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Prescriptions for Prevention

Our environmental pediatricians, together with partners, created “Prescriptions for Prevention” that provide information on how New York families can address common environmental health concerns such as lead, secondhand smoke, mold, and radon.

The front of each prescription explains simple steps for reducing the exposure. The back of each prescription lists key resources that families can use to help address the concern.  For additional information on the concern, we have posted links to key informational websites below the link to each prescription.

Please download, print, and share the prescriptions found below!  If you would like to download the entire prescription series, click here.

Las versiones en Español vendrán pronto…

Smoking and Tobacco Use:

If you need help quitting, contact the NY State Quit Line (1-866-NY-QUITS)or the CDC Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW)

Information for parents about e-cigarettes

Information for parents about juuling


Secondhand Smoke:

NY Tenants Guide on how to minimize your smoke exposure

Learn more about how you can protect your child from secondhand smoke

Learn more about the dangers of secondhand smoke

NYC Smoke Free Housing guide


Lead-Based Paint:


Live in New York City? Click here for a prescription with local NYC information about how to deal with lead paint!

If you have a concern for lead hazards in your home, contact your designated NY Lead Resource Center

American Academy of Pediatrics “Steps to protect your family” from lead exposure

For more information about how to identify lead hazards

Know your rights concerning lead hazards before moving into a new home



Information on mold in homes and schools for parents from environmental pediatricians

Mold information from the EPA

Tips for dealing with mold from the NY Department of Health

Mold infographic: tips for preventing mold in your home

Information on mold in homes and schools for parents from environmental pediatricians


Pests and Pesticides:

National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC): Free hotline and information center on safer pest control in your home

What’s bugging you? Tips on how to deal with pests

Strategies for reducing pesticide exposure from the NY Department of Health

Infographic about asthma, pests, and pesticides – simple steps for your home



National Radon Hotline: 1-800-SOS-RADON (1-800-767-7236)

National Radon Hotline En Español: 1 (866) 528-3187

To order a radon test kit in NY

To learn more about the health risks of radon from the CDC


Eat Fish, Choose Wisely!

Advice About what Fish to Eat in English

Consejos Sobre el Consumo de Pescado en Español 

Fishing in NY waters? Check out NY state fish advisories before eating your catch

Find your local fish advisory (for United States)


Well Water:

How to test your well in New York

How to restore and maintain your well in New York

Information from the EPA on testing your private well


Sun Safety:

Information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about how to protect your child from the sun

Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Sunscreens

CDC Basic Information about Skin Cancer


Teen Tanning:

American Academy of Pediatrics- Tanning and Tanning Salon Tips for Young People

CDC Information on Indoor Tanning

Did you know? In NY, no one under the age of 18 is permitted to use a tanning bed. For more information about tanning bed risks in New York



American Academy of Pediatrics-Tips to protect your child’s hearing

Hearing Loss- When to Call the Pediatrician


Reducing exposures to environmental hazards from your job or hobby:

Tips to reduce your exposure to chemicals at home, work, and play

More information about potential hazards at work and pregnancy

Work Matters- How to reduce your exposures

Health and Safety Information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

Do you work with pesticides? Here is information about how to reduce your risk of exposure at work and home


Teen workers:

To learn about the labor laws and safety regulations that protect young people in the workforce visit YouthRules!


Nature and Play:

Live in New York City? Click here for a prescription with local NYC information about parks and libraries!

Find a NYC Park and Kid-friendly activities

Find a NY State Park

Find a national park

Rainy day? Check out free library events at New York Public Library (in NYC) or find a public library near you


Prescriptions for Prevention were last updated in November 2018


Featured Partner: Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc. (HBCAC)

Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc. (HBCAC) is the lead community partner for the New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers. HBCAC has been involved with the Centers since their inception in 2004, and has been in existence since 1993. HBCAC’s mission is to focus on environmental health education for children and families through our Prevention Is The Cure™ campaign. We have created, sponsored and collaborated on efforts to develop and disseminate science-based, age-appropriate educational materials in various formats to diverse populations. Through our efforts, we connect with various stakeholders across Long Island to become engaged in encouraging healthy lifestyles. Additionally, we work to make legislative change, for example in securing “Toxin Free Toddlers and Babies Act” making Suffolk County the first in the nation to ban the sales of baby bottles and sippy cups containing Bisphenol A (BPA), and in passing the Safer Sales Slip Act banning Bisphenol A (BPA) from thermal receipt papers.




Program updates:

Students & Scientists Program

Constant Contact




Educational Videos

Huntington High School Seniors Present at National Conference

Sara Frawley and Sam Roberts are two of the top teenagers in the country. The Huntington High School duo impresses everyone they cross paths with, especially the medical professionals who have helped guide them through high level research. The pair presented their work last week at the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program’s two day conference in Washington, DC.

Veterans of the high school’s science research program, Ms. Frawley and Mr. Roberts have been interning with the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, which arranged an opportunity for them to complete research in Dr. Jia Chen’s lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.

“They were all extremely welcoming and wonderful to learn from,” said Ms. Frawley about the lab experience at Mount Sinai. “Our research focused on the effects of glyphosate based herbicides, which are commonly used throughout the United States on gene expression and also accessing knowledge and concern over pesticide use in Suffolk and across Long Island. We found that there are possibly harmful effects of this common herbicide and that there is also a need for further education in our community.”

Full Article…

Mercury Overview

Mercury is a naturally occurring metallic element that can be harmful to the nervous system if high quantities of elemental vapor are breathed, or if high quantities of methylmercury (a type of organic mercury) are ingested.  Since elemental mercury is no longer used to make to make household thermometers, the more common exposure these days is methylmercury contamination of food products.  Seafood contains methylmercury; however, the health benefits of seafood tend to outweigh the potential risk from mercury.

Pesticides Overview

Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill or repel insects, rodents, plants, or mold in our crops, schools, homes, and play places. Children are primarily exposed through residues in foods. Exposures are linked to some cancers, neurological and behavioral problems, and acute poisonings. Informed choices and behaviors can prevent unnecessary pesticide exposures.

Emergency Situations: Poison Control Center 1(800)222-1222


General Pesticide Information:

Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County

423 Griffing Avenue, Suite 100, Riverhead, New York 11901-3071
TEL: 631-727-7850, FAX: 631-727-7130

Mold Overview

Mold is a common concern that parents contact us about.  When moisture or water damage is not quickly and effectively fixed, mold can grow indoors.  This can occur in homes, schools, and daycares. When mold appears in a child’s environment, parents want to know if the mold can affect their child’s health, and what next steps should be taken.

Our team of environmental pediatricians has created resources that address the most common questions we get from parents when mold is found in a home or school.  Click on the links to the right to download.

Here are some highlights:

What is mold?

Mold (a type of “fungus”) is widely found outdoors and can grow indoors in damp or water damaged areas.

Can mold make my family sick?

The most common health effects of mold exposure are allergies (“hay fever”) and asthma attacks in those with asthma who are sensitive to mold.

There have been scary stories in the news about “black mold”. Should I be worried if this was found in my home?

The presence of mold, including stachybotrys or “black mold”, does not mean that your child will get sick.

There is mold in my home. Should I test my home for mold levels?

If mold or water damage is seen or smelled, that is enough evidence to take action to safely remove the mold and fix the underlying water problem.

Should I get my child tested for mold?

Tests for mold “toxins” are not recommended; however, children with allergies or asthma may benefit from environmental allergy testing.

Is there a treatment for mold exposure?

The most important “treatment” is removing the mold and fixing the underlying water problem. Alternative treatments or detoxifications should be avoided. Children with asthma or allergies should be treated for those conditions by their pediatrician.

How can I prevent mold growth in my home?

The key to preventing mold is controlling indoor humidity levels and fixing water leak problems in your home.

What should I do if there is mold in my home?

The key is safe, swift, and effective remediation paired with controlling indoor humidity levels and fixing water leak problems in your home.

How can I work with my child’s school to prevent or address mold growth?

The keys to preventing mold at schools is to control indoor humidity levels and fix water leak problems in a safe and effective way. The EPA’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools program has guidelines for safe and effective prevention of mold and other hazards in schools. Share IAQ Tools for Schools resources with your school’s administration and encourage them to review the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit and implement its practices in your school. Or contact the NY State Department of Health program “Clean, Green, & Healthy Schools” program.

Lead Overview

Lead is a metal that has been used in the past in gasoline and pain, and can currently be found in many household products. Lead is known to cause neurologic and developmental health problems in children, even at low levels. Avoid exposures to peeling paint in older homes, painted housewares, folk remedies, and cosmetics that may contain lead.

Endocrine Disruptors Overview

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are man-made substances that interfere with the production or function of hormones. Two examples of EDCs with known adverse health effects are Bisphenol A and phthalates. Exposure to these chemicals is widespread, but simple steps can reduce risk of harm.

Asbestos Overview

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that were once used widely in insulation, brake pads, and other products. All new uses have been banned since 1989 because asbestos is known to cause lung problems, including cancer, decades after high exposures. Children are not typically at risk for these diseases because they do not work in industrial settings; however, some home and school construction projects can disturb old asbestos.  Appropriate construction practices and avoidance of known sources of asbestos, along with avoidance of tobacco smoke, are the best ways to avoid unnecessary risk to children.