Each October, we celebrate Children's Environmental Health Month to raise awareness and incite action regarding the importance of safe and healthy environments for all children. The Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHC) established CEH Day in 2016 to be observed on the second Thursday of every October.
The National Environmental Health Association released an article this month that highlighted a focus group that our researchers met with. The group mainly consisted of mothers who live in rural areas. Our findings from the focus group indicated that rural mothers were largely unaware of the potential arsenic contaminants in their drinking water systems and would have tested for arsenic had they known this information sooner. The feedback provided from rural mothers in this focus group highlight a bigger issue, that concerning the need for better public outreach strategies and more frequent communication. In taking part in Children's Environmental Health Month, we have been active on all of our social media platforms in the hopes to address this issue.
Our research was also indirectly featured on CNN this month, in an article about baby foods that tested for toxic metal contaminants including arsenic. Though we were not mentioned directly in the article, a lot of our research served as the basis for the article. The article received a lot of attention on Twitter and when it went viral in some twitter circles, we received a mention from a researcher in our field. The researcher was responding to a comment made by a twitter user who wrote in response to seeing the article "I’ve never heard of the org that did this study. Although it’s not that much of a stretch. What I want to know is how these levels (if reliable) compare to the greater food supply".
We responded directly to the twitter user and posted some informative links to pieces we have written and co-authored on the subject. The twitter user thanked us for providing the links and we gained a new follower. Their initial skepticism on the credibility of the CNN article again highlights the need for better outreach strategies to communicate findings in our field of research. Part of our goal for the upcoming year, is to continue to raise awareness about our environmental health impacts that have been discovered through our research.