Environmental health hazards include physical hazards and toxic substances that may enter our bodies through air, food, or water. They can have many negative effects on physical, mental, and emotional health. These effects can include:
- Physical illness
- Long lasting injury
- Mental damage
- Fertility problems
- Birth defects
Some environmental health hazards can cause effects soon after exposure, while others may not cause effects for many years. Being aware of these hazards and taking action to avoid them contributes to a lifetime of well-being.
The Finger Lakes Children’s Environmental Health Center (FLCEHC) center serves all who are considering pregnancy or who are already pregnant or breastfeeding. Environmental exposures affect the mother and also can pass from her body to the baby through the placenta or breast milk These exposures can affect the baby’s growth and development. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mother and baby so reducing exposure to environmental contaminants is important for long term health.
We serve children because they are at high risk for the effects of environmental exposure. Their brains and bodies are still developing, their hand-to-mouth behavior increases likelihood of ingesting toxic substances,and they spend more time close to the ground where hazards are often found. Children can be exposed in the home, playing outside, or in other buildings like daycare or school.