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?
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.
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 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.
Environmental Threats to Success in School: This fact sheet explains how environmental
exposures can contribute to lead poisoning, asthma, attention deficit disorder and
other health problems that can affect performance in school.
Pesticide Health Effects: This fact sheet summarizes scientific research into the
effects of pesticides on children's health.
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.