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Web-stream: Environmental Science Series: Vulnerability of children to environmental exposures

EPA Victoria

Thursday, 7 June 2018 at 12:30 pm

Web-stream: Environmental Science Series:...

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Event Details

We are all exposed to a variety of chemicals every single day through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. These exposures can potentially lead to adverse health effects over longer periods of time and can cause a variety of health problems. The number and complexity of our use of chemicals and exposure to them makes understanding the cumulative impacts on the population difficult.

Small children, whose bodies are rapidly developing, are particularly susceptible to their surrounding environments. More than three million children under five die each year from environment-related causes and conditions. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) this makes the environment one of the most critical contributors to the death of children annually.

Polluted indoor and outdoor air, contaminated water, lack of sanitation, toxic hazards, disease, ultraviolet radiation, and degraded ecosystems are all important environmental risk factors for children. Health-damaging exposure to environmental risks can also begin before birth. Women's exposure to lead in air, mercury in food and other chemicals may potentially affect the health of an unborn child.

In many cases, low-cost solutions for environment and health problems exist. Simple filtration and disinfection of water dramatically improves water quality, better storage and safe use of chemicals reduces exposures and education better equips families and communities to take appropriate action to reduce or eliminate exposure.

EPA's role is to minimise the harmful effects of pollution and waste and to ensure Victoria is both liveable and prosperous. Dr Andrea Hinwood Chief Environmental Scientist for Victoria will share her insights into the state of the Victorian environment and current factors that impact on exposures. She will provide insights into current research and monitoring projects of EPA Victoria.

Professor Peter Sly, Director, Children’s Lung, Environment and Asthma Research, Child Health Research Centre UQ an Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Children’s Health and Environment, will present on the impact of environmental exposures in early life
. Professor Sly will discuss the methods for improving the assessment of environmental exposures during foetal development and in early postnatal life, as well as improving methods for assessing the effects of early life environmental exposures and understanding how these can increase the long-term risk of chronic disease.

This event will be streamed from a live event, if you would like to attend the live event you can register now!

Dr Andrea Hinwood

Dr Andrea Hinwood is the inaugural Chief Environmental Scientist at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria being appointed in May 2017. Dr Hinwood was previously an Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and held appointments as a member and Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority of WA and a sessional member of the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia. 

Now in Victoria, Dr Hinwood is continuing her work in environmental exposures and human health, with research and science being used to understand environmental issues and to prevent impacts to the environment and public health from pollution and waste. She has published widely on community exposure to pollutants and is a widely respected communicator and advocate of science, recording a host of national and international achievements in the areas of environmental science and health, applied research and environmental policy development.

Professor Peter Sly

Professor Peter Sly is the Director, Children's Health and Environment Program, WHO Collaborating Centre for Children's Health and Environment. Professor Sly is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and a paediatric respiratory physician with extensive research experience in respiratory physiology, developmental immunology and children's environmental health. Professor Sly’s research aims to understand the mechanisms underlying chronic childhood lung diseases to improve clinical management and to delay or prevent their onset, with consequent reductions in adult lung diseases.

Professor Sly is also the chairman of the board of directors for the Pacific Basin Consortium for the Environment and Health and currently serves on International Advisory Boards and committees, including: WHO Public Health and Environment; WHO network of Collaborating Centres in Children’s Environmental Health; Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study, Canada; and the Infant Lung Health Study, Paarl, South Africa.

Have questions about Web-stream: Environmental Science Series: Vulnerability of children to environmental exposures? Contact EPA Victoria


EPA Victoria

At EPA Victoria (EPA), our main objective is to keep Victoria prosperous and liveable by preventing and reducing harm from pollution and waste. This is achieved by holding polluters to account, and helping people to understand, own and address their harmful impacts on the environment.

We work closely with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Sustainability Victoria (SV), to develop environment protection policy and legislation to deliver programs that support environmental protection.

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