It focuses on the connections between people and the environment; promotes health and well-being; and helps create healthy, safe communities. Environmental health professionals work to reduce exposure to harmful substances in air, water, soil and food. This work is especially important for the protection of children.
Because they eat more food, drink more water and breathe more air for their size than adults do, children are especially vulnerable to environmental health hazards. Further, children of color and children living in poverty bear an even higher burden of environmental hazards. Any yet, there are no laws or protections dedicated to children in the environments where they may face harmful exposures. This can be at home, school, child care facilities, playgrounds, parks —anywhere children live, learn and play.
In response to member outcry over the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, APHA set out to study the situation nationally. With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, APHA launched the project that has culminated in this report.