April has been a busy month! From April 1st- 7th, we celebrated National Public Health Week. This year’s National Public Health Week theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation 2030: For science. For action. For health.”
Rural Health was the focus of NPHW on Wednesday April 3rd. Our Children’s Health Center is located in the rural Upper Valley of New Hampshire, where part of our study investigates the correlations between naturally occurring arsenic in private wells and the developmental effects arsenic exposure can have children whose main water source comes from these private wells. Private wells are common in NH, VT, and other rural areas across the country. We cannot believe that we are currently in the 10th year of our New Hampshire Birth Cohort study where since 2009, we have worked to investigate the effects of childhood exposure to arsenic.
World Autism Day is Monday, April 2, 2018, which marked the kickoff of an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, launched the observance month to “promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.” This year marked the 12th annual celebration of Autism Awareness day on April 2nd and Autism Awareness Month.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Indicators of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.
Together, with our nationwide team of Children’s Health Centers, researchers have identified potential links between air pollution, pesticides, occupational exposures. Phthalate and the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
In 2003, researchers at UC Davis initiated CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genes and Environment), a case control study of children with and without autism. It is the first comprehensive study of environmental causes and risk factors associated with Autism.
CHARGE has been an instrumental Study that has informed the individual studies of Children’s Health Centers across the country. CEHC Dartmouth participates in this collaborative nationwide network of health professionals. All of the individual findings from each Center in our network has the potential to influence our collective understanding of how environmental risks influence a diverse range of childhood birth outcomes. Together, our centers have influenced and informed health policies.
Check out the images below to learn more about the findings from other Children's Environmental Health Centers that we highlighted on social media during National Autism Awareness Month. Learn more the findings from the Children's Centers Environmental Health Centers nationwide here.