GLC-RCEH affirms 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 GLC-RCEH, 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.

Who We Are

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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.

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 are to:

    • Provide consultation to public health and environmental agencies.
    • Serve as an information resource for health care professionals and the general public on children’s environmental health issues.
    • Train pediatricians, environmental and occupational medicine physicians, medical toxicologists, and other health professionals.
    • Conduct research aimed at preventing children’s environmental diseases.
    • Promote sound local, regional, and national policies 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.

Steps to Reduce Exposures in the Home

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Want to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful things in your environment? The home is a great place to start! Our new guide takes you through different rooms in a home and explains how to reduce exposures to things such as BPA, mold, pesticides, and lead.

Monthly Newsletter

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Each month, we send out a newsletter covering environmental health news in Region 5, new research, events, and resources. You can sign-up for our email and access past newsletters online. To suggest content to include in the newsletter, email us at ChildrensEnviro@uic.edu.

Investigating Environmental Contamination: A Guide for Communities

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The Region 5 PEHSU published Investigating Environmental Contamination: A Guide for Communities. The guide is for community members who are concerned about their environmental exposures in their neighborhood. It covers outdoor pollution in the air, soil, and water and offers resources specific for Region 5 states. It also includes a power mapping example to help community members advocate for change and take their environmental concerns to legislators. A printer-friendly version is also available. Please contact us if you would like us to send you hard copies.

Children's Environmental Health Blog

Green Kids Doc

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

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

Healthy School Campaign

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Successful implementation of school environmental health programs have helped guide efforts for healthier schools. A report can be found here:
Keys to Success in School Environmental Health Programs

DISCLAIMER/ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

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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 5NU61TS000237-05 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.