EPA WILL USE POOR KIDS AS GUINEA PIGS
IN NEW STUDY ON PESTICIDES
Study Launch Date Suspended Until Early 2005
Offers Public Comment Period
Sign Petition to Stop Pesticide Study on Kids!
11/12/2004: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by Bush appointees, plans to launch a new study in which participating low income families will have their children exposed to toxic pesticides over the course of two years. The study entitled CHEERS (Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study) will look at how chemicals can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by children ranging from babies to 3 years old.
For taking part in these studies, each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation.
In October, the EPA received $2 million to do the study from the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry front group that includes members such as Dow, Exxon, and Monsanto (see full list of members on sidebar of this page). Critics of the research claim the study's funders guarantee the results will be biased in favor of the chemical industry, at the expense of the health of the impoverished children serving as test subjects.
Participants for the study were chosen from 6 health clinics and three hospitals in Jacksonville, FL. These medical facilities report that 51% of their births are to non-white mothers and 62% of mothers have only received an elementary or secondary education.
The EPA's Linda Sheldon says the study is vital, because so little is known about how small children's bodies absorb harmful chemicals.
Important Note on Participants of Study: The study layout does not require that participants increase their chemical use, but does mandate that chosen applicants will need to demonstrate that they do regularly use toxic chemicals in and around the home. The concern here is that low income applicants may increase their toxic chemical use for the sake of applying and being eligible for the funding.
Important Note on Suspension of the Study: On November 11th, the EPA announced suspension of the study's launch until early 2005 for the sake of "final review." The Organic Consumers Association is taking this opportunity to call on the nation's citizens to demand the EPA permanently terminate this abuse of low income children by the chemical industry.