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Earth Day 2017 Movies and Children’s Health

This Earth Day, we want to highlight the health consequences of environmental issues, especially for children, and some of the films that address them. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 are attributable to unhealthy environments.[1]  Children are particularly vulnerable to environmental risks including unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, air pollution, second-hand smoke, hazardous chemicals, and climate change.

An issue that Shine has highlighted through our documentary film The Harvest (La Cosecha) and farmworker rights campaign is poisoning from pesticides that could be life-threatening.  Pesticides are widely used in the fields and despite some US regulations about their safe use, many agricultural workers, including children, fall sick.  Even children who are not working in the fields but who are just living nearby, can suffer pesticide poisoning either from drift, water contamination, or from pesticides brought home on their parents’ clothing.  Unfortunately, the US has not been at the forefront of addressing these issues. The EPA recently decided to not ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, despite their findings that it could be dangerous for us, and especially dangerous for farmworkers and young children.

In addition to The Harvest check out other farmworker rights films such as:

Food Chains
Dolores
King Corn
Food Inc

Other environmental factors that affect children’s health include waste, especially the growing problem of electronic and electrical waste (such as your old mobile phone) that is improperly recycled. It can expose children to toxins which can lead to a whole host of health issues including lung damage, cancer, and reduced intelligence.

Check out:

E-Wasteland
Plastic China
Wasteland

With climate change, our entire world and our future are in jeopardy.  But this weekend, thousands of people will be joining the March for Science on earth day with another Climate Change March the following weekend.  It’s encouraging to see so many people coming together to help save our planet and future generations.

If you want to learn more about environmental issues affecting us and especially children, we hope you’ll check out the above documentary films.  And if you are looking for more environmental films to watch check out our previous list from Earth Day 2015.

 

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/pollution-child-death/en/

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