With nearly $144 million in new grants, the National Institutes of Health is investing in new technologies that measure the impact of environmental exposures over the course of a child's life. While environmental exposures encompass a range of factors, air pollution is a top concern for health professionals. Exposure to air pollution from coal combustion for power production, tailpipe emissions and oil refineries, amongst other sources, leads to heart and lung disease. Asthma is on the rise in the United States and has become the most common chronic disorder in childhood. Due to their greater respiratory rates, children breathe a proportionately greater volume of air than adults. As a result, children inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight. What can health professionals do to reduce the impact of air pollution on children's health? Climate for Health has many suggestions, from learning how to speak about climate change to working with other climate leaders in order promote climate solutions.
September 28, 2015
The National Institutes of Health has awarded nearly $144 million in new grants to develop new tools and measures that can be used to investigate more effectively environmental exposures from the womb through later years in a child’s life. These projects will enhance the next phase of research on the effects of environmental exposures on child health and development.
“Technology advances have become a powerful driver in studying and understanding the start and spread of disease,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “These projects will expand the toolbox available to researchers to improve our ability to characterize environmental exposures, understand how environmental exposures affect in utero development and function, and bolster the infrastructure for exposure research.”
Environmental exposures are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for mothers and children worldwide. These exposures encompass a number of factors, ranging from chemical and biological factors such as air pollution, pesticides and infectious diseases, to psychosocial factors such as education, stress and neglect. Exposures during crucial developmental windows, including conception and pregnancy, early childhood and puberty, can have long lasting effects.
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