A Decade of Children’s Environmental Health Research: Highlights from EPAs Science to Achieve Results Program
Grantee Research Project Results
EPA's "A Decade of Children’s Health Research" summarizes important research findings found from $127 million invested in research grants on children’s environmental health in response to an executive order issued in 1997. This order required federal agencies to place a high priority on assessing risks to children. EPA, through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, issued more than 60 research grants in response to this order. These grants have funded more than 100 research projects, which in turn, produced more than 1000 scientific journal articles.
These 10 years of STAR research studies have shed light on how environmental exposures change from newborn to school-age children and on some of the genetic factors that contribute to children’s vulnerability. This research has also provided insight on how to assess children’s exposures, what biological markers tell us about exposure or effects, and what steps need to be taken to prevent harmful exposures.
Some of the major findings of this research include:
- People metabolize pesticides differently based on their genotype; some faster, others slower. This finding is of particular concern during pregnancy, as many babies do not develop the ability to metabolize some pesticides during the first two years of life, putting them at greater risks of health effects.
- Children living close to major roadways in Southern California have a higher risk of asthma.
- EPA’s ban on two household pesticides (diazinon and chlorpyrifos) resulted in a rapid decrease in exposures in New York City. Children born after the ban were also healthier.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can be effectively implemented in urban areas to reduce both pesticide and allergen triggers.
- Community partners play a critical role in informing, implementing, and translating children’s environmental health research.
For more information on EPA STAR children's environmental health research see: Children's Environmental Health Research Centers