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article imageEPA to end scientific research on children's health risks

By Karen Graham     May 22, 2019 in Politics
Long-running research projects credited with pivotal discoveries about the harm that pesticides, air pollution, and other hazards pose to children will be shut down because the Environmental Protection Agency won't commit to continued funding.
Despite the EPA's repeatedly expressing public support for children's health issues, the agency is ending funding for a number of research centers focused on environmental health threats to children, affecting many long-running studies of pollutants’ effects on child development, reports the Associated Press.
The projects being targeted make up the more than $300 million federally funded program that over the past two decades has exposed dangers to fetuses and children. The findings have led to increased pressure on the EPA to initiate tighter regulations.
There are 13 Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers located at institutions across the country, from the University of California, Los Angeles, to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire being targeted by the funding cuts.
Children's health groups and environmentalists are accusing the EPA of trying to downplay scientific studies, attempting to stay in line with the Trump administration's view of doing away with so many regulations and promoting business, according to Science Magazine.
"A lot of the centers, including mine, have identified a lot of chemicals that are associated with diseases in children," said Catherine Metayer, an epidemiologist who directs research into children's leukemia at University of California at Berkeley through the federal program.
The EPA awarded a much smaller than average amount for research grants this year, asking Congress to cut funding for it from its budget, refusing to commit to any future funding.
"The EPA anticipates future funding opportunities that support EPA's high priority research topics, including children's health research," spokesman James Hewitt said while declining to answer questions on the future for the national research projects.
On Tuesday, a banner across the Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN) home page for overall children's research declared "EPA will no longer fund children's health research."
More about Epa, Research, children's heath, downplaying science, Funding cut
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