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Award Highlights Maine Woman’s Work for Children’s Health

Release Date: 10/23/2008
Contact Information: Kathleen Nagle, (617) 918-1985

(Boston, Mass. - Oct. 23, 2008) – A Portland, Maine woman who has dedicated her career to finding innovative solutions to children’s health problems has been selected by EPA for prestigious national recognition for her work to protect children.

At a ceremony this week in Washington, Naomi Mermin received an Environmental Health Champion Award, one of 10 awarded nationally this year. Mermin received the award in recognition of her work with childhood lead poisoning, asthma and creating healthy home environments in New England.

Mermin is a nationally recognized expert in the connections between health and housing and has been dedicated to children’s environmental health issues throughout her professional career. Since 1990, she has been a leader in the formation and operation of three major environmental health collaborative partnerships to benefit children: the New England Lead Coordinating Committee; the Asthma Regional Council, and the Lead Action Collaborative.

“We are proud that Naomi Mermin has been recognized for her exceptional work in the fields of lead, asthma and housing, and particularly for making the connection between the three,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office. “Through this award, EPA recognizes those who play major roles in protecting infants and children, the individuals most susceptible to some environmental hazards because their bodies and nervous systems are still developing.”

Mermin has continued to expand her reach as well as her vision on children’s environmental health issues to now include healthy housing, green building, transportation and energy efficiency. Her work is aimed at creating healthy and sustainable environments for children to live and play. She is the project director for the Maine Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund and she is the principal of Naomi Mermin Consulting, an environmental consulting firm in Portland, which provides expertise on strategic planning, healthy housing, smart growth and environmental policy.

"I have been fortunate to work with many great people and organizations,” said Mermin. “This award really recognizes not my work but the power of people coming together to help make our communities and children safe.”

The Children's Environmental Health Awards are designed to recognize ongoing and sustainable dedication to, and notable leadership in, protecting children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national and international level.

The Regional Children’s Environmental Health Champions are selected groups or individuals from across EPA’s ten Regions that exemplify invaluable leadership in their Region in the protection of children from environmental health risks.

The Children’s Environmental Health Champion Recognition Program is designed to recognize ongoing and sustainable dedication to, and notable leadership in, protecting children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national, and international level. The 2008 Champions were nominated by EPA staff and selected for this honor because of their tireless efforts to protect children from environmental health risks.

More information:
Protecting Children's Environmental Health in New England (

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