The environment is a fundamental determinant of human health. Targeting the best scientific research to environmental problems, wherever they arise, can lead to breakthroughs in our understanding that can be of great benefit to all. Environmental factors cause or influence an array of conditions that lead to illness and death among mothers and children, populations at greatest risk for premature death and illness. Exposures during pregnancy can influence maternal conditions during pregnancy, such as: asthma, anemia, and infectious disease susceptibility, and result in adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as: miscarriage, intra- uterine growth retardation, prematurity. These exposures can also adversely affect long-term health outcomes for the offspring, leading to chronic diseases. Developmental-stage specific exposures and windows of susceptibility are critically important since the effects of any given exposure are determined largely by the time in the developmental and maturational process when exposure occurs. Therefore, it is important to gain a better understanding of developmental toxicology: the effect of in utero exposures that may cause permanent functional changes that result in increased susceptibility to disease/dysfunction later in the life span. There is evidence that some environmental agents, especially those with endocrine agonist or antagonist activity, may alter developmental programming via alteration in gene expression or gene imprinting resulting in functional deficits that become apparent later in life. It is essential to translate research findings and knowledge into information, resources, and/or tools used by public health and medical professionals, and by the public to improve overall health and well-being. This can be accomplished by launching a globally strategic series of networks to enhance collaborations and communications between and amongst environmental health investigators, integrating investigator-initiated research, establishing and maintaining partnerships, and developing community-based primary-care and health services for vulnerable populations. The objective is fundamental: to translate the basic discoveries that prevents disease and improves health..


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  • Received: 09 May 2012
  • Accepted: 09 May 2012
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