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The Toxics Directory - Children’s Environmental Health

This is a useful 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 reliable resources, only as a place to begin.

Peer reviewed Publications

Environmental Health Perspectives the premier peer reviewed journal on environmental health which is available in full text free online at: Each issue contains a section with papers on children’s environmental health.

Government resources

Children's Environmental Health & Safety Inventory of Research (CHEHSIR) is a publicly accessible database created to ensure that researchers and federal research agencies have access to information on all research conducted or funded by the federal government that is related to adverse health risks in children resulting from exposure to environmental health risks or safety risks. This information is available to the public, scientific, and academic communities, as well as all federal agencies.

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.

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

Research Briefs:

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.

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.

Environmental Defense provides the site,, 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.

Environmental Working Group is a Washington D.C. based organization that also has offices in Sacramento and Oakland. Their work involves a number of children’s health issues including reduction of exposure to toxics both pre- and post-natal, drinking water quality, pesticides in our food, cell phone radiation, school cleaning products, and contents of personal care products.

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.

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


Air and Radiation

U.S. EPA Air RISC Hotline
Risk Information Support Center
(919) 541-0888 wrong number
Health, risk, and exposure information.
U.S. EPA National Indoor Air Quality Information Hotline
(800) 438-4318
Health information, on passive smoke, formaldehyde, and other indoor air quality issues.


National Safety Council's National Lead Information Center
(800) 424-LEAD
Information, publications, referrals, and technical assistance in English or Spanish on lead-related issues.

Environmental Justice

Office of Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
(202) 564-2515 wrong number, (800) 962-6215 ?overall # for OEJ
Grants to fund Environmental Justice projects by community-based organizations.

Consumer Product Safety

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Hotline
(800) 638-2772
Information and educational materials on consumer product safety, including children's toys and electrical products. Spanish speaking staff available.

Electromagnetic Fields

U.S. EPA Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Infoline
(202) 343-9370 ?indoor environment?wrong #?
Current information and answers to questions on electric and magnetic fields.

Hazardous Emergencies

Chemtrac Emergency Spill Information
(800) 424-9300
Emergency number providing information regarding large chemical spills and leaks.

Occupational Safety and Health

Clearinghouse for Occupational Safety and Health Information (at Center for Disease Control)
Technical Information Service:1 -800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)
Access to NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) information, resources, and activities.
Library: (513) 533-8321
Interlibrary loans, catalog available. Maintains an automated database and library open to the public.

Pesticides and Toxics

National Pesticide Information Center
(800) 858-7378 Provides information on health and safety issues surrounding pesticide exposure. They can provide information on acute and chronic exposure and provide pediatric and obstetric specific issues. It is organized cooperatively between Oregan State University and the EPA.

Water and Wastewater

U.S. EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline
(800) 426-4791
Information about EPA's drinking water regulations and other related drinking water and ground water topics.

Flex Your Power Website
Energy efficiency and conservation information. Find incentives/rebates, technical assistance, retailers, product guides, case studies and more.
AMBER ALERT: Save a Child Amber Alert logo
AMBER ALERT empowers law enforcement, the media and the public to combat abduction by sending out immediate information.