[News] EPA will use poor kids as Guinea Pigs

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 16 19:49:56 EST 2004


Study Launch Date Suspended Until Early 2005
Offers Public Comment Period
Note: This alert now contains a new 
<http://www.organicconsumers.org/#faq>Question & Answer section that will 
be regularly added to as this issue progresses

11/16/2004: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by Bush 
appointees, is seeking input on a new proposed study in which infants in 
participating low income families will be monitored for health impacts as 
they undergo exposure to known toxic chemicals over the course of two 
years. The study entitled Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study 
(CHEERS) 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 $2.1 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, including some EPA scientists, 
<http://www.organicconsumers.org/#acc2>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.

For 30 years the ACC has known the high level of toxicity of the specific 
chemicals being "studied" in this project. These are some of the most 
dangerous known chemicals in household products. The ACC knows full well 
the intensely negative impacts that these chemicals have on humans, as does 
the EPA. This is fully documented in study after study and memo after memo 
and meeting after meeting over three decades (see side bar and footnotes 
for reference and further research).

The trick here is that these products are known to have negative long term 
health effects. This is a short two year study. The results are already 
known...there will be little to no obvious negative effects on these 
children at the end of the two year period. The seemingly positive results 
of the study will allow the ACC to advertise positive "EPA study results" 
to the public, which will allow the ACC to more effectively lobby congress 
to weaken regulations on these products even more (thereby increasing 
profits dramatically). This technique has been exercised by the ACC for 

The real negative effects of these types of chemicals come further down the 
road, when these children could exhibit learning disorders, a propensity 
for various types of cancer, early puberty, and birth defects in their 

P<http://www.organicconsumers.org/#poor>articipants 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.

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.

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