Issue Date: April 29, 2011
Policy: Pediatricians Join Push For Reform Of Law Governing Chemical Production
Children’s doctors are adding their voices to calls for Congress to overhaul the federal law that governs the manufacture of commercial chemicals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says U.S. policy on managing chemicals needs substantial revision to better protect children and pregnant women. “Difference in biological susceptibility and exposures in children versus adults supports the need for strong consideration of children in chemicals policies,” AAP says in a detailed statement published on April 25 (Pediatrics, DOI:10.1542/peds.2011-0523).
AAP joins three other national medical groups—the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association—that are calling for reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.
Specifically, AAP calls for “postmarketing surveillance” to look for adverse health effects from a compound after it is commercialized. This proposal would require manufacturers to conduct biomonitoring studies to check for the presence of newly marketed chemicals in people’s bodies.
In addition, AAP wants precaution, and not just risk, to be a basis for regulating chemicals. Limits or bans of substances “should be based on reasonable levels of concern and not depend on demonstrated negative health effects after release,” the group says.
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