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Children's Environmental Health

Children's Environmental Health


Have questions about an environmental health concern?

Call our hotline toll free at (866) 967-7337 or email


 Who We Are                 

The Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health was established in 1999 in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to promote and protect children's health through prevention, education, diagnosis and treatment of environmentally related diseases. View our brochure here.

We are one of 10 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) across the country dedicated to children's environmental health issues.‌‌The Great Lakes Center PEHSU’sOur primary area of focus is Region 5, which includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Dr. Susan Buchanan, Director


What We Do

Our team of health professionals encompass diverse areas of expertise including medical toxicology, pediatrics, occupational/environmental medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency medicine.

Our objectives are to:

  • Serve as an information resource for health care professionals and the general public on children's environmental health issues
  • Provide consultation to public health and environmental agencies
  • Train pediatricians, environmental and occupational medicine physicians, medical toxicologists, and other health professionals
  • Conduct research aimed at preventing children's environmental diseases
  • Promote sound local, regional, and national policies that protect children's health and the environment and that promote environmental justice
  • Provide clinical evaluation services for children and pregnant women with environmental illnesses or exposures


PEHSU State Champions:

Beth Baker, M.D., MPH,
Occupational Medicine Specialist in SAINT PAUL, MN.
Marie Cabiya,, M.D.,
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Indra Frank, M.D., MPH,
Environmental Health Director, Hoosier Environmental Council
Gary Loy M.D., MPH,
Rush University Medical Center
Elizabeth Neary, M.D.,
Wisconsin Environmental Health Network



Resources for You

Click on the Education and Training side bar for Continuing Medical Education on-line courses and powerpoint presentations.

Interested in updates on your local air quality? Follow this link for the Chicagoland area or search for your own hometown here.

Looking for a way to take prenatal environmental exposure history in clinic? View our form here.

Worried about your child's exposure to flame retardant chemicals? View an EPA flyer to help reduce exposure here.










Children's Environmental Health Indicators

Children’s environments, where they live, learn, and play, have a significant impact on their health. More specifically, housing conditions (children living in poor housing may be exposed to harmful contaminants such as lead and mold); the quality of the air they breathe and the food and water they consume; the health and safety of their schools and child care facilities; and access to safe opportunities to play are all aspects of children’s environments that affect their health. Infants and children are more vulnerable to harm from toxic exposures than are adults-- with potentially lifelong consequences to their health and development. 

Click this link for more information.


Children’s Environmental Health Blog

Looking for well researched and thoughtful posts about Children's Environmental Health issues? Follow our blog, Green Kids Doc to learn about topics such as:

  • Cigarette and marijuana smoke
  • Gun accident prevention


Healthy School Campaign: Successful implementation of school environmental health programs have helped guide efforts for healthier schools. A report can be found here:
Keys to Success in School Environmental Health Programs


In the News

Concerns on Indoor Soccer Field Turf: Dr Buchanan Gives Statement


Dr. Buchanan was featured in the news discussing lead in Chicago's water supply.


Region 5 PEHSU assists East Chicago, Indiana. The Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health/Region 5 PEHSU has been assisting the city of East Chicago, US EPA, and Region 5 ATSDR with the public health response to soil contamination with lead and arsenic.

See Dr. Susan Buchanan's presentation on the health effects of lead and arsenic, given at a community meeting in East Chicago on September 24, 2016. Click this link to view the presentation (PowerPoint)



This page was supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and funded (in part) by the cooperative agreement FAIN: 5 NU61TS000237-04 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
Acknowledgement: Acknowledgement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the PEHSU by providing partial funding to ATSDR under Inter-Agency Agreement number DW-75-95877701-4. Neither EPA nor ATSDR endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in PEHSU publications

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