Children's Environmental Health
A Broader Look


  • Environmental contaminants are ubiquitous and all humans have some level (usually low) of environmental pollutants in their bodies

  • Around the world, the hazards that children face vary greatly and are largely dependent on geographic, economic, and social determinants. Poverty, especially, can exacerbate environmental risk factors.1

Over 40 percent of the environmental disease burden falls on children under 5 years of age, yet they constitute only 10 percent of the world population.

 - World Health Organization

Balancing Risks and Benefits

When safer alternatives are not available, the use of some chemicals requires a balancing of risk and benefit. Public health professionals frequently have to weigh the risks and benefits associated with an activity, even when considerable uncertainty exists about the fate of the chemical in the environment, human exposures, and health effects.

Pesticide Application Benefits
Food is more plentiful, enhanced nutritional status and children's burden of diseases transmitted by vectors (i.e. mosquitoes) is reduced

Picture of a balance

Pesticide Applications Risks
Inappropriate use, storage, and disposal which may result in neurodevelopmental effects in children, caused by chronic, low-level exposures or acute poisoning incidents

In this case, the weight given to various risks and benefits will differ depending on geographical region and other factors. In order to tip the balance toward health protection, many protective actions have been taken. These include: the promotion of integrated pest management to reduce reliance on chemical pesticides, the elimination of pesticides.

References

Updated Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 11:58AM