EPA Issues First
Report on Trends in Protecting Children's Health
On January 8, 2001, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol Browner announced results of the first-ever agency assessment of trends in environmental factors that may affect the health and well being of children in the US. The report shows that, while there have been improvements, formidable challenges exist in reducing risks from environmental factors.
"The Clinton-Gore Administration has made the protection of children's health one of its highest environmental priorities," said Ms. Browner. "Children are among the most vulnerable groups to environmental threats. We especially are concerned about such issues as exposure to lead and pesticides and rising incidents of childhood asthma. This important report outlines the progress we have made by specifically targeting threats to children, and it underscores the challenges that still confront us."
The new report, America's Children and the Environment: A First View of Available Measures, analyzes data from 1990 to 1999. The report shows a decrease in the percentage of children living in counties where one or more of the six "criteria air pollutants" exceeded national air quality standards; living in the homes of regular smokers; and living in areas served by public water systems that had any violation of drinking water standards. However the report reveals a disproportionate number of environmentally-related health problems in children of color; an increase in childhood asthma; and between 1992 and 1994, nearly 1.5 million children with elevated levels of lead in their bloodstreams.
To view the entire
report visit EPA's website at www.epa.gov/children/ace.