Despite many advancements in the field of children’s environmental health over the past few decades, today’s children face an epidemic of chronic disease and developmental disabilities, most of which are linked to environmental exposures and our changing climate. There remains an urgent need to put children and families back into the forefront of our nation’s decisions regarding health and environment.
October 10, 2019 marks the 4th annual Children’s Environmental Health Day. Led by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), it is an opportunity to raise awareness of children’s health issues, celebrate successes in the field, share exciting new initiatives, discuss new challenges and assess the road ahead.
Listed below are opportunities to take action on this special day:
Drinking Water Safety Awareness: You can help raise awareness about tap water safety, and provide accessible and actionable information on what to do, with the Alliance’s fact sheet, Drinking Water Safety in Schools. In just 2 pages, it covers the basics on school drinking water safety and includes links to in-depth toolkits for school and childcare settings.
Federal-Level Drinking Water Safety Successes: In recent years, Congress has authorized and appropriated funds for lead testing in school and childcare settings, along with other drinking water and tap water safety measures. Administered by the EPA, this testing program is beginning to roll out in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Use this link and take a moment to thank your elected representatives for their successful work tackling tap water safety. You can also let them know you want them to find more ways to keep up the good work.
New in the Field: Recent years have seen renewed attention to the problem of lead in tap water with new research and innovations bubbling out of the efforts. Learn more:
· Attend or catch up with the live video for the October 15 Field Hearing: Addressing the Lead Crisis through Innovation & Technology
· Read Understanding lead in water and avoidance strategies: a United States perspective for informed decision-making
· Read State Approaches to Testing School Drinking Water for Lead in the United States and look for your state’s profile
In the movement to encourage young people to drink water in place of sugary drinks, there’s a continuing need to balance efforts to raise awareness of the gaps in tap water safety, with efforts to dispel a not uncommon misperception that tap water is inherently unsafe.
We all must keep up this important work.