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The Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) is a part of Earth Share of Texas. Your donation at the check-out in HEB stores during the month of April will benefit many worthy agencies including CEHI.

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12th Annual National Healthy Schools Day – April 8, 2014

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Environmental Health Institute, it is my pleasure to present the Executive Summary from the Houston Roundtable Discussion on the Environment Related to Asthma and Respiratory Diseases in Pre-School and School-Age Children. We want to extend to all of the presenters, participants, sponsors, staff and supporters an expression of appreciation for their time and effort on behalf of this project to improve the quality of health for current and future generations in the Greater Houston Area.

Martin Lorin, M.D., Steering Committee Chair
Children’s Environmental Health Institute
Professor Baylor College of Medicine
Texas Children’s Hospital
Houston, Texas

The Children’s Environmental Health Institute joins in commemorating 2014 National Healthy Schools Day with the release of the Executive Summary of the Houston Roundtable Discussion on the Environment Related to Asthma and Respiratory Diseases in Pre-School and School-Age Children.

picture of Executive Summary coverClick Here To Open Houston Roundtable Executive Summary PDF In A New Window

It is an honor to join Claire Barnett, founder and executive director of Healthy Schools Network in her statement “On behalf of all our partners nationwide, we want to thank our partners at US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their decades of collaborative work in the field. Having a healthy school environment for all children is hard work every day, and harder still post-disasters.” To learn more about national Healthy Schools Day go to
http://www.nationalhealthyschoolsday.org.

Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) releases report on the Houston Initiative and Roundtable Discussion:
The Environment Related to Asthma and Respiratory Disease
in Pre-School and School-Age Children

Click Here for Houston Roundtable Final Report pdf

The Houston Roundtable Discussion focused on environmental health risks related to asthma and respiratory disease in the Greater Houston Area.  Houston has made much progress, and yet many unknown or missed opportunities remain to protect children from exposure to toxics in the air they breathe and where they live, learn, and play.  In addition, the Roundtable Discussion addressed policy-making opportunities and the importance of over-arching approaches to support education and action plans to to decrease asthma and respiratory disease in children.

Rich and Dr. Lorin compressed and cropped

Dr. Martin Lorin, CEHI Board Member and Chair of the Roundtable Discussion with keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Corsi, The University of Texas, Department Chair, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and Co-Director, Center for Sustainable Development.

We wish to recognize and thank the sponsors of the Roundtable Initiative and Discussion. Undertaking the Houston Roundtable Initiative and Discussion would not have been possible to do without the support and financial contributions from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, Saint Susie Charitable Foundation, the Texas Children’s Health Plan, Kirksey Architects, Reliant Energy, the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health,  the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (List Sponsors).  In addition, words cannot adequately express our gratitude to the Roundtable Discussion members for their time, skills and support in participating in conference calls, planning committee meetings.   Their generosity in reserving the full measure of a day from their calendar to serve on the Roundtable Discussion reflects their dedication to improving the quality of life for all children.

Group Photo compressed and cropped

* The Houston Roundtable Discussion on the Environment Related to Asthma and Respiratory Diseases in Pre-School and School-Age Children was as invitational assembly, convened by the Children’s Environmental Health Institute on November 15, 2013, to address the need to improve asthma and respiratory disease (cystic fibrosis, reactive airway disease and recurrent respiratory tract allergies) prevention and management in pre-school and school-age children within the Greater Houston Area.

The Roundtable Discussion was designed to provoke critical thinking on ways to strengthen and expand current networks to improve the quality of health for pre-school and school-age children afflicted with asthma and other respiratory diseases living in the Greater Houston Area.  Bold goals were defined to support building blocks in designing effective and sustainable action plans for public/government (including school districts) and private/civic organizations.

The Houston Roundtable Discussion on the Environment Related to Asthma and Respiratory Diseases in Pre-School and School-Age Children supported the Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Respiratory Disease, and the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children: Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities.

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Announcement: 

EPA Seeks Environmental Education Grant Applications

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting applications for environmental education projects under the agency’s Environmental Education Grant Program. The program works to engage communities across the country through a wide variety of educational projects that have a lasting impact on people’s health by facilitating environmental stewardship.. Projects in the past have engaged students in stream monitoring, created sustainable mentoring communities, and provided professional development to teachers on subjects including science, technology, engineering and math.

Eligible organizations include local education agencies, colleges or universities, state education or environmental agencies, tribal education agencies, 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations, and noncommercial educational broadcasting entities working in education.

This competitive grants program will total $2.77 million. Each of the ten EPA regional offices will award two or three grants and one or two grants will be awarded from EPA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Each award will be an estimated $75,000 to $200,000. EPA expects to award between 22 and 32 grants nationwide.

For more information about the program and how to apply: http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants

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TAEYC logoThe Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) appreciated the opportunity to present the first ever Track on environmental health risks to children at the 49th Annual Texas Association for the Education of Young Children Conference that took place on October 3-5, 2013 in historic San Antonio, Texas.

The track provided an overview of adverse health effects to young children occurring as a consequence of their exposure to toxins in their microenvironment and provided ways for caregivers to ensure that they provide a healthy environment for children to learn, play and grow.  The agenda provided a broad overview of children’s environmental health and then gave specifics relating to Air, Materials, Products, Cleaning, Pest Management, and Food and Nutrition.

Speakers Included:
Donald J. Dudley, MD, CEHI Board Member
Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Fernando Guerra, MD, MPH, FAAP, CEHI Board Chair
Former Director of Health, San Antonio, Texas
Public Health Consultant, Clinical Professor Pediatrics,
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Nona Evans, President & Executive Director, Whole Kids Foundation
Stacy Murphy, Region 6 EPA Schools Coordinator
Mike Wells, AIA, CEHI Vice Chair, Bright Horizons

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Bad News About Cell Phone Radiation and Children

Listen to an interview with Dr. Devra Davis, Founder and President of Environmental Health Trust, with Thom Harkman on Talk of the Town.  Progressive radio icon Thom Hartmann hosts Dr. Devra Davis

Read about how in 2011, the W.H.O IARC spent a year reviewing experiments and heath studies and concluded that cell and cordless phone radiation was a “possible human carcinogen.”  This is the same category as lead, DDT and engine exhaust – compounds that are subject to serious regulation and control today.   This new article reviews new studies published since the W.H.O review and concludes that this radiation should be re-classified as a probable human carcinogen.  Impressive reports that have studied those who began using cell phones before age 20 find a 4 to 8 fold increase in brain cancer as well as increases in leukemia.  In addition important new study found that cell phones do produce hot spots in living brain tissue, contrary to the assumption used to set all standards today.  Finally, this report documents the growing shortage in oncology services yet to come. View Full Text 

Also see Environmental Health Trust     ___________________________________________________________

Towards Healthy Schools 2015 Report Now Available!

The Towards Healthy Schools 2015 Report cites multiple studies documenting the benefits of healthy indoor learning environments on attendance and achievement, then presents state-level data and policy summaries. (Click report cover below to link to the full report).

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Spotlight on CEHI Student Volunteer

Upasana

Upasana Prabhu, freshman at Westlake High School and CEHI volunteer, with her parents at the reception at the Dell Children’s Medical Center for the Seventh Biennial Scientific Symposium,  How School Environments Affect the Health and Educational Performance of Students, hosted by the Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI).  To read Upasana’s address to the participants, please go here .

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Picture the Children Photo Exhibit

Children and Their Food

Sponsored by the Whole Kids Foundation

The Children and Their Food Photo Exhibit debuted in October 2012, during National School Lunch Week, at CEHI’s Seventh Biennial Scientific Symposium at the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas.

The Picture the Children program of the Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) is an approach to evoke an emotional experience for the viewers to envision the unique relationship children experience in their environment and the impact on their wellbeing. The images document the joy, discovery and positive health outcomes children experience in natural and healthy environments.

WaffleIn partnership with the Whole Kids Foundation, the focus is on children and their relationship with food for the Picture the Children Photo Exhibit. In an effort to advance the discussion about children’s health and their environment, select photographers were invited to turn their lenses toward children and their food. Photographers were selected by the Advisory Panel to submit photographs representing the relationship between children and food.

Eating is a learned behavior. Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and is associated with reduced risk for many diseases, including several of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Poor nutrition is a major cause of health problems such as obesity and chronic disease, which are now increasingly beginning in childhood.

Jury Members:

Susanna Finnell, PhD, Jury Chair

Marla Camp, Owner and Publisher of Edible Austin

Marise McDermott, President & CEO, Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas

Lise Ragbir, Owner of Ragbir Art, Art Consultant

Penny De Los Santos, Senior Contributing photographer to Saveur Magazine and a regular contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine and Martha Stewart Living

To view the Picture the Children: Children in Nature Photo Exhibit by Roberto “Bear Guerra” go to http://www.bearguerra.com/slideshows/cehi_exhibit_final.