Children's Environmental Health: Background - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Children's Environmental Health

Environmental Health Explained

  • There are many definitions
  • The meaning has changed over time with health needs and the shifting society and environment (e.g., improved sanitation, more health awareness)
  • Encompasses numerous issues including (but not limited to); monitoring exposure to chemicals and pollutants in the air, water and soil

Environmental Health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors impacting behaviors. It encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. – World Health Organization1

Environmental Health is a very broad field. A healthy environment depends not only on the physical components of a person’s surroundings, such as design and location of homes, buildings, roadways and communities. But also an individual’s actions or circumstances that can be influenced by their environment, which could include physical activity level, food choices and availability, smoking status, social and economic status, and family dynamics.

Children's Environmental Health Explained

Children’s environmental health includes the environment that children are exposed to and the environment that we create for them. Although there is no official definition of children’s environmental health, it covers all of the same categories as general environmental health in relation to children, which makes for special considerations.

Children’s Environmental Health commonly focuses on chemical contaminants and their resulting health effects from exposure from pre-conception through adolescence.

However, it most commonly refers to chemical contaminants and their health effects resulting from exposure. In accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, our classification of children’s environmental health comprises the life span from conception through adolescence2.


Updated Monday, 20-Sep-2021 10:29:35 CDT