Just as you buckle
up your children every time you get in a car, there are dozens of ways to
protect children from environmental health threats. Honor your commitment
to this generation of young people by using these simple EcoLogical Solutions...
children breathe easier
- Keep tobacco smoke
away from your children. Call 1-800-PARENTS for tips to help you quit smoking.
- Because of the connection
between automobile emissions and children's respiratory health, take steps
to minimize your driving by walking, biking, or carpooling.
- Manage your trash
responsibly. Backyard burning is not only illegal, it can cause permanent
- Keep your home clean.
Dust, mold, and pet dander can trigger asthma attacks and allergies.
children from lead and mercury poisoning
- Wash children's hands
before they eat, and wash bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
- If your home was built
before 1978, assume it contains lead paint. Have a doctor check the blood
lead levels of children living in your home.
- Repair deteriorating
paint and wash floors and windowsills to protect children from paint dust
and chips contaminated with lead -- especially from windowsills in older
- Run cold tap water
two minutes before using to flush lead from copper pipes joined with lead
- Do not clean up household
mercury spills (as with a broken fever thermometer) with a vacuum cleaner.
For help, call the Agency of Natural Resources' Mercury Education & Reduction
Campaign at 1-800-974-9559.
children from carbon monoxide poisoning
- Have fuel-burning
appliances, furnace flues, and chimneys checked once a year.
- Never use gas ovens
or burners for heat, and never use barbecue grills indoors or in your garage.
- Never sleep in rooms
with unvented gas or kerosene space heaters.
- Don't store gasoline
or run cars or lawnmowers in attached garages.
- Install UL-approved
carbon monoxide detectors in the hallway outside sleeping areas.
pesticides and other toxic chemicals away from children
- Avoid using toxic
pesticides; affordable non-toxic alternatives exist.
- Read product labels
and follow all directions carefully.
- Use bait and traps
instead of bug sprays. Place the bait and traps where children can't touch
- Store pesticides and
toxic cleaning supplies where children can't reach them, and never use containers
that children might mistake for those holding food or drink.
- Learn how you can
make effective non-toxic cleaners using common household ingredients such
as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.
- Keep children, their
toys, and their pets away when using pesticides.
- Wash fruits and vegetables
thoroughly under running water before eating. Peel them when possible.
- Post the emergency
phone number for the Vermont Poison Center near your telephone. For emergency
help in the event of an accidental poisoning, you can call the Center toll-free
children from too much sun
- Help children avoid
skin cancer by having them wear hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
- Use sunscreen (SPF
15 or more) on children older than six months of age, and protect infants
from exposure to intense sunlight.
children from high levels of radon
- Test your home for
radon with a home test kit available free of charge by calling the Health
Department at 1-800-439-8550.
children from contaminated fish and polluted water
- Call your town health
officer about beach closings and the Health Department to learn about advisories
for limiting the amount of fish to be eaten (or visit the Department's website
- Take used motor oil
to a recycling center for re-refinement and properly dispose of toxic household
chemicals using municipal collection programs.
- Find out what's in
your drinking water by calling the manager of your local public water system
for the annual drinking water quality report.
- If you maintain a
private water supply, have it tested annually for contamination. If you
are pregnant or have a child under six months of age, test for nitrates
and nitrites. To order water testing kits, call 1-800-660-9997.
To learn more about
simple ways you can safeguard the health of your family and protect Vermont's
environment, visit the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' EcoLogical Solutions
website at http://www.vteco.com
or call 1-800-974-9559 to request the EcoLogical Solutions brochures.
and print an environmental health tips poster!
The poster is available
as a PDF (Adobe Acrobat Reader) file. Please visit the Adobe
Acrobat Web page if you need information on using PDF files or require
a free copy of Acrobat Reader. After Acrobat Reader is installed on your computer,
PDF file here.