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Cost of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children

Preventable environmental hazards cost California $254 million every year and $10-13 billion over the lifetime of all children born every year, posing significant health and economic burdens on children and families in California.

Children are generally more susceptible than adults to environmental hazards, but little is known about the economic burden of illnesses related to these hazards.

To learn more, Tracking California conducted an analysis to estimate the cost of four childhood conditions related to the environment in California:

  • asthma
  • cancer
  • lead exposures
  • neurobehavioral disorders

As described in our report, we found that preventable environmental hazards are responsible for a significant health and economic burden on children and families in California.

The reduction of these hazards could also lead to the annual prevention or alleviation of:

  • asthma in 280,000 children
  • 120 cases of pediatric cancer
  • development of neurobehavioral disorders in 1,800 children

Key project information

Project Time Period


Project Funder

The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cooperative Agreement Number 2 U38 EH000953-04

Project Participation

This report was completed as a deliverable to the CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program, as part of their Economic Burden of Childhood Environmental Illnesses Project.

The project was led by Tracking California, with participation from other EPHT-funded programs in ConnecticutFloridaMinnesotaNew HampshireOregon, and Utah.

Project Contact

For more information, please contact

Project Materials


Project Publications

  1. Estimating the Proportion of Childhood Cancer Cases and Costs Attributable to the Environment in California [2017] Lauren Nelson, Jhaqueline Valle, Galatea King, Paul Mills, Maxwell Richardson, Eric Roberts, Daniel Smith, Paul English