The California Environmental Health Tracking Program and Public Health Institute released a new report, “Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children.” The paper provides data on the costs associated with four childhood health conditions related to environmental exposures: asthma, childhood cancers, lead exposures, and neurobehavioral disorders.
The study found that reducing environmental hazards could save California $284 million annually, and $10-13 billion in the lifetime of all children born within a single year in the state. Of this lifetime estimate, $8–11 billion result from lead exposures. Not only would reducing lead exposures and other environmental hazards potentially eliminate these costs, but also 280,000 cases of children requiring medical attention for asthma, 120 cases of cancer, and 1,800 cases of neurobehavioral disorders each year.
The report concludes that data should be used to inform policies to reduce the environmental health burden in California. It also calls for more research to better understand the relationship between the environment and health.