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EPA and National Urban League Join Forces to Protect Children from Environmental Health Risks

Release Date: 09/29/2004
Contact Information:

Enesta P. Jones 202-564-7873 /

(09/29/04) Today EPA is signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Urban League to work together on protecting children in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities from environmental health risks.

Children in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities may be disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. For example, children of lower-income families are more likely to have asthma attacks and elevated blood lead levels.

"With this agreement, EPA will be working collaboratively with the National Urban League to safeguard children -- particularly children from disadvantaged communities -- from environmental health risks," said
Stephen L. Johnson, EPA Deputy Administrator.

In the last three decades, asthma --- a diagnosed disease --- has nearly doubled in the United States. It has become the No. 1 chronic disease of children. It is the primary reason that kids across the country are hospitalized and one of the top reasons they miss school and curtail physical activity.

Each October, EPA commemorates Children's Health Month, which is designed to increase public awareness and provide tools that the general public, health care providers, environmental professionals and businesses can use to help protect children from environmental health risks.

This agreement will facilitate better communication between EPA and the National Urban League, resulting in more collaborative protection of the environment and greater awareness of health issues that impact children.

The agreement is designed to: (1) strengthen the collaborative efforts of EPA and the National Urban League in safeguarding the nation's resources and protecting human health, particularly children's health; (2) increase the Urban League's access to information about EPA's programs and services; (3) explore opportunities for partnerships between Urban League and EPA in addressing environmental challenges; and (4) promote the continued improvement of communication and outreach efforts between the Urban League, its affiliates and EPA.

Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.

More information on the Memorandum of Agreement is available at: .