Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs)
ATSDR supports PEHSUs to help protect the health and well-being of children and families who live or work in settings that put them at higher risk of exposure to hazardous substances.
PEHSUsexternal icon operate in all 10 ATSDR regions. Here are some ATSDR-funded PEHSU partner highlights from 2020:
In Atlanta, GA, the Southeast PEHSU partnered with the Center for Black Women’s Wellness (CBWW) to increase environmental health literacy and decrease environmental exposures among Black children and their families. Over 500 CBWW patients and 30 partners participated in these activities.
In Seattle, WA, the Northwest PEHSU continued to support and provide specialty intensive pediatric environmental health training opportunities within established training programs in the University of Washington School of Medicine. This includes the Medical Student Research Training Program, Pediatric Residency Training Program noon conferences, and the Pediatric Environmental Medicine elective trainings School of Public Health Pediatric Environmental Health practicum and course.
In 2020, the PEHSU’s nationwide network continued to educate health professionals about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PEHSUs conducted two continuing education webinars for health professionals on PFAS and added PFAS resourcesexternal icon to the PEHSU website.
What are PEHSUs?
PEHSUs are a national network of experts who focus on environmental conditions affecting pregnant women, children, and adolescents. PEHSUs respond to requests for information and create materials and classes for healthcare professionals, parents, schools, and community groups. They also recommend prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options to pediatricians and other healthcare providers, families, and the general public. PEHSUs work with government agencies at all levels to address environmental health issues in homes, schools, and communities. ATSDR supports PEHSUs through funding and programmatic leadership for direction of PEHSUs and PEHSU activities.