Children’s health in Latin America: The infuence of environmental exposures

Amalia Laborde, Fernando Tomasina, Fabrizio Bianchi, Marie Noel Bruné, Irena Buka, Pietro Comba, Lilian Corra, Liliana Cori, Christin Maria Duffert, Raul Harari, Ivano Iavarone, Melissa A. McDiarmid, Kimberly A. Gray, Peter D. Sly, Agnes Soares, William A. Suk, Philip J. Landrigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic diseases are increasing among children in Latin America. Objective and Methods: To examine environmental risk factors for chronic disease in Latin American children and to develop a strategic initiative for control of these exposures, the World Health Organization (WHO) including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Collegium Ramazzini, and Latin American scientists reviewed regional and relevant global data. results: Industrial development and urbanization are proceeding rapidly in Latin America, and environmental pollution has become widespread. Environmental threats to children’s health include traditional hazards such as indoor air pollution and drinking-water contamination; the newer hazards of urban air pollution; toxic chemicals such as lead, asbestos, mercury, arsenic, and pesticides; hazardous and electronic waste; and climate change. Te mix of traditional and modern hazards varies greatly across and within countries refecting industrialization, urbanization, and socioeconomic forces. conclusions: To control environmental threats to children’s health in Latin America, WHO, including PAHO, will focus on the most highly prevalent and serious hazards—indoor and outdoor air pollution, water pollution, and toxic chemicals. Strategies for controlling these hazards include developing tracking data on regional trends in children’s environmental health (CEH), building a network of Collaborating Centres, promoting biomedical research in CEH, building regional capacity, supporting development of evidence-based prevention policies, studying the economic costs of chronic diseases in children, and developing platforms for dialogue with relevant stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Medicine


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