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Environmental Injustice: Children’s Health Disparities and the Role of the Environment

Lawrence D. Rosen, MD and Deirdre Imus

Children are our most precious natural resource. Ensuring the optimal health of this generation and future generations of children is not a choice we have—it is a human rights mandate. The Children’s Environmental Health Network, a multidisciplinary group that includes some of the world’s most well-respected environmental scientists, has declared, “Healthy children grow into healthy adults. The health of our children is one of the most important investments that we can make and should be among our top priorities.” Yet today, we are witnessing a public health crisis of historical proportions that threatens the well-being of children across the world. Everywhere, there are a growing number of children suffering from environmentally related diseases. The following snapshot of the state of our children’s health portrays a very disturbing picture of how our failure to make children’s health a priority is producing disastrous consequences.

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