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Stay up to date with our recent research findings, news features, and publications below! Our blog is a great place to learn more detailed information about the collective nationwide network of Children's Environmental Health researchers and their findings.

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March 6 – 12 is Groundwater Awareness Week!

Did you that private wells, which are common throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, could contain arsenic? The levels of arsenic in private wells throughout New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine can vary greatly and are dependent on the geology of the area and the amount of arsenic in bedrock.

If you get your drinking water from a private well, you should have your water tested for arsenic. EPA regulations and required testing only apply to public water sources not private wells.

Source: http://arsenic.dali.dartmouth.edu

Practice Groundwater Awareness Week in your home by using the following tips:

  1. Schedule your annual checkup! This includes testing your groundwater for contaminants especially if you get your water from a private well

  1. Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a “clean” zone of at least 50 feet (15.24 meters) between your well and any kennels or livestock operations

Source: https://wellowner.org/2022/02/save-the-date-national-groundwater-awareness-week-2022/#:~:text=National%20Groundwater%20Awareness%20Week%2C%20an,treat%20their%20private%20water%20systems.

Did you know: healthy eating and being physically active can help children achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, consume important nutrients, and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions. Some adverse health conditions that may be developed in later life due to poor nutrition include

  • High blood pressure.

  • Heart disease.

  • Type 2 diabetes.

  • Cancer.

  • Osteoporosis.

  • Iron deficiency.

  • Dental caries (cavities).

In the new year, let’s pledge to improve our health by setting these goals for ourselves and our family:


Limit saturated fats — fats that mainly come from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Replace saturated fats with vegetable and nut oils. Healthier fats are also naturally present in olives, nuts, avocados and seafood. Limit trans fats by avoiding foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil.


Cook “from scratch” whenever possible. Read labels and choose foods with ingredients you recognize. Choosing foods with fewer ingredients will help you avoid added salt, sugar, fats, dyes and other artificial additives.


Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, or honey. Encourage children to eat a variety of fresh or frozen fruit (organic whenever possible) and drink water — rather than fruit juice. Whole fruit is nutrient-rich and a great source of fiber. Water is free and healthy. Make sure you test your water for contaminants like lead and carry out mitigation activities if necessary

Certain plastics are known to contain toxic chemicals which have negative impacts on human health. The primary toxic chemicals in plastics are Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates. These two toxic ingredients in plastics are of particular concern, as research increasingly shows that these chemicals mimic or suppress hormones (e.g., estrogen and testosterone) and disrupt normal development and growth. (Source)

Exposure to Phthalates occurs through the following:

  1. Inhalation- breathing in fragrances, or fumes from solvents and fixatives

  2. Ingestion- chewing on a plastic toy creates small openings in the plastic, providing an avenue for leaching of chemicals from the toy into a child’s mouth

  3. Skin Absorption- lotion, perfumes, deodorants

Exposure to BPAs occurs primarily through ingestion and through direct exposure or exposure through dust particles that contain microplastics. Children are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemicals found in plastics and microplastics since their body systems and organs are still developing.

Microplastics are small particles of plastic with a diameter of less than 5mm. There are two types of microplastics. Primary microplastics are items that have intentionally been manufactured in a small size, such as microfibers from clothing, microbeads and plastic pellets.

Secondary microplastics make up the majority of microplastics waste in the environment. They are made up of fragments from larger pieces of litter such as plastic bags, bottles or packaging.

Ten Tips for Safer Use of Plastics:

  1. Purchase baby bottles and sippy cups labeled “BPA free” or glass options.

  2. Never heat or microwave food or drink in any plastic containers, as leaching of toxic chemicals from plastic to food or liquid may occur.

  3. Use a paper towel instead of plastic wrap to cover food in the microwave. 4. Never heat plastic baby bottles.

  4. When mixing formula, heat the water before mixing.

  5. When warming breast milk, use a glass bottle.

  6. Use PVC-free plastic wrap (buy plastic wrap and bags made with polyethylene).

  7. Eat fresh produce - Minimize the use of canned foods and canned drinks as many are lined with BPA. 7.

  8. Only buy “new” plastic toys for infants and toddlers that are labeled “phthalate -free” or “PVC-free” due to their mouthing behaviors.

  9. Purchase phthalate-free beauty products.

  10. Ask your dentist for BPA-free sealants and composite fillings.

  11. Discard all worn or scratched plastic food containers, especially baby bottles, sippy cups and infant feeding plates and cups.