California Alliance for Children’s Environmental Health (CACEH)

The California Alliance for Children’s Environmental Health (CACEH) is working to coordinate groups across sectors for urgent action to radically improve state policy on children’s environmental health and justice.

This effort is based on the findings of a landscape analysis showing the incredible strength of California’s environmental health & justice leaders and pointing to the valuable strategy of framing environmental issues as children’s health issues.

CACEH is a network of local, regional, and statewide organizations that collaborate to raise awareness of environmental health issues affecting children in California, identify and build momentum behind focused policy priorities to improve environmental conditions for children, and lift youth leaders in the development of a children’s environmental health policy agenda and efforts to promote that agenda.

Children’s Environmental Health Month (October)

October is recognized by the EPA and by the California legislature as Children’s Environmental Health Month. Environmental health is a health, racial equity, and social justice issue. Every child deserves a safe and clean world to play, learn, and grow up in, but that reality doesn’t exist in many of California’s most marginalized communities.

For example, asthma is the most common childhood health condition in California, making it difficult for children to exercise, play and attend school. African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino children, have the highest asthma prevalence and hospitalization rates in California in part because of environmental racism that concentrates highways, industrial plants, toxic chemicals, neglected soil, corroded plumbing, and pesticide use in communities of color.

This month and every month, California must do more to address environmental health disparities and the lifelong effects of environmental toxins and climate change on our children through state-based investments and policy that center the needs of kids. There will be local and state events throughout the month to highlight key issues of importance for children’s health, as well as corresponding resources and factsheets.

Policy Factsheets

Advocacy Opportunities

 

  • Key 2022–2023 bills:
    • AB 418 (Gabriel & Wicks) – The California Food Safety Act (PASSED)
    • AB 579 (Ting) – Zero-emission schoolbuses (PASSED)
    • AB 652 (Lee) – Department of Pesticide Regulation Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (PASSED)
    • SB 253 (Wiener) – Climate Corporate Leadership and Accountability Act (PASSED)
    • SB 252 (Gonzalez, Stern, & Wiener) – Public retirement systems divestment form fossil fuels (2 YEAR BILL)
    • AB 1000 (Reyes) – Warehouse Good Neighbor Policy (ON PAUSE)
    • SB 394 (Gonzalez) – Master Plan for Healthy, Sustainable, and Climate-Resilient Schools (VETOED)
    • AB 249 (Holden) – Lead testing of drinking water at schools (VETOED)

Children’s Environmental Health Resources

Select 2024 Policy Priorities

(Note: These priorities are derived from various groups that are a part of CACEH, do not constitute a CACEH policy platform, and will evolve over time.)

  • Bringing greater awareness of environmental health and climate change to pediatricians and health providers in California, mobilizing health professionals for EH work
  • Preventing childhood exposure to toxins and environmental hazards (e.g., lead in drinking water, toxic food chemicals, fiberglass, cleaners, beauty products)
  • Greater funding and better infrastructure for electric vehicle (EV) buses
  • Public education around gas stoves and childhood asthma
  • Strengthening climate education, greater accountability around fossil fuel emitting businesses near schools, accessibility to healthy resources, mitigating food waste and carbon footprint of schools
  • Improved enforcement of pesticide school buffer zones and prioritizing EJ policies for pesticide use and regulation
  • Decarbonization of school environments and pensions, including climate resilience infrastructure changes
  • Supporting implementation of Senate Bill 1137 by ensuring that the 2024 referendum to reverse restrictions on neighborhood oil drilling fails
  • Ensuring equitable distribution of school facility modernization funds, especially through the 2024 education bond
  • Weighing in on California Climate Resilience Bond and Education Infrastructure Bond funding distribution
  • Continued oversight of Department of Pesticide Regulation and Environmental Justice Committee
  • Supporting youth activism and direct action campaigns
  • Children’s Environmental Health Month (October)

Get in Touch

For more info, please contact Kelly Hardy at [email protected] or Colleen Corrigan at [email protected]

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