Environmental Justice and the Intersection of Poverty, Racism and Child Health Disparities



Series: Public Health: Practices, Methods and Policies
BISAC: MED078000; MED116000
DOI: https://doi.org/10.52305/BUSX8597

Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities (Break the Cycle) is an annual collaborative interdisciplinary research and training program involving university students in academic tracks focusing on the impact of adverse social, economic, environmental, and political factors on children’s health, development, education, and prospects for their future. The target populations are communities where there is a substantial measure of poverty associated with social, ethnic, racial, and political marginalization, environmental exposures and environmental injustice with high risks to children’s health and well-being. Participating students are required to develop projects that focus on preventing or reducing adverse environmental factors or their impact on children’s health and promote positive practices to improve the future outcome for children who live in these communities. Student projects cover a wide range of adverse factors and their associated health implications across the lifespan, and propose solutions at an individual, family, community, and societal level, with the potential for a positive intergenerational impact. At the end of the project period, participating students are required to present the results of their work at a national conference and then write a manuscript for publication. The papers in this publication represent the work of students who participated in the 15th Annual Break the Cycle program 2019-2020. The phrase Break the Cycle in this context uses the ecological construct of the cycle of environmental health disparities and offers a framework for tackling health disparities and promoting health equity among children who are vulnerable as a consequence of adverse social, economic, environmental and political factors.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities: 15th Annual Review of Program and Student Projects
(I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Claire D Coles, Victoria Green, Abby Mutic, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Benjamin A Gitterman and Joav Merrick – Department of Pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, et al.)

Section I. Environmental Justice

Chapter 2. Environmental Justice and the Future of America
(Quentin C Pair – Senior Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice (retired) and Former Environmental Justice Coordinator for US Department of Justice, Washington DC, United States of America)

Chapter 3. Gentrification and Children’s Health: Conceptualizing the Impacts of Neighborhood Change Through an Environmental Health Disparities Framework
(Naadita Hutchinson, Lorraine T Dean and Genee S Smith – Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America, et al.)

Chapter 4. Early Antiretroviral Treatment in Children with HIV Improves Health Outcomes: A Review of Findings from South Africa
(Samantha H-L Fry, Sharon Kruger, Barbara Laughton and Mark F Cotton – Family Centre for Research with UBUNTU (FAMCRU), Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, et al.)

Chapter 5. Measuring Parenting Dimensions and Social and Prosocial Abilities in Adolescents from Vulnerable Families in Chile
(Alejandra Núñez-Palma, María José Vergara-López, Rocío Alejandra Seguel Betancur, Javier Pérez-Valenzuela, José Antonio Lozano Lozano, Javiera Martínez-Gutiérrez and Patricia M Valenzuela – Departments of Pediatrics, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile, et al.)

Chapter 6. The Efficacy of Private Well Testing in North Carolina for Predicting Childhood Blood Lead Levels
(Jasmyn Thomas and Andrew George – Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America, et al.)

Chapter 7. Residential Indoor Lead Dust Concentration in Omaha, Nebraska
(Zijian Qin and Chandran Achutan – Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America)

Chapter 8. Urinary Bisphenol A Levels Among SES-Diverse Pregnant African American Women in Atlanta
(Tassia C Drame, Dana Boyd Barr, Parinya Panuwet, Grace Lee, P Barry Ryan, Anne L Dunlop, Elizabeth J Corwin and Melissa M Smarr – Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, et al.)

Chapter 9. Age-Adjusted Pediatric Cancer Incidence Related to Nitrate Concentration Measured Through Citizen Science in Nebraska Watersheds
(Balkissa S Ouattara and Eleanor Rogan – Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America)

Chapter 10. Area-Level Deprivation and Overweight and Obesity in Mexican Children and Adolescents
(Yenisei Ramírez Toscano, Carolina Pérez Ferrer, Leticia Torres Ibarra and Tonatiuh Barrientos Gutiérrez – Center for Population Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, et al.)

Chapter 11. Reimagining Reproductive Justice: A Commentary on the Intersection of Environmental Injustice and Adverse Reproductive Health Among Women in Marginalized Communities
(Melissa M Smarr – Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America)

Chapter 12. EPA Resources and Strategies to Address Environmental Justice Challenges
(Tami Thomas-Burton – US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, Office of the Regional Administrator, Special Programs Office, Environmental Justice and Children’s Health Section, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Chapter 13. Designing an Environmental Justice Mini Case Study (Table-Top) Exercise for an Interdisciplinary Audience
(Brian L Holtzclaw and Melissa M Smarr – US Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, Office of Regional Administrator, Strategic Programs Office, Environmental Justice and Children’s Health Section, Atlanta and Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Section II. Acknowledgements

About the Editors

About the Break the Cycle of Health Disparities Inc

About the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU)

About the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

Section III. Index


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