List of environmental toxins

Leonardo Trasande, MD, explains the most common environmental toxins today are and how they effect children's health
The Effects of Today's Common Environmental Toxins On Children
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List of environmental toxins

The exact number of environmental chemicals that are widely dispersed in our environment actually remains a bit of a matter of debate. It's either anything from 80,000 to 143,000 depending on whether you use the United States estimate or the European Union estimate, which is higher. What is not up for debate is the fact that our regulatory system in the United States does not require testing of environmental chemicals before they're introduced into products for the first time. As a result, of the 3,000 most highly-produced chemicals in the environment today, fewer than half have had any toxicity testing data whatsoever, and fewer than one-fifth have had the testing that we would need to assess whether there might be potential hazard for exposure in children.

Leonardo Trasande, MD, explains the most common environmental toxins today are and how they effect children's health


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Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP

Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Leo Trasande's research focuses on identifying the role of environmental exposures in childhood obesity and cardiovascular risks, and documenting the economic costs for policy makers of failing to prevent diseases of environmental origin in children proactively. Dr. Trasande is perhaps best known for a 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association study associating Bisphenol A exposure in children and adolescents with obesity, and a 2011 study in Health Affairs which found that children's exposures to chemicals in the environment cost $76.6 billion in 2008. His analysis of the economic costs of mercury pollution played a critical role in preventing the Clear Skies Act (which would have relaxed regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants) from becoming law. He has also published a series of studies which document increases in hospitalizations associated with childhood obesity and increases in medical expenditures associated with being obese or overweight in childhood.

These studies have been cited in the Presidential Task Force Report in Childhood Obesity, and another landmark study identified that a $2 billion annual investment in prevention would be cost-effective even if it produced small reductions in the number of children who were obese and overweight. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Council for Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the World Trade Center Health Program. He recently served on a United Nations Environment Programme Steering Committee which published a Global Outlook on Chemicals in 2013, and on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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