05 May 2004 00:27 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) urged the US Congress Tuesday to increase funding for a national study on how chemicals and the environment impact children’s health.
The 25-year project, called the National Children’s Study, plans to enlist 100 000 children to participate from birth through their late teens or early 20s in a multi-agency effort to identify the root causes of lead poisoning, asthma, cancer, and development problems in children.
The project is co-ordinated by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
While the project is expected to cost $2.7bn (Euro2.25bn) over its 25-year life, the Bush administration has requested only $12m in its 2005 budget. Originally authorised by Congress in 2000, the 2005 request matches funding allocated for the study’s planning stages.
Lee Salamone, director of the ACC’s public health team, said today the industry group is concerned about 2005 funding, which could hamper efforts to open the first research locations.
"I’m very concerned," Salamone said. "We at ACC have been in touch with members of the appropriations committees, we wrote to President Bush last year, and we helped organise a congressional briefing last week."
The ACC supports the study, Salamone said, and sees it as an opportunity to get "good research" on the health effects of chemicals, which the industry group has argued are not the primary causes for major diseases.
"The size of the study would give us the opportunity to look at a lot of data points," she said.
Philip Landrigan, who sits on the National Children’s Study advisory panel, told CNI today that co-ordinators of the study estimate they need $27m-50m next year to move the study from planning to field operations.
Landrigan, chairman of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said new money would go toward preliminary studies and setting up data co-ordination and specimen depository centres.
As Congress continues work on 2005 appropriations, Landrigan and Salamone said the study’s co-ordinating agencies have not yet identified a member of Congress to champion the study on Capitol Hill, though support for the study exists.
"We’re optimistic, but we know this is a tough time," Landrigan said. "However, we know this is bipartisan, and that is critical."
Members of Arlington, Virginia-based ACC account for some 90% of US basic industrial chemicals manufacturing capacity.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|