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$76B in Pediatric Healthcare Costs Linked to Environmental Factors

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 4, 2011

The study updated 1997 research that documented that childhood diseases which are in part or entirely caused by environmental factors cost $54.9 billion to the U.S. economy.

But the cost has grown to $76.6 billion taking in consideration for the value of inflation as of 2008, and also because there are new diseases linked to environmental toxins, such as ADD and exposure to mercury from fish.

The costs due to environmental factors break down as follows:

  • Lead poisoning, $50.9 billion
  • Autism, $7.9 billion
  • Intellectual disability, $5.4 billion
  • Exposure to mercury, $5.1 billion.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, $5 billion
  • Asthma, $2.2 billion
  • Childhood cancer, $95 million


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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