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Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®
Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®

Best book in the category Environmental Health in the American Journal of Nursing's book of the year awards

  • Authoritative yet accessible guide authored by two of the foremost researchers and advocates in the field of environmental health
  • Easy-to-navigate question and answer format makes the most relevant, pressing information accessible at a glance
  • Reliable, unbiased introduction to a topic that has generated much controversy
  • Practical, actionable advice for mitigating the threat of environmental toxins in one's home, community, and in the world at large
  • Ideal reference for parents, parents-to-be, community advocates, and anyone else committed to healthier children and a healthier environment


Over the past four decades, the prevalence of autism, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and birth defects has increased substantially among children throughout the world. Not coincidentally, more than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed and released into the global environment during this same period. Today the World Health Organization attributes more than one third of all childhood deaths to environmental causes. 

Children's environmental health is a new and growing discipline that responds to the expanding threat of chemical and environmental hazards to child health. Amid mounting evidence that children are especially sensitive to their environment-and that exposure during their developmental "windows of susceptibility" can trigger cellular changes that lead to lifelong disease and disability-there is a compelling need for continued scientific study of the relationship between children's health and their environment. 

Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know® offers an authoritative yet accessible question-and-answer guide to the "silent spring" of threats in our collective backyard. As the burdens of environmental toxins and chronic disease continue to defy borders, this book will be an invaluable addition to the conspicuously sparse literature in this area.



Chapter 1: Changing diseases in a changing environment
Patterns of childhood disease - then and now
Environmental changes

Chapter 2: New chemicals and new childhood chemical exposures
Explosive growth of chemicals
Early warning signs
Gaps in safety and toxicity testing
Childhood exposure to new chemicals

Chapter 3: Children's unique vulnerability to toxic chemicals in the environment
Unique windows of vulnerability exist in children
Children process toxic exposures more slowly than adults
Children's higher metabolism rates make different demands on their bodies than adults
Childhood exposures can incubate for many years and may cause adult disease
Exposures are proportionately greater in children than in adults
Normal hand-to-mouth behavior increases their exposure to toxins
Children live closer to the ground and have different exposures than adults
Other risk factors compound the problem

Chapter 4: The links between childhood disease and toxic chemicals in the environment
The increase in autism, ADHD, and other problems of the developing brain
The increase in male birth defects, early puberty in girls, and testicular cancer in young mem
The increased incidence of asthma and allergies
New links between household toxins, obesity, and diabetes
The links between childhood exposures and adult disease
The growing problems with reproduction
The increases in childhood cancer

Chapter 5: A Guide for Parents: Keeping Your Child Safe from Environmental Toxins
An environmental checklist for your home
Over 100 ways to protect your children and promote health as they grow
At home
10 ways to make baby's room safer
8 ways to avoid asthma and allergy attacks
10 practical ways to prevent lead poisoning
25 ways to minimize your child's exposure to endocrine disruptors
9 cautions about pesticides
11 ways to reduce exposure to unsafe foods
14 tips for avoiding exposure to household chemicals
6 ways to grow your child into a healthy adult 
At day care
10 ways to make day care safer
At school
10 ways to make school safer
In the neighborhood
10 ways to make the neighborhood safer
Tips for future moms and dads
10 ways to protect future children

Chapter 6: A Call to Action: Children's health, toxic chemicals and you
Policy and legislation: where we stand now
Evidence-based prevention
US standards vs standards in other countries
Consequences of our current situation
A call for a new public health revolution
New ways to protect children from environmental toxins
Our call to action - community based actions, state initiatives, federal legislation
Career opportunities for the future of public health

About the author: 

Philip J. Landrigan and Mary M. Landrigan
Philip J. Landrigan, MD, M.Sc.,
 is Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and Founding Director, Children's Environmental Health Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Mary M. Landrigan, M.P.A., is a health educator who spent 25 years at the Westchester County Department of Health.

Best book in the category Environmental Health in the American Journal of Nursing's book of the year awards


"I can't overstate the respect and admiration I have for Dr. Landrigan and the important work that he does--this book is a gift for families everywhere." - Jessica Alba
"Every parent needs to read this book. Not only does it offer excellent information on the realities of environmental toxins in our midst; it also explains what actions to take to avoid or prevent them. You couldn't ask for more reliable, diligent authors than Philip and Mary Landrigan. This is the new Bible that needs to be in every home." - Jennifer Beals
"Lead, pesticides, BPA, allergens-it's a chemical jungle out there for our kids. At last parents have the definitive field guide to get through it, one grounded in science and loaded with practical advice." - Ken Cook, President and Co-Founder, Environmental Working Group
"The essential must-read for every new parent, serving up science-based information and actionable daily solutions to prevent harm and ensure a happy, healthy, worry-free start. The Landrigan are national treasures, and this book will be valued for generations to come." - Christopher Gavigan, Founder of The Honest Company; author of Healthy Child Healthy World

"Philip and Mary Landrigan have done us all a great service by pulling together authoritative information about environmental toxins. And more than that, they have given us practical solutions about how to navigate and live safely in our increasing complex environments." - Judith Palfrey, MD, Harvard Medical School
"Families encounter a greater array of complex chemicals in everyday products than ever before. With a lifetime of knowledge, Landrigan and Landrigan offer a useful guidebook for everyone, from parents to policymakers, concerned with protecting the health and wellbeing of our children." - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Product details

ISBN : 9780190662639

Philip J. Landrigan; Mary M. Landrigan
304 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
What Everyone Needs to Know
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Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®

Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®

Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®