Friday, May 6, 2011

Health Affairs Reducing the Staggering Costs of Environmental Disease in Children

Reducing the Staggering Costs of Environmental Disease in Children Estimated At $76.6 Billion in 2008

A 2002 analysis documented $54.9 billion in annual costs ofenvironmentally mediated diseases in U.S. children. However, few important changes in federal policy have been implemented to prevent exposures to toxic chemicals. This article updates and expands the previous analysis. It found that the costs of lead poisoning, prenatal methyl mercury exposure, childhood cancer, asthma, intellectual disability, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were $76.6 billion in 2008. To prevent further increases in these costs, the authors maintain that efforts are needed to institute premarket testing of new chemicals; conduct toxicity testing on chemicals already in use; reduce lead-based paint hazards; and curb mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in both domestic and international spheres.

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