The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health

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Since 1998, the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at Columbia University has been studying the long-term health of urban pollutants on children raised in minority neighborhoods in inner-city communities. Investigators enrolled and have since followed a group of children in New York City from the time their mothers were pregnant through the present, looking to determine whether exposure to these chemicals might make children more prone to obesity or have problems with learning and behavior.

The current Children's Center grant funds three separate but related studies looking at the possible health effects of common environmental chemicals considered to be endocrine disruptors. These are chemicals that interfere with the body's natural hormones, imitating or blocking the normal flow of hormones and thereby affecting a child's development, brain function and immune system.

Researchers at this Children's Center focus on two of these chemicals and their effects on children's health: Bisphenol A (BPA) which is used in some food and linings in drink packages and canned foods,and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), present mainly in exhaust from motor vehicles and factories.

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