Kids especially vulnerable to air pollution and effects of climate change, says influential ...| CBC CANADA, July 14, 2022
How Climate Change and Air Pollution Affect Kids’ Health | TIME, June 17, 2022
It's Hot Outside — And That's Bad News for Children's Health, | Kaiser Health News, June16, 2022
In An Unusual Step, a Top Medical Journal Weighs in on Climate Change | Inside Climate News, June16, 2022
US Lowers Cutoff for Lead Poisoning in Young Kids, Ocotber 28, 2021
U.S. health officials have changed their definition of lead poisoning in young children — a move expected to more than double the number of kids with worrisome levels of the toxic metal in their blood. The more stringent standard announced Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means the number of children ages 1 to 5 considered to have high blood lead levels will grow from about 200,000 to about 500,000.
Research Leads to Regulation on "Forever Chemicals", October 26, 2021
Last week, the Biden Administration announced regulations to limit exposures to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), long-lasting chemical compounds found in our drinking water, food, even our blood. The regulations are based on a growing body of research on their harms to human health—including studies and standards published by environmental health scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
As Pennsylvania moves to join a regional greenhouse gas initiative, experts say it will also reduce toxics, foster healthier kids, and save the state billions. But GOP policymakers and industry groups remain opposed.
PITTSBURGH—Last month, Pennsylvania took a major step toward joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program that limits climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The program, already implemented in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, has an important side benefit: lower emissions of other air pollutants that are harmful to human health, including sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). RGGI only specifically regulates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but emissions of these other pollutants are reduced as a natural side effect of cutting CO2. A 2020 Columbia University study found that those reductions helped RGGI states avoid an estimated 537 cases of child asthma, 112 preterm births, 98 cases of autism spectrum disorder, and 56 cases of low birthweight from 2009 to 2014, creating economic savings of between $191 million to $350 million.
Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health developed a method using a DNA biomarker to easily screen pregnant women for harmful prenatal environmental contaminants like air pollution linked to childhood illness and developmental disorders. This approach has the potential to prevent childhood developmental disorders and chronic illness through the early identification of children at risk.
Synthetic chemicals called phthalates are damaging children's brain development and therefore must be immediately banned from consumer products, according to a group of scientists and health professionals from Project TENDR. Project TENDR, which stands for Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks, is a group of volunteer scientists, health professionals and child advocates working to study and reduce children's exposure to neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants. "What we want to accomplish is to move the public health community, including regulators, toward this goal of elimination of phthalates," said lead author Stephanie Engel.
President Biden's initial wave of planned executive actions includes an order to reexamine one controversial, but widely used, pesticide called chlorpyrifos. The Trump administration had stepped in to keep the chemical on the market after Obama-era officials tried to ban it.
In their new study, Columbia University researchers asked, “What if air quality improvements in New York City during the spring 2020 COVID-19 shutdown were sustained for five years without the economic and health costs of the pandemic?” “Air quality improvements from the shutdown happened as the result of a tragic situation,” said study first author Frederica Perera, professor of environmental health sciences at the university’s Mailman School of Public Health.
The COVID-19 shutdown in New York City gave researchers an unintended “natural experiment” of cleaner air, where they could simulate what it would be like for future health and economics if improved air quality could be sustained. In their new study, Columbia University researchers asked, “What if air quality improvements in New York City during the spring 2020 COVID-19 shutdown were sustained for five years without the economic and health costs of the pandemic?” … “Air quality improvements from the shutdown happened as the result of a tragic situation,” said study first author Frederica Perera. She’s director of translational research at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and a professor of environmental health sciences at the university’s Mailman School of Public Health.
A program in the Eastern United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants also has significant health benefits for children in the region, according to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University. The emissions program, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, was established in 2009 and sets a cap on planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution, giving plants emissions allowances via permit auctions and allowing them to trade those allowances.
"What is very apparent from the data is that kids experience unhealthy weight gain during the summer, that it’s more so for African-American and Hispanic kids, and that the weight gain that occurs during the summer does not get worked off during the school year,” said Dr. Rundle, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s a stepwise pattern where the summer is the step up and the school year is the flat part of the step."