March Issue
March 06, 2015

New statewide resource on children's environmental health

Author: By Wendy Hord
Source: NYSUT United

New statewide resource on children's environmental health

The state's network of Centers of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health will be the first of its kind in the U.S. once its fully operational. The centers are located at SUNY Stony Brook Health Science Center, SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, SUNY University of Buffalo, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York Medical College, Albany Medical College and the University of Rochester.

The network was established last year with legislative funding to deal with the rise of environment-related chronic disease in children. Centers are staffed by pediatricians, nurses, social workers, industrial hygienists and health educators who provide consultations and referrals in environmental pediatrics for primary care providers across New York state. They also educate health professionals, policymakers and the public about environmental threats to children's health from ongoing exposure to natural disasters.

The World Health Organization estimates environmental exposures are responsible for 35 percent of all childhood diseases and deaths worldwide.

Philip J. Landrigan, dean of global health in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai, said a growing body of science is establishing clear links between chronic diseases in children and harmful exposures in the environment.

Oversight for the centers is by the New York State Center for Environmental Health in the state Health Department. For more information, call toll-free 866-265-6201, or visit

— Wendy Hord