22 November 2004 00:01 [Source: ICB Americas]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to delay a study into how children’s bodies absorb pesticides and other chemicals because of concerns raised by government scientists and activist organizations.
The EPA says it will ask an outside panel of scientists to review its planned two-year study involving the families of 60 children in Duval County, Fla., and report back by the spring of 2005. Based on the review, the agency may refine the design of the study.
“EPA scientists need to fully understand how children are exposed to pesticides and through what media,” the agency says in a statement. “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.”
The agency says 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 through food and drink, inhalation, residue from crops and soil, and ingestion of household dust.
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