UCSF PEHSU: Pediatric Environmental Health Interactive Curriculum - Resources

This is a list of free, easily accessible resources from which to build a foundation of knowledge in children’s environmental health. It is not designed as a complete list of all available resources, only as a place to begin.

Government Resources
Chemical Fact Sheets
Professional Organizations
Academic Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations

Government Resources

Envirofacts contains data from five EPA systems that are used to assist the Agency in monitoring and overseeing compliance with federal regulations. The general public can use this source to obtain information about facilities in their community. The five systems represented are: 1) Aerometric Information Retrieval System Facility Subsystem (which contains air pollution data for about 150,000 regulated facilities), 2) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Information System (Superfund data on hazardous waste sites), 3) Permit Compliance System (water discharge permit information for over 75,000 facilities), 4) Resource Conservation and Recovery Information System (data used to track handler permit or closure status for over 450,000 facilities and transporters), and 5) Toxic Release Inventory System (data on releases of over 600 toxic chemicals by over 33,000 reporting facilities). Online queries and mapping tools are also available through this site.

Minnesota Department of Health has created a web site to improve access to information about children’s environmental health. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/children/national.html

National Center for Environmental Health is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their site has information and education resources on a broad range of topics, including asthma, birth defects, radiation, sanitation, and lead in blood.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has a site for information of public interest concerning human productive health. Included is access to scientific assessments of reproductive health risks associated with human exposures to naturally occurring and man-made chemicals.

NIEHS and EPA operate the Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP) which offers funding support for research on hazardous waste sites and their health effects as well as networking opportunities for researchers and partnering organizations. The NIEHS and the U.S. EPA website for the programs posts research summaries and grant opportunities. You can join a listserve to learn about current research by sending your e-mail address to inhof@niehs.nih.gov.
Research Briefs: http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/researchbriefs/index.cfm

Risk Screening Environmental Indicators is a computer-based (Windows) model that is also available through the EPA to help interpret the information that you find. The model permits screening-level analysis of risk-related impacts of toxic chemical releases and transfers in the U.S.

Chemical Fact Sheets

EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics provides Chemical Fact Sheets and technical summary documents. Some of these fact sheets are available through the Internet.

ToxFAQs is a series of summaries of hazardous substances being developed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Division. Each fact sheet provides answers to frequently asked questions about exposure to substances found around hazardous waste sites and corresponding human health effects.

Professional Organizations

American Academy of Pediatrics
provides networks and resources in children’s environmental health, including the handbook Pediatric Environmental Health – 2nd Edition. http://www.aap.org
Handbook: http://www.aap.org/bst/showdetl.cfm?&DID=15&Product_ID=1697

Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AEOC) includes 55 clinics across the United States and Canada that specialize in occupational and environmental health issues. Provides referrals to clinics for medical advice and care, conducts educational activities, and maintains a lending library.

Academic Organizations

Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) The PEHSU’s provide education and consultation for health professionals, public health professionals and others about children’s environmental health. AOEC coordinates the activities for all of the PEHSUs. Primary funding for the PEHSUs comes from the ATSDR and EPA.

Non-Profit Organizations

American Lung Association Topics of air quality, chemical hazards in school and workplace settings, and tobacco control are covered in depth on their website with recent statistics available. Materials available (several also offered in Spanish) include: Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit, Protecting Yourself from Air Pollution, Working Safely With Chemicals, How to Read a Material Safety Data Sheet, as well as tobacco material targeted to youth and adults.

Bio-Integral Resource (BIRC) offers over 25 years of insight experience, and leadership in the development and communication of least-toxic, environmentally sound, integrated pest management(IPM) methods and policies of urban and agricultural applications.

Children’s Environmental Health Network is a national project dedicated to pediatric environmental health. The Network’s mission is to promote a healthy environment and to protect the fetus and the child from environmental hazards.

Children’s Health Environmental Coalition(CHEC) is dedicated to educating the public, specifically parents and caregivers, about environmental toxins that affect children’s health.

  • HealtheHouse is CHEC’s interactive resource on how to reduce environmental health risks to children in and around the home http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/home/index.asp
  • CHEC also offers First Steps, a monthly email program for pregnant women or the parents of a newborn, to provide information on protecting baby’s health

Environmental Defense provides the site, Scorecard.org, for geographically specific information about toxic chemicals in the United States: where they come from in your community, what their human health effects are, and what actions you can take.

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR) is a regional affiliate of PSR that focuses on environment and public health issues, specifically in the areas of reproductive and developmental health and the environment. The 140-page GBPSR report In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development can be downloaded free via the GBPSR website, in addition to information on Health Care Without Harm, Generations at Risk, and No Room to Breathe publications, resources, and campaigns.

Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition with 425 member organizations in 52 countries representing hospitals, health care professionals, environmental advocates, organizations of health- impacted individuals, religious organizations, student groups, and labor unions. It focuses on encouraging health care institutions to stop using products made with PVC plastic and mercury that release dioxin, mercury and other toxic substances into the environment when they are burned as waste.

Healthy Schools Network (HSN) is a nationally recognized, state-based advocate for the protection of children’s environmental health in schools.

National Environmental Education Foundation works to promote daily actions for helping people protect and enjoy the environment. In their section on Health and the Environment they have several tools for pediatricians including a tool for taking an environmental history. http://www.neefusa.org

Organization of Teratology and Information Services maintains pregnancy and environmental hot lines throughout the country to answer questions regarding prenatal exposures. Centers and hot lines can be found on their website.

Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA) advocates the adoption of ecologically sound practices as an alternative to pesticide use. With other groups, it promotes sustainable agriculture, food security, and social justice. In addition to action alerts, connections to other organizations, fact sheets, and reports, the PESTIS database is available to search online for information on specific pesticides and alternatives


Environmental Health Perspectives is a peer reviewed journal on environmental health available through Pubmed and is free online.