Opportunities for evaluating chemical exposures and child health in the United States: the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program

on behalf of program collaborators for ECHO

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program will evaluate environmental factors affecting children’s health (perinatal, neurodevelopmental, obesity, respiratory, and positive health outcomes) by pooling cohorts composed of >50,000 children in the largest US study of its kind. Our objective was to identify opportunities for studying chemicals and child health using existing or future ECHO chemical exposure data. We described chemical-related information collected by ECHO cohorts and reviewed ECHO-relevant literature on exposure routes, sources, and environmental and human monitoring. Fifty-six ECHO cohorts have existing or planned chemical biomonitoring data for mothers or children. Environmental phenols/parabens, phthalates, metals/metalloids, and tobacco biomarkers are each being measured by ≥15 cohorts, predominantly during pregnancy and childhood, indicating ample opportunities to study child health outcomes. Cohorts are collecting questionnaire data on multiple exposure sources and conducting environmental monitoring including air, dust, and water sample collection that could be used for exposure assessment studies. To supplement existing chemical data, we recommend biomonitoring of emerging chemicals, nontargeted analysis to identify novel chemicals, and expanded measurement of chemicals in alternative biological matrices and dust samples. ECHO’s rich data and samples represent an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate environmental chemical research to improve the health of US children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-419
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding Research reported in this publication was supported by the ECHO program, Office of The Director, NIH, under award numbers U2COD023375 (Coordinating Center), U24OD023382 (Data Analysis Center, JPB, GBH, EDP, MZ), UG3OD023305, UH3OD023305, UG3OD023271, UH3OD023271, and UG3OD023349, UH3OD023349 (ESB), UG3OD023282 (PIB), UG3OD023365, UH3OD023365 (DHB), UG3OD023316 (MSB), U2CES026544 (TRF), UG3OD023348, UH3OD023348 (RCF), U24OD023319-01 (Person-Reported Outcomes Core, WEF, RI), 3U2CES026533-01S1-3 (SSH), U2CES026542-01 (KK, PJP), UG3OD023275, UH3OD023275 (MPK, AJS-P), UG3OD0 23342, UH3OD023342 and 1U2COD023375-02 (KL), UG3OD023248, UH3OD023248 (APS), UG3OD023251, UH3OD023251 (DJW), UG3OD023272, UH3OD023272 (AW, TJW). This research was also supported by NIEHS P01ES022841 (TJW), NIEHS R01ES027051 (TJW), US EPA RD 83543301 (TJW), U2CES026542-01 (KK, PJP), P30 ES006694 (PIB), NIEHS P30 ES005022 (ESB), NIDDK R01DK076648 (APS), NIEHS R00ES025817 (APS), NIEHS P01ES022832 (MRK), and US EPA RD-83544201 (MRK). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.


  • Chemicals
  • Children’s health
  • Environmental exposures
  • Environmental influences on child health outcomes

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review


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