Greening Our ChildrenAug 05, 2014
For the last two years, my company has been invited to participate in¬†Greening Our Children, a luncheon supporting the Mount Sinai Children‚Äôs Environmental Health Center (CEHC). The event takes place in Greenwich, Connecticut and attracts over 700 attendees each year. Founded in 2007, the CEHC is spearheaded by the brilliant and innovative Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, who serves as the Dean of Global Health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The purpose of the CEHC is to conduct groundbreaking research to identify the environmental causes and triggers of childhood disease. They use their results to affect changes in public health policies and to educate families about toxins found in our living environment, food, household products and personal care products. I was amazed to see so many benefactors passionate about making this planet and our homes safer and greener, one toxin at a time, come together for this event. Knowledge is power: the attendees were there to learn about what steps they could take in their own lives and in their homes all the while supporting and donating to an outstanding organization. The CEHC recruits world-class scientists, pediatricians and researchers to work in the field of environmental pediatrics. It is because of their research that so many spectacular results have already been achieved, such as the banning of BPA (or Bisphenol- A) from baby bottles, sippy cups, and even cash receipt paper in Connecticut and Suffolk County, New York. Equally important, this research has caused baby product manufacturers to stop using BPA in their products. Today, parents are becoming aware of this toxin and making sure it is not in their homes. Back in the 1970s, Dr. Landrigan conducted a series of landmark studies that proved that lead causes brain damage in children. These studies convinced the government to mandate the removal of lead from gasoline, paint and children‚Äôs products made in the United States, which lead to a 95% decline in childhood lead poisoning. He also authored a groundbreaking report that found children to be uniquely susceptible to the effects of pesticides. These findings helped change public policy on pesticides and other toxic chemicals, requiring that manufacturers of these products make explicit provisions for the protection of children. In this past year alone, the CEHC has paved the way to accelerating research by creating the only lab outside of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify toxic chemicals in the human body. It is also responsible for the publication of a paper linking phthalate exposures to childhood obesity and a review that outlines possible chemical causes of autism.