ix
Preface

The publication of Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition, reflects many
advances in our understanding of the etiology, identification, management, and
prevention of diseases and conditions linked to the environment. The field of
environmental health is growing rapidly and new information becomes avail-
able almost daily. Hardly a week goes by in which parents don’t read an article or
hear a news story about the effects of the environment on health, and they may
ask their pediatrician for advice about this topic. Since March, stories about the
massive earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear crisis have dominated
the news. Dramatic events such as these offer an opportunity to bring focus to
environmental issues, to teach children about them, and to bring attention to
prevention and remediation. They also highlight the many different “environ-
ments” in which a child lives: the bedroom, the home, the family, the school, the
neighborhood, the community or town, the state, the country, the world—in
some ways these are concentric circles.  Although large scale events such as the
disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan heighten our awareness that environ-
mental crises have important physical and ­ psychological effects on children and
their families, it is easy to overlook the fact that less visible (or invisible) environ-
mental threats can also have profound physical and ­ psychological effects on
children and their families. We as pediatricians must attend to both. This book
provides a foundation for understanding where to begin.
First published in 1999, this book is intended for pediatricians and others
who are interested in preventing children’s exposures to environmental hazards
during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. In this edition, we present updated
summaries of the evidence that has been published in the scientific literature
about environmental hazards to children. Twenty-two new chapters have been
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