SACRAMENTO – California lawmakers proclaimed October 2019 as Children’s Environmental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of cleaner air and water, safer food and healthier products for children.
“Kids in California are exposed to environmental contaminants every day,” said Susan Little, a senior advocate in EWG’s California governmental affairs office. “We know that toxic chemical exposures affect the well-being of our children. This official designation will call attention to the need to protect all children from polluted environments.”
Children exposed to hazardous chemicals in outdoor and indoor environments have an increased risk of disease when they are adults. A wide range of environmental hazards exist in schools and at home: lead in drinking water and old paint, PCBs, chemicals in cleaners and pesticides.
“The California Legislature’s decision to adopt SR 59 and proclaim October 2019 as Children’s Environmental Health Month will raise awareness that babies and children are more vulnerable to pesticides, air pollution, and other environmentally harmful chemicals,” said state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. “More research and awareness will help policymakers take action to protect our kids and our environment.”
Children are especially vulnerable to environmental pollution, even more so than adults. Their nervous, respiratory, reproductive and immune systems are developing, and their bodies absorb more contaminants in proportion to their body weight than do adults.
“The intersection between environmental justice and the health and well-being of our children has never been more important for us to examine,” said state Assembly Member Eloise Reyes, D-San Bernardino. “I am proud to author this resolution in making Children Environmental Health Month a focus of Californians as we mitigate and minimize the pollutants in our environment to ensure clean water and clean air for all of California’s children.”
Although all children are vulnerable to pollution, kids living in poverty and in disadvantaged communities are at disproportionate risk for exposure to environmental hazards.
EWG has long been on the forefront of the fight against threats to children’s health, empowering parents with information on how to avoid toxic exposures in everyday environments.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Visit www.ewg.org for more.