Issue Date: May 26, 2008
EPA Issues Guidance For Human Studies
EPA last week issued new guidelines for its scientists to follow when conducting studies that measure people's exposure to chemicals during typical daily activities. The agency uses data garnered from these studies—such as when, where, why, and how people are exposed to pollutants—in its regulatory programs. The guidelines provide information on scientific and ethical issues that must be addressed in this kind of study, along with the regulatory requirements for federal research involving human subjects. Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group says his group applauds EPA for compiling the guidelines. But, he says, they fail to specify when observational studies are suitable, such as checking for health effects due to air pollution, versus situations, such as heavy use of pesticides in a home with small children, where intervention is appropriate. The guidelines are available at www.epa.gov/nerl/sots/.
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