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The more coalitions we can bring together, the greater the change we can make in public policy and the better our chances of success in making ecological medicine the wave of the future. Generations at Risk: Children’s Health and the Environment Ted Schettler Dr. Ted Schettler’s penetrating gray eyes convey a paradoxical mix of play and gravitas. Perhaps it’s because his special interest—the effects of environmental toxins on children’s health and development—gives him an especially poignant window onto a world where the health of the young of many species is jeopardized by the unwise use of industrial chemicals and shortsighted ecosystem destruction.

First, people have a duty to take anticipatory action to prevent harm. ) Second, the burden of proof for a new technology, process, activity, or chemical lies with the proponents, not with the public. Another way to frame this is that the polluter must pay for damage. The notion that the burden of proof rests with the proponents announces up front that society will hold someone accountable. It provides a real impetus for proponents to think carefully about proposed activities before they undertake something hazardous.

It’s estimated that about 70 percent of a child’s total pesticide exposure comes from indoor dust. Children breathe closer to the ground, of course, and some chemicals tend to accumulate lower in a room because they’re heavier than air. Pound for GENERATIONS AT RISK 35 pound, children breathe more than adults do when they go outside and play. They’re often more active than adults and they’re exposed to bigger doses of outdoor air contaminants such as ozone and particulates. Studies have shown a direct correlation between children’s exposure to air pollutants and their likelihood of having an asthma attack.

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