NYMC Faculty Publications

Perspectives from the Society for Pediatric Research: Contaminants of Water and Children's Health: Can We Do better?

Journal Title

Pediatric Research

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Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date




Second Department

Health Behavior and Community Health


Children are uniquely susceptible to the health consequences of water contamination. In this review, we summarize the existing, robust literature supporting the importance of examining specific water contaminants (i.e., lead, pesticides, nitrates, arsenic, perchlorate) and the routes of contamination in the United States and globally. We also discuss the health effects of exposure to contaminated water and significant disparities related to access to clean water. Lastly, we offer strategies for prevention and intervention-including those focused on the individual patient level-and review the current US policy framework pertaining to regulation of these toxicants. IMPACT: A key message in this article is that exposure to water contaminants have serious and long-lasting consequences on children's health. This review summarizes current existing literature and adds policy recommendations supporting clean water for children. Information from this review has two potential impacts: Guide health professionals in screening and/or treating children's health problems resulting from water contaminant exposure. Guide policy makers in using evidence-based approaches to improve water quality and clean water access.

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