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EPA Celebrates Children’s Health Month, Announces Grant to Study Farm Worker Family Health in El Paso

Historic levels of funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act will go towards protecting children

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DALLAS, TEXAS (Oct. 6 2022) – Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso to assess the impacts of pesticide use and its health effects on migrant farmworkers and their children along the US/Mexico Border. The study is part of the collaboration between EPA and the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). The announcement kicks off Children’s Health Month, recognized each October.

This year EPA is spotlighting the historic resources advancing protection of children’s environmental health. EPA is committed to protecting children at all stages and in all communities.

“Protecting the health of our children and the environment where they live, learn and play is central to EPA’s mission, especially when it comes to children in overburdened and underserved areas,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As we mark Children’s Health Month, I’m honored to highlight EPA’s work to protect children’s health and the historic level of funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, that will bolster these efforts to deliver clean air, clean water and healthy lands for our children.” 

“EPA is excited to continue developing our partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso to improve children’s environmental health outcomes,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Understanding and evaluating the impacts of pesticide use is a high priority, and we have so much more to learn in this area. We look forward to seeing the results of the study and congratulate Texas Tech and the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit on this grant.”

EPA understands that early exposures to pollution can affect health later in life. At EPA, the Office of Children’s Health Protection works across Agency programs to identify and address health disparities so that all children, no matter their zip code, race, or income, can be protected equally under the law. EPA’s Children’s Health Policy and Strategic Plan ensures that the Agency considers environmental impacts at all stages, starting from maternal health, infancy, adolescence, and into early adulthood.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, EPA has advanced programs to protect children’s health with the support of historic funding from the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA expects to take further protective actions with support from the Inflation Reduction Act, including providing grants and technical assistance to improve indoor air quality in schools.

EPA initiatives to protect children’s health include:

  • EPA’s Clean Bus Program will invest $5 billion over the next 5 years to replace existing diesel school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants that are harmful to children’s health.
  • Distribution of $2 million from the American Rescue Plan to communities to address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks to children in underserved communities.
  • EPA announced winners of the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge, a competition focused on innovative communication strategies to warn people, including children, of the risks of extreme heat and provide solutions on how to keep safe during the hottest days.
  • EPA published revised factsheets on climate change to explain its impacts on maternal and children’s health.
  • EPA commissioned a National Academy of Science Workshop focused on children’s environmental health and future priorities that can be viewed online.
  • The Agency revamped the Children’s Health Month webpage with useful children’s environmental health resources and tools for those who wish to get involved this October.

Visit EPA’s Children’s Health webpage to learn more about the Agency’s work to protect children’s environmental health.

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Author: Region 06

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