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Spotlight Non-profit: Making the world environmentally friendly for kids

LatinaLista — Most people understand that there is a link between our health and our environment. There’s a reason why people aren’t thrilled living in neighborhoods towered over by power lines or living near smoke-spewing plants.


The effects can be bad enough on adults but devastating to children’s developing bodies and minds. Yet, unfortunately, those aren’t the only environmental dangers that face humans. Pesticides, lead, pollutants, and food dyes are just the start of a long list of environmentally unfriendly and humanly dangerous elements that impact human health.

One couple’s heartwrenching experience with their young daughter’s sudden onset of cancer at the age of 4 served as the impetus to discover the link between the environment and human health and combat these kinds of environmental ticking time bombs.

James and Nancy Chuda were shocked that their 4-year-old daughter, Colette, should be stricken with a rare form of cancer when the disease didn’t run on either side of the family. The couple made it their mission to find out how Colette got the cancer and it shocked them.

It was Nancy’s exposure to a pesticide while she was pregnant. As the couple looked deeper into environmental links, they were dumbfounded to find there was hardly any research into the link between the growing incidence of childhood cancer and environmental toxics. In fact, all the research at that point, in the early 90s, was based on how toxins impacted 155-pound adult males.

After their young daughter died, a neighbor suggested they start an environmental fund on her behalf since she liked the outdoors so much. The couple created the Colette Chuda Environmental Fund (CCEF). The purpose of the fund was to support scientific research on the risks to children from environmental toxics.

However, while the fund was effective in bringing important scientific research on the issue to the forefront and getting environmental legislative bills passed, the couple realized there was still a void with the average person/parent on how to recognize environmental hazards and what they could do to combat it before children and others would be adversely impacted.

So, they created Healthy Child Healthy World.

Through a series of YouTube videos, public service announcements, downloadable kits, informational articles, blog posts and action alerts, visitors get a good introduction into how to live an environmentally healthy life, how to clean up their immediate environment and how to help on a larger scale bring greater awareness to the issue.


Healthy Child Healthy World exists because tens of millions of American children now face chronic diseases and illnesses including cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD/ADHD, allergies, learning and developmental disabilities, as well as a host of lesser but disruptive ailments. Credible scientific evidence increasingly points to contaminants in our environments and toxic chemicals in everyday products as causing and contributing to many of these diseases.

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