Everyday Environmental Toxins : Children’s Exposure Risks book cover
1st Edition

Everyday Environmental Toxins
Children’s Exposure Risks

Edited By

Areej Hassan

ISBN 9781774633755
Published March 31, 2021 by Apple Academic Press
352 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This title includes a number of Open Access chapters.

This collection of timely chapters presents a nuanced study of environmental toxins and the risks they pose to children’s development. The book details the impact of a number of commonplace environmental toxins, focusing on everyday exposure to tobacco smoke, lead, pesticides, and flame retardants. There is growing recognition that the impact of the environment on children’s health is of critical importance for both current and future generations. In the last half-century, thousands of chemicals have been introduced into the environment with limited—although growing—research on the consequences of exposure. It has been proven that children and adolescents are far more vulnerable than adults to these environmental toxins by virtue of children’s behaviors, higher metabolic rate, greater skin area relative to their volume, and still developing organ systems. Increased number of ear infections, poor asthma control, and learning disabilities are just some of the adverse outcomes that have been noted.

This well-researched book:

• Presents detailed information on why children are more vulnerable to everyday toxins

• Discusses why new approaches to medical care are necessary that take into account children's unique physiology and development

• Offers well-defined research on tobacco smoking on prenatal development as well as children’s exposure to tobacco smoke during their early years, particularly the evidence of asthma and asthma-like symptoms

• Examines the possible health effects of children born to mothers living in areas of natural gas development

• Looks at the health effects of childhood exposure to environmental lead, using GIS technology to study areas of potentially high lead concentrations

• Discusses the possible effects of agricultural pesticides on children’s health during gestation

• Presents studies on prenatal and adolescent exposure to PBDEs used as flame retardants in many household and commercial products to prevent fire

This valuable book, edited by a pediatric clinician at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, provides a wealth of information on this important issue. The book concludes with an article by the World Health Organization, which offers a practical and comprehensive summary of a series of action steps. The book aims to create greater awareness to spur additional research, provide vital information to clinicians, and send a powerful message to government officials, putting pressure on them to develop policies that improve the quality of the environment and spare children the detrimental effects of such exposures.

Table of Contents


Part I: Introduction

Children Are Not Little Adults (Excerpt from Children’s Health and the Environment: A Global Perspective); P. J. Landrigan and A. Garg

Windows of Susceptibility to Environmental Exposures in Children (Excerpt from Children’s Health and the Environment: A Global Perspective); G. Selevan, C. A. Kimmel, and P. Mendola

Developmental Milestones in Children’s Environmental Health; Ruth A. Etzel

Part II: Exposure to Tobacco Smoke

Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure Is Associated with Childhood DNA CpG Methylation; Carrie V. Breton, Kimberly D. Siegmund, Bonnie R. Joubert, Xinhui Wang, Weiliang Qui, Vincent Carey, Wenche Nystad, Siri E. Håberg, Carole Ober, Dan Nicolae, Kathleen C. Barnes, Fernando Martinez, Andy Liu, Robert Lemanske, Robert Strunk, Scott Weiss, Stephanie London, Frank Gilliland, and Benjamin Raby

Evaluation of Systematic Assessment of Asthma-Like Symptoms and Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Early Childhood by Well-Child Professionals: A Randomized Trial; Esther Hafkamp-de Groen, Ralf J. P. van der Valk, Ashna D. Mohangoo, Johannes C. van der Wouden, Liesbeth Duijts, Vincent W. Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Harry J. de Koning, Johan C. de Jongste, and Hein Raat

Part III: Ambient and Household Exposures

Prenatal Exposure to Persistent Organochlorines and Childhood Obesity in the U.S. Collaborative Perinatal Project; Lea A. Cupul-Uicab, Mark A. Klebanoff, John W. Brock, and Matthew P. Longnecker

Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado; Lisa M. McKenzie, Ruixin Guo, Roxana Z. Witter, David A. Savitz, Lee S. Newman, and John L. Adgate

Part IV: Lead Exposure

Exploring Childhood Lead Exposure through GIS: A Review of the Recent Literature; Cem Akkus and Esra Ozdenerol

Linking Source and Effect: Resuspended Soil Lead, Air Lead, and Children’s Blood Lead Levels in Detroit, Michigan; Sammy Zahran, Mark A. S. Laidlaw, Shawn P. McElmurry, Gabriel M. Filippelli, and Mark Taylor

Part V: Food and Agriculture Exposures

Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study; Janie F. Shelton, Estella M. Geraghty, Daniel J. Tancredi, Lora D. Delwiche, Rebecca J. Schmidt, Beate Ritz, Robin L. Hansen, and Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Seven-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores and Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide; Virginia Rauh, Srikesh Arunajadai, Megan Horton, Frederica Perera, Lori Hoepner, Dana B. Barr, and Robin Whyatt

Part VI: Flame Retardants

Prenatal Exposure to PBDEs and Neurodevelopment; Julie B. Herbstman, Andreas Sjödin, Matthew Kurzon, Sally A. Lederman, Richard S. Jones, Virginia Rauh, Larry L. Needham, Deliang Tang, Megan Niedzwiecki, Richard Y. Wang, and Frederica Perera

Neurobehavioral Function and Low-Level Exposure to Brominated Flame Retardants in Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study; Michal Kicinski, Mineke K. Viaene, Elly Den Hond, Greet Schoeters, Adrian Covaci,Alin C. Dirtu, Vera Nelen, Liesbeth Bruckers, Kim Croes, Isabelle Sioen, Willy Baeyens, Nicolas Van Larebeke, and Tim S. Nawrot

Part VII: Looking Toward the Future

Uncertain Inheritance: Transgenerational Effects of Environmental Exposures; Charles W. Schmidt

Taking Action to Protect Children from Environmental Hazards (Excerpt from Children’s Health and the Environment: A Global Perspective); S. Boese-O’Reilly and M. K. E. Shimkin


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Areej Hassan MD, MPH, is an attending physician at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She completed her pediatric residency at Hasbro Children’s Hospital,, Providence, Rhode Island, prior to training in adolescent medicine at Boston Children’s. In addition to primary care, Dr. Hassan focuses her clinical interests on reproductive endocrinology and international health. She also maintains an active role in medical education and has particular interest in building and developing innovative teaching tools through open educational resources. She currently teaches, consults, and is involved in pediatric and adolescent curricula development at multiple sites abroad in Central America and Southeast Asia.


"… a book on an important and timely topic. … useful for readers who wish to learn more about current knowledge regarding children’s exposure. … accessible to and useful for advanced students and researchers in this field. Summing up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals, including technical school students."
—H. E. Pence, emeritus, SUNY College at Oneonta, New York, USA for CHOICE, November 2015

"In recent years more and more attention has been drawn to the deleterious effects of the environmental factors on the child’s health starting in utero, such as the effect on the fetus by smoking or infections during pregnancy and by postnatal smoking or gases on the development of asthma, lead poisoning, and of agricultural pesticides and polycontaminated diphenyl ethers on the neuro-development. These and others are clearly described in this book. . . . Of interest to all pediatricians."

—Pediatric Endocrinology Reviews (PER), June 2016