What We Know

Health problems and disabilities such as asthma, birth defects, cancer, diabetes and infertility affect more than 100 million men, women and children, about one-third of the U.S. population. Scientific research shows that exposure to environmental contaminants may increase a person’s risk for these and other health concerns. Pregnancy and early childhood are especially vulnerable times, but exposure throughout our lives may harm us.We can be exposed to these contaminants through household products, the food we eat, air pollution from vehicles or factories, hazardous waste sites and other sources. We can find contaminants in our homes, communities, schools and workplaces.

With thousands of chemicals and other contaminants in use, more research is needed to understand how all these environmental contaminants affect human health. But there is enough evidence to know we need better public policy to prevent exposing people to contaminants that are-or may be-harmful to people’s health.

Learn more in the following sections:
Reproductive Health
Reproductive Health
(September, 2008)

Pollution in People
Researchers are finding hundreds of contaminants in people’s bodies.

Health Concerns & Women
A number of health concerns that women face may be connected to what we are exposed to in our environment.

Health Disparities
People of color and lower income people often bear the heaviest burden of health concerns linked to the environment.

Health Factors
There are many factors that affect whether a person exposed to contaminants will be affected in the long-term.

Lifecycle
Being exposed to contaminants at different times in our lives can have different health effects.

Animals
Researchers are finding evidence of wildlife being affected by contaminants.

Helpful Definitions
Get a better understanding of some of the terms used thrught this website.