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President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children

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The President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children is the focal point for coordinating federal government efforts to explore, understand, and act together to improve children’s environmental health.

Asthma Disparities

The Task Force works to address preventable environmental factors that lead to differences in the burden of asthma for poor and minority children relative to their peers.

Lead Exposures

The Task Force coordinates interagency efforts to better understand and prevent disease and disabilities in children from lead, including development of a new federal lead strategy.

Chemical Exposures

Understanding and predicting disease and disabilities in children across their life stages that result from exposures to chemicals and metals, including pesticides, manufacturing ingredients, lead, and others, is a focus of the Task Force.

Climate Change

The Task Force seeks to identify key strategies to understand and address climate change impacts on children’s health and to inform federal agencies and others engaged in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and response.

Healthy Settings

Healthy settings (such as homes, schools, and daycares) have eight primary qualities: dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well ventilated, well maintained, and thermally controlled. The Task Force works to ensure healthy settings for all children.

Featured Activity

Closer to Zero

baby food mashed with spoon in glass jar

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) has released a new initiative, Closer to Zero, that identifies actions the agency will take to reduce exposure to toxic elements in foods eaten by babies and young children to lowest levels possible. FDA has prioritized babies and young children because their smaller body sizes and metabolism make them more vulnerable to the harmful effects of these contaminants.

Further reductions in the levels of toxic elements in foods will be made by:

Advancing the FDA’s research on and evaluating changes in dietary exposures to toxic elements.

Encouraging adoption of best practices by industry to lower levels of toxic elements in agricultural commodities and products.

Increasing targeted compliance and enforcement activities.

Monitoring progress of levels over time.

Setting action levels, with input from stakeholders.

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Featured Resource

Summer Safety Resources for Children

Summertime brings great opportunities for children to spend healthy time outdoors being active and having fun, but there are also certain environmental health risks that are increased during the summer months. May 23-29, 2021 is Health and Safe Swimming Week. The Task Force has a number of resources for parents and others to help ensure that children stay safe while spending additional time in swimming pools and other bodies of water during the summer months. Similarly, warmer weather provides more time for children to be outdoors, but extreme heat can pose a serious risk to children while playing, particularly children athletes. National Heat Safety Awareness Day is May 31, 2021. The Task Force website provides resources aimed at protecting children’s health from extreme heat.

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