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Am J Public Health. 2019 Apr;109(4):550-554. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304902. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Healthy Air, Healthy Brains: Advancing Air Pollution Policy to Protect Children's Health.

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1
Devon C. Payne-Sturges is with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park. Melanie A. Marty is with the Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis. Frederica Perera is with the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Columbia University, New York, NY. Mark D. Miller and John Balmes are with the Division of Occupational Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Maureen Swanson is with the Learning Disabilities Association of America, Pittsburgh, PA. Kristie Ellickson is with the Minnesota State Pollution Control Agency, Saint Paul. Deborah A. Cory-Slechta is with the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY. Beate Ritz is with the Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles. Laura Anderko is with the School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Evelyn O. Talbott is with the School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. Robert Gould is with the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Irva Hertz-Picciotto is with the Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine; the MIND Institute; and the Children's Center for Environmental Health, University of California, Davis.

Abstract

Evidence is growing on the adverse neurodevelopmental effects of exposure to combustion-related air pollution. Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neurodevelopmental Risks), a unique collaboration of leading scientists, health professionals, and children's and environmental health advocates, has identified combustion-related air pollutants as critical targets for action to protect healthy brain development. We present policy recommendations for maintaining and strengthening federal environmental health protections, advancing state and local actions, and supporting scientific research to inform effective strategies for reducing children's exposures to combustion-related air pollution. Such actions not only would improve children's neurological development but also would have the important co-benefit of climate change mitigation and further improvements in other health conditions.

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