Student Researcher: Melinda Xiong
Faculty Instructor: Julie Andrzejewski,
St. Cloud State University
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delaying two studies exposing infants and schoolchildren to pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. The studies have been cancelled until further notice based on ethical and perception concerns such as “ensuring the greatest confidence in the approaches used.” The experiments involve infants under three and school-aged children in the Las Vegas. These experiments are similar to research done in 2004 (called CHEERS) in the Florida area where parents were paid to spray pesticides in the rooms of their infant children. The EPA formally legalized human subject experimentation in February 2007 and made new efforts in their Agency Guidance Document to calm the public about using humans as subjects for chemical exposure. The Scientific and Ethical Approaches for Observational Exposure Studies (SAEOES) does not provided any guidance on ethical quandaries such as vulnerable populations, payments to participants and interest by scientists. The document does not have any rules to protect children used as experimental subjects. These EPA experiments legitimize more frequent human subject experiments by industry and corporate consultants. Corporate sponsored experiments are usually designed to justify higher human exposures to pesticides or other toxic chemical particularly for children while serving no discernible public health purposes.
“EPA Delays Experiments Exposing Children to Chemicals” Bill Boteler, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), 22 September 2008 http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2008/09/22