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Environ Res ; 197: 111160, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182495


Public health measures necessary to counteract the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in dramatic changes in the physical and social environments within which children grow and develop. As our understanding of the pathways for viral exposure and associated health outcomes in children evolves, it is critical to consider how changes in the social, cultural, economic, and physical environments resulting from the pandemic could affect the development of children. This review article considers the environments and settings that create the backdrop for children's health in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, including current threats to child development that stem from: A) change in exposures to environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, disinfectants, air pollution and the built environment; B) changes in food environments resulting from adverse economic repercussion of the pandemic and limited reach of existing safety nets; C) limited access to children's educational and developmental resources; D) changes in the social environments at the individual and household levels, and their interplay with family stressors and mental health; E) social injustice and racism. The environmental changes due to COVID-19 are overlaid onto existing environmental and social disparities. This results in disproportionate effects among children in low-income settings and among populations experiencing the effects of structural racism. This article draws attention to many environments that should be considered in current and future policy responses to protect children's health amid pandemics.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Child Health , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Environment , United States/epidemiology
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(3)2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067747


Spatialized racial injustices drive morbidity and mortality inequalities. While many factors contribute to environmental injustices, Pb is particularly insidious, and is associated with cardio-vascular, kidney, and immune dysfunctions and is a leading cause of premature death worldwide. Here, we present a revised analysis from the New Orleans dataset of soil lead (SPb) and children's blood Pb (BPb), which was systematically assembled for 2000-2005 and 2011-2016. We show the spatial-temporal inequities in SPb, children's BPb, racial composition, and household income in New Orleans. Comparing medians for the inner city with outlying areas, soil Pb is 7.5 or 9.3 times greater, children's blood Pb is ~2 times higher, and household income is lower. Between 2000-2005 and 2011-2016, a BPb decline occurred. Long-standing environmental and socioeconomic Pb exposure injustices have positioned Black populations at extreme risk of adverse health consequences. Given the overlapping health outcomes of Pb exposure with co-morbidities for conditions such as COVID-19, we suggest that further investigation be conducted on Pb exposure and pandemic-related mortality rates, particularly among Black populations. Mapping and remediating invisible environmental Pb provides a path forward for preventing future populations from developing a myriad of Pb-related health issues.

Lead/analysis , Lead/blood , Soil Pollutants/analysis , Soil Pollutants/blood , Black or African American , Child , Environmental Exposure , Health Status Disparities , Humans , New Orleans , Socioeconomic Factors , Soil , Spatio-Temporal Analysis