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USEPA Research Activities to Characterize Children's Environmental Exposures

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Abstract: Given the vulnerability of children to effects from environmental exposures, understanding links between children's health and environmental exposures is critical. In recent years, significant research has been initiated at USEPA to characterize children's exposures.

In 1996, Congress enacted two statutes requiring USEPA consider children when setting standards: the Food Quality Protection Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. Subsequently, USEPA expanded research in this area through 1998 and 2000 initiatives on children's environmental health. In 2000, USEPA published its Strategy for Research on Environmental Risks to Children. To address important gaps identified in the strategy, USEPA conducts a variety of research on children's exposure.

Efforts include development of models, methods, and data to assess ways that children are exposed to environmental stressors. Field studies are being conducted to measure children's exposures in their homes and daycares. CTEPP, a study of 260 preschool-age children, has been completed and data are being analyzed to identify important exposure factors. A longitudinal study of 80-100 infants and toddlers has been designed to assess exposures to pesticides, phthalates, and BFRs.

USEPA sponsors additional research through STAR Grants. These projects focus on children's risks from exposures to air pollution, PCBs, ECDs, and pesticides. USEPA is also collaborating with the chemical industry to identify data needs for characterizing children's risks. Through VCCEP, 35 companies volunteered to sponsor assessments for 20 chemicals measured in human tissues and the environment. Finally, USEPA is collaborating with other Federal agencies to plan and conduct a national study of environmental effects on children (NCS). Methods development studies are underway in support of NCS.

As a result of these initiatives, important data have been developed. However, significant gaps remain in our ability to estimate exposures. Important needs include tools for classifying children's behaviors and approaches for collecting and interpreting biomarkers.

This work has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication.
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Citation:Cohenhubal, E. A. USEPA Research Activities to Characterize Children's Environmental Exposures. Presented at International Society of Exposure Analysis, Stresa, Italy, September 21-25, 2003.
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Exposure Measurements & Analysis Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 09/22/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Human Exposure Measurements Children's Focus
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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