Strategy for Research on Environmental Risks to Children
EPA is committed to promoting a safe and healthy environment for children by ensuring that all EPA regulations, standards, policies, and risk assessments consider special childhood vulnerabilities to environmental pollutants. Environmental health threats to children are often difficult to recognize and assess because of limited understanding of when and why children's exposures and responses are different from those of adults. ORD has prepared the Strategy for Research on Environmental Risks to Children to strengthen the scientific foundation of the EPA risk assessments and risk management decisions that affect children.
ORD strategies provide a framework of research needs and priorities to guide its programs over the next five to ten years. They form the basis for more detailed research plans, which in turn link to individual ORD laboratory implementation plans. The Strategy for Research on Environmental Risks to Children includes a stable, long-term, core program of research in hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk management, as well as problem-oriented research that addresses current critical needs identified by EPA Program Offices and Regions.
The strategy describes the current ORD research program for children's health and its relation to research in other Federal agencies, descriptions of which were obtained from publicly-available sources. It outlines research program directions aimed at development of data to reduce uncertainties in risk assessment, risk assessment methods and models, new approaches to data collection, and risk prevention and reduction methods. The strategy encompasses research performed by EPA in-house scientists and research supported through ORD's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program.
A team of scientists from the ORD national laboratories and centers; the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances; the Office of Water; and the Office of Children's Health Protection developed the strategy. The internal review was conducted by the Associate Directors for Health of ORD's three national laboratories and the National Center for Environmental Assessment. The external peer review was conducted by a group of experts that convened at a work shop in Washington, DC, on November 9 and 10, 1999. The strategy reflects the comments of the internal and external reviewers and the EPA Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee.
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