NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The U.S. is not doing enough to protect kids from exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals, pediatricians said in a new statement released today.
The policy paper from the American Academy of Pediatrics explains that a law meant to inform the public about the risks of different chemicals, and to give the government the right to intervene to keep dangerous chemicals off the market, has largely failed to achieve those goals.
And, writes Dr. Jerome Paulson, part of the AAP’s Council on Environmental Health, the consequences of that may hit kids the hardest, and in unpredictable ways.
“Children are not little adults,” Paulson, of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., told Reuters Health. “Their bodies are different and their behaviors are different. That means that their exposures to chemicals in the environment are different, and the way their bodies (break down) those chemicals are different.”
Kids may be especially vulnerable to chemicals during important periods in development, when their brains and bodies are changing quickly, Paulson added.