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.
- The new priority on climate, emergencies and disasters will help to coordinate and enhance federal activities to protect children’s health and safety in the face of such events.
- Building on its interagency asthma disparities work, the group plans to increase uptake of recently updated asthma management guideline for children and to expand support for comprehensive asthma interventions.
- The Task Force continues to make progress protecting children from lead exposures by aligning federal efforts to meet the needs of communities to reduce childhood lead exposures.
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) (99KB)