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EPA Statement on Children's Health

November 9, 2004

EPA Statement on Children's Health Environmental
Exposure Risk Study

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News for release: (Washington, D.C. - November 9, 2004 )

EPA Statement on Children's Health Environmental Exposure Risk Study

Contact: Cynthia Bergman 202-564-9828 /

(Washington, D.C. - November 9, 2004) Because protecting the health
and well-being of children is of paramount importance, EPA has decided
to send the Children's Health Environmental Exposure Risk Study (CHEERS)
for another external, independent review by an expert panel made up of
members of the Science Advisory Board, the Science Advisory Panel, and
the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. It is anticipated
that this review will be completed and that a report will be forwarded
to the Administrator in the spring of 2005. Based on this review, the
Agency will reassess the study.

EPA scientists need to fully understand how children are exposed to
pesticides and through what media (air, water, soil, etc.) EPA is
particularly concerned about childhood exposure, because children may be
more vulnerable than adults to the effects of environmental contaminants
due to their smaller body sizes and rapid physical development. There
is insufficient research to define pathways of exposure - - the routes
by which pesticides may enter a child's body. Possible pathways that
could be investigated are ingestion (food and drink), inhalation,
residue from crops, soil and ingestion of household dust.

CHEERS was designed to fill these critical data gaps in our
understanding of children's exposure to pesticides and chemicals in
household environments, ultimately leading to actions that would lower
children's exposures to pesticides. The study design was externally
reviewed for scientific merit and ethical protections by four
Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) for the Protection of Human Subjects.
The IRBs and the dates they approved the study are: Battelle Memorial
Institute (August, 2004), University of North Carolina (September 2004),
Duval County (Florida) Health Department (October 2004) and University
of Florida (May 2004).

As a federal agency, EPA wants all research to be transparent to the
public and to be responsive to public feedback. Citizens are key
stakeholders in our work. EPA makes information on current and
completed research activities available to the public through various
means, including the on-line Science Inventory at: