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Children's Environmental Health 

Children are not little adults – they are particularly vulnerable to environmental exposures based on their unique behavior patterns and ongoing physiologic development. Children’s environmental health is a multidisciplinary field of science that aims to characterize early life environmental exposures and how they affect development and health throughout the lifespan. Our faculty have expertise assessing children’s exposures to chemicals, air pollutants, allergens, and other environmental hazards as well as determining effects of these exposures on children’s health.  

Research Highlights

Understanding Environmental Determinants of Lung Health Disparities

The BREATHE Center, a 15+ year collaboration among investigators at the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine, is dedicated to pulmonary health, including a strong focus on asthma among inner-city minority children and COPD in the adult population. The goal of the center is to improve lung-related health and health disparities through research, community engagement, and advocacy. Exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology have been central to all BREATHE Center research investigations. Through the application of these two disciplines the Center has uncovered significant public health findings that are shaping public health and clinical practices and guidelines. For example, BREATHE investigations have found that exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds, particulate matter, and allergens can impact pediatric asthma morbidity among inner city children.

Evaluating Early Life Environmental Influences on Development

The ORigins of Child Health And Resilience in Development (ORCHARD) cohort is an ongoing prospective study enrolling pregnant women in Baltimore. Initiated in 2016 with funding from a Johns Hopkins Discovery Award, ORCHARD is designed to assess early life environmental exposures and the developmental origins of children’s health. For example, a recent study assessed gestational exposures to organophosphate ester flame retardants in relation to adverse birth outcomes in the ORCHARD cohort.

Associated Faculty


*Denotes faculty who are accepting PhD students.