a community of practice around children’s health and climate change. The stories have been included in presentations at national public health meetings and shared through the Task Force mailing list. (Statements in the stories do not represent official views of the Task Force or any of its members).
Submit your own story to the Climate Change and Children’s Health Policy Roundup!
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