FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are CEHCNY?

The Children’s Environmental Health Centers of New York (CEHCNY) are a source of medical information and advice on environmental conditions that influence children’s health.

CEHCNYs are academically based, typically at university medical centers. These CEHCNYs form a network that is capable of responding to requests for information throughout New York State and offering advice on prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of environmentally-related health effects in children.

Q: What are the common environmental hazards?

A: Environmental exposures of concern for children include biological, chemical, and radiological hazards, such as:

  • Pesticides
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Arsenic
  • Allergens
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Solvents
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Sun exposure
  • Second-hand tobacco smoke
  • Drinking water contaminants
  • Indoor and outdoor air pollutants

Q: What kind of help can I get at a CEHCNY?

The basic services of the CEHCNY network are:

Community Education and Outreach

  • Raising awareness about environmental conditions that may harm children
  • Guidance on preventing or reducing harmful environmental exposures in everyday situations
  • Providing practical advice on helping children cope and recover during and after floods, wildfires, chemical spills, and other crises

Training Health Professionals

  • Conducting seminars and conferences
  • Publishing peer-reviewed articles that raise environmental health literacy
  • Translating health care research into medical practice
  • Providing on-line educational programs and case studies on environmental health issues

Consultation and Referral

  • Evaluating suspected toxic exposures
  • Identifying and interpreting appropriate diagnostic tests
  • Medical management
  • Referral to specialty care

Q: Are there some easy ways to reduce harmful environmental exposures and thereby protect my child’s health?

A: Please see the CEHCNY’s Tips to Protect Children from Environmental Risk.

Q: Are most doctors and nurses trained on the effects of the environment on the health of children?

A: No, and that is why the Children’s Environmental Health Centers of New York (CEHCNY) exist. Among other things, we provide expert consultation and training to healthcare professionals to help them better understand the unique health concerns related to children and environmental exposures. Children’s Environmental Health is not yet standard in most medical and nursing school curricula and medical and pediatric textbooks may only skim health topics and their relationship to environmental exposures. Your personal healthcare professional may be very interested to know that he or she can consult with environmental pediatric professionals at these units, and your interest in this topic may encourage more and more healthcare providers to become proficient in the topic.

Q: Does it matter which CEHCNY I call?

A: Each Children’s Environmental Health Centers of New York (CEHCNY) serves selected areas. The Centers also act as a network and consult each other when necessary. To find help, go to Find CEHCNY Experts for the unit designated to work with your state.

Q: Should I involve my child's physician when I contact a CEHCNY?

A: We encourage you to work with your primary care doctor to consult the Children’s Environmental Health Centers of New York (CEHCNY). If that is not possible, parents are welcome to contact the CEHCNY in their area.

Q: Where are the CEHCNY located?

A: To find the CEHCNY locations, please see the CEHCNY Locations and Contact page.