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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

September 18, 2000


Sally J. Spadaro 222-4700 ext. 2426
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418


Children's Health is this Year's Theme

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in conjunction with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), will be promoting national Pollution Prevention Week during the week of September 18 to 24. This year's Pollution Prevention Week theme is a "Healthy Planet = Healthy Kids."

DEM will have a display booth at Providence Place Mall on September 20, 21 and 22 from 10 AM to 3 PM stocked with information pertaining to Pollution Prevention, Household Hazardous Waste, the West Nile Virus, Auto Emission and Safety Testing, Lead Abatement, and Water Conservation.

"Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a polluted environment, including contamination of our air, water, soil, and food supply," said DEM Director Jan Reitsma. "Persistent and toxic contaminants, including lead and mercury, continue to pose significant health threats to children in the Rhode Island. Pollution prevention is the most effective way means to better protect their health."

DEM's Pollution Prevention Program has developed the following action list to reduce and prevent pollution to protect the health of children, and their parents:

  1. Institutions and individuals can substitute environmentally preferable materials and products for those that can cause harm.
  2. Doctors can educate their patients about environmental health threats, especially lead and mercury exposure, and the preventative steps that parents can take.
  3. Businesses, institutions, and communities can reduce their use of hazardous materials and generation of hazardous waste.
  4. Communities can adopt integrated pest management practices to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and can alert parents when pesticide spraying is scheduled to occur in public areas to minimize children's exposure.
  5. Everyone can help improve air quality and reduce asthma by limiting individual vehicle use and taking advantage of public transportation, walking, or riding bicycles.

For more information on these action items or DEM's Pollution Prevention Program, please call the Office of Technical and Customer Assistance at 222-6822, or visit DEM's website at

For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer