Environmental Health in Early Childhood: Advocate for Better Policy & Practice

ECT-Cover-Image-01This blog is the second in our five-part series on philanthropic strategies for preventing and reducing childhood exposure to harmful chemicals. To learn more, see our corresponding funder brief, Ensure a Healthy Start.

We know that investing in environmental health in early childhood is important. We also know that there are philanthropic opportunities to specifically prevent and reduce exposure to lead, methylmercury, and PCBs in children. Today’s blog focuses on two strategies that funders can take:

  1. Partner with advocacy organizations working to reduce toxic exposures and create a healthier environment for children and their families

Over 11 million parents, businesses, and healthcare professionals belong to the coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families that advocates for the safer use of chemicals in homes, businesses, schools and household products. The coalition focuses on three areas to strengthen protection against toxic chemicals: stronger policies through advocacy, safer standards for retailers and manufacturers, and better information available to educate citizens. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families also advocates for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform to better ensure that families are protected from harmful chemicals at the federal level.

  1. Build the capacity of businesses to identify, source, and use safer materials and fewer chemicals

Concern for worker, community and environmental safety has shifted the dialogue in many companies across the world regarding supply chain choices. However, many also perceive barriers to selecting safer alternatives, including a lack of information and the high cost to research technically and economically feasible alternatives. As a result, the growing awareness has not yet translated into widespread corporate action. Organizations such as Clean Production Action, with its Green Screen initiative, and the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council are engaging business leaders to collaborate across sectors and supply chains for improved chemical use policies.

For more context on the policies and practices that affect childhood exposure to harmful chemicals, such as the background behind the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), please see our funder brief, Ensure a Health Start.

Next up in this series: Prevent & Reduce Exposure Today. To learn more, check out our funder brief, Ensure a Healthy Start: Prevent and Reduce Childhood Exposure to Harmful Chemicals.