Improvings Kids' Environments in Indiana
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We're Making Our Children's Environments

Better to Grow Up In

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Improving Kids’ Community

Our Initiative

Our health often depends on living and working in a healthy community. A healthy community has clean air, clean water and clean soil. Children can live and play there without fear of exposure to toxic chemicals."Healthy communities for kids are on the verge of being engineered out of existence," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "We created these harmful built environments and we're equally empowered to change them." IKE has worked in a variety of ways to reduce environmental threats in Indiana communities.

How are we improving our communities?

Clean Water

The source of life on our planet, water needs our protection. Pollutants emitted into the air and onto the land often end up in our waters, where they accumulate in sediments, plants and fish. Water is recycled in a never-ending cycle from the atmosphere, to precipitation, to our waterways, and back into the atmosphere again. Along the way, a drop of water may find its way to our faucet, into our bodies, down our drains, through our wastewater treatment systems, and back into our waterways.


Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can harm the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. It is especially dangerous to unborn babies and young children, whose brains and nervous system are still developing.

Sewage in Our Streams

Many Indiana streams contain raw sewage from overflowing sewer systems, leaking septic systems or manure from animals. The bacteria count in these contaminated streams is often more than 100 times the national clean water standard. Sewage contamination of streams can introduce disease-causing pathogens into the water and threaten kids' health.

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Pesticides pose hazards, especially to children who may be sensitive to them. IKE's goal is to reduce both pests and pesticide exposures, and to ensure that parents who are concerned about pesticide use in schools are notified so they can take appropriate action.

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Sunny Start Reports

Helpful Resources

IKE Resources

Green Cleaning Recipes: This handout provides recipes for making safer cleaning products at home, using vinegar, baking soda and other less toxic ingredients.

CDC (Center for Disease Control) Resources

A Healthy Home for Everyone: The Guide for Families and Individuals [PDF - 6.08 MB] (2010)
The purpose of this booklet is to provide information about the connection between housing and health. You will find action steps for making your home healthy, definitions for words used in the booklet, and a resource section to find more information about a making your home a healthy home.

Guidelines for the Identification and Management of Lead Exposure in Pregnant and Lactating Women [PDF - 4.24 MB] (2010)
These guidelines are based on scientific data and practical considerations regarding preventing lead exposure during pregnancy, assessment and blood lead testing during pregnancy, medical and environmental management to reduce fetal exposure, breastfeeding, and follow up of infants and children exposed to lead
in utero

Blood Lead Levels In Children

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Resources

Other Resources

From the National Center of Excellence in Women's Health from UC-San Francisco -- Toxic Matters: Five ways to avoid exposure to toxic substances: in the home, at work, in the community, at the market and through influencing government policy.

From the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: Environmental Impacts on Reproductive Health (Clinical Proceedings). A training resource for healthcare professionals.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:
This site provides information about the Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT) Training Module for healthcare providers and how to register for free continuing education credits.