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Chemical Exposures


Kids playing in sandbox

The purpose of the Chemical Exposures Subcommittee is to understand and predict disease and disabilities from changing chemical exposures to children across their life stages. This subcommittee facilitates interagency coordination around priority chemical exposure issues, and is a vehicle for coordinating research activities and educating the public.

The goals of this subcommittee include:
  • Coordinating the generation and dissemination of information on existing chemical exposures for decision makers
  • Coordinating among federal agencies to enhance communication related to chemical exposures raised by Congress, the White House, the public, and other stakeholders
  • Coordinating the development of methods and models to enhance exposure assessment relevant to regulatory goals (e.g., product safety) through environmental monitoring, observational exposures studies, and biomonitoring
  • Promoting programs that encourage sustainable chemicals management, voluntary programs that promote the use of products containing low-toxicity/non-toxic chemicals, and integrated pest management programs that help promote the safe use of chemicals in settings where children are present
  • Leading discussions on:
    • Agency priority issues related to children’s chemical exposures
    • Findings of the chemical analyses of children's biological samples in the Children's Health Exposure Analysis Resource: National Exposure Assessment Laboratory Network
    • Cross-agency data sources available on product formulations
    • Advances in chemical safety testing approaches to understand the range of risks of environmental chemical exposures to the developing human fetus, infants, and children
    • Updates concerning ongoing research activities on bisphenol A and other endocrine disruptors
    • Potential health effects in children exposed developmentally to phthalates


Cross-Agency Biospecimen Resources Identification Activity

The Subcommittee identified a list of federal agency biospecimen resources that could provide for potential additional measurements of children's chemical exposures. Although the list was for internal government use, the realization that there was no central record of government-supported biobanks helped to lead to the creation of the Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR). The goal of CHEAR is to provide tools so researchers can assess the full range of environmental exposures that may affect children's health.


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