The Great Lakes Center for Reproductive and Children’s Environmental Health was established in 1999 in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to promote and protect children's health through prevention, education, diagnosis and treatment of environmentally related diseases.

We are one of 10 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) across the country dedicated to children's environmental health issues.‌‌ Our primary area of focus is Region 5, which includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. A PEHSU has experts in pediatrics, toxicology, occupational and environmental medicine, reproductive health, and other specialties. PEHSUs are a source of medical information and advice on environmental exposures influence reproductive and children's health and work with an array of people, such as parents, schools, and state agencies, to address children's environmental health issues.

We affirm that Black Lives Matter

The Great Lakes Center for Reproductive and Children’s Environmental Health recognizes that African American communities have historically suffered from a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution. Combined with the adverse health effects caused by lack of access to medical care, fresh food, and community economic investment, the additional burden of living with poor air quality, contaminated drinking water and soil, and older housing stock is absolutely unacceptable and must be remedied. To that end, the national PEHSU network, with input from this Center, is currently undertaking a strategic planning process that increases our focus on ending environmental injustice. We look forward to increasing our efforts in this arena.

What we do

Our team of health professionals encompass diverse areas of expertise including medical toxicology, pediatrics, occupational/environmental medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency medicine. Our objectives include:
  • Provide consultation

    to public health and environmental agencies.

  • Lead training

    of pediatricians, environmental and occupational medicine physicians, medical toxicologists and other health professionals.

  • Conduct research

    aimed at preventing children’s environmental diseases.

  • Serve as an information resource

    for health care professionals and the general public on children’s environmental health issues.

  • Promote sound policies and legislation

    at the local, regional and national level that protect children’s health and the environment and that promote environmental justice.

  • Provide clinical evaluation services

    for children and pregnant women with environmental illnesses or exposures.


Children's Environmental Health Blog

Looking for well researched and thoughtful posts about children’s environmental health issues? Follow our Green Kids Doc blog to learn about topics such as:

  • Cigarette and marijuana smoke
  • Gun accident prevention
  • COVID-19
  • Air pollution
  • Personal care products
Visit the blog

Healthy School Campaign

Successful implementation of school environmental health programs have helped guide efforts for healthier schools.  Our report, Keys to Success in School Environmental Health Programs, examines nationwide success stories in three areas:

  • Integrated pest management
  • Indoor air quality
  • Chemicals management
Read the report


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This webpage was supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and funded (in part) by the cooperative agreement award number 5 NU61TS000296-02-00 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Acknowledgement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the PEHSU by providing partial funding to ATSDR under Inter-Agency Agreement number DW-75-95877701. Neither EPA nor ATSDR endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in PEHSU publications.