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Children's Health Research regarding Prenatal and Early Life Exposure and Long-term Health Consequences

Increasing evidence points to associations between early life exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors and a wide range of children’s health outcomes. EPA is researching how prenatal and early life exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors may have long-term health and disease consequences later in life. 

Evaluating effects of early life exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals

Humans are exposed to a range of chemicals during fetal development and early childhood. Endocrine disrupting chemicals impact hormones in the body and can lead to adverse effects in children and adults. To learn more, visit EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. EPA is studying the relationship between chemical exposures and environmental stressors to better understand the cumulative risk and lifetime health effects of early life exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Understanding how chemical and non-chemical stressors affect gene regulation

EPA is researching early life exposures during critical windows of development to better understand the extent to which environmentally induced epigenetic changes can contribute to both future disease status and resilience. 

Understanding exposures in children's environments

Young children face special risks related to chemical exposures because of their unique biology and child-specific behaviors; however little is known about young children’s exposures and the factors that impact exposure. EPA scientists have conducted a series of studies to provide a better understanding of the chemical sources, pathways and routes of exposure, and other factors that contribute most to children’s exposures to chemicals. This will allow for better and earlier decisions on when and how to reduce or eliminate children’s exposures to chemicals.