268389 Addressing children's environmental health in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's risk assessments and regulations

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Matthew Davis, MPH , Office of Children's Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Rebecca Dzubow, MPH, MEM , Office of Children's Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Suril Mehta, MPH , Office of Children's Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agenct, Washington, DC
Brenda Foos, MEM , Office of Children's Health Protection, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Children are more susceptible than adults to many environmental contaminants, especially during the early lifestages of infancy and toddlerhood, because of differences in physiology, higher breathing rates and food and water consumption per body weight, and rapid development of the brain and bodily systems. Children's activities and behaviors also may increase their chances for exposure to various pollutants compared to adults. Where the science on these differences is sufficient, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published regulatory and science policies to account for children's unique differences and adequately protect these vulnerable lifestages in the process of developing environmental public health regulations. The Guide to Considering Children's Health When Developing EPA Actions: Implementing Executive Order 13045 and EPA's Policy on Evaluating Health Risks to Children provides an overarching framework on these regulatory policies, while other documents focus on specific science policy topics (e.g. Exposure Factors Handbook 2011 Edition and A Framework for Assessing Health Risk of Environmental Exposures to Children). To determine the influence of children's environmental health data and policies on regulations and risk assessments, we reviewed EPA regulatory actions, proposed or final, during the period 2010–present, including those in EPA's Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker and the Agency's Regulatory Agenda. We identified those that have particular relevance for children's environmental health, including the Regulatory Determination for Perchlorate in Drinking Water, Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, Lead Dust Hazard Standards, and Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Toxicological Reviews for Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde. For each regulatory action or risk assessment, we present the statutory authority, children's health data, relevant policies, and potential impact on the outcome of these actions. Overall, the policies accounting for children's differential exposures and susceptibility have affected these EPA regulations and assessments, but additional data and effort are needed to fully address children's health.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Assess the impact of children’s environmental health science and policies on EPA rulemaking and risk assessments. Analyze various EPA policy approaches to risk assessment that account for children’s unique exposures and susceptibilities.

Keywords: Children's Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection, I review regulations and risk assessments and work with relevant regulatory program staff to ensure that regulatory actions adequately address children's health. I am required to stay up to date on current research related to children's environmental health and science policies and guidance at EPA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.