CHAPTER ONE: CONDUCTING HEALTH ASSESSMENTS AND CONSULTATIONS
Communities around Superfund sites often express concerns about
childhood cancers and birth defects. Current guidance concerning toxicological
evaluation of exposures to environmental toxicants is primarily focused on
how to evaluate adult exposures to environmental toxicants. ATSDR convened
a workshop in FY 1999 to develop a plan for providing more guidance on
On August 45, 1999, the Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
and the ATSDR Office of Children's Health sponsored a Workshop on
Children's Health Issues. The workshop examined how ATSDR's public health
assessment activities evaluate children's exposure to environmental toxicants.
Participation and input were solicited from child health advocates; health
organizations; tribes; and local, state, and federal governments. ATSDR is
developing a plan based on the following recommendations made in the
ATSDR should consider the age and stages of human development
(i.e., fetus, infant, toddler, child, and adolescent), cultural and
socioeconomic factors, and geographic location of children when
evaluating potential childhood exposures to hazardous substances.
ATSDR should sponsor a definitive childhood soil ingestion study
that considers the various activities and behaviors, including pica, of
infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents.
Health assessors should receive training and guidance on the use,
collection, and limitations of birth defects and cancer registry data
and information. Health assessors should also be provided with
current information about the susceptibility of the fetus and children
during various stages of development.
Health assessors should be provided information about organ system
stages of development (fetal, infant, toddler, child, and adolescent)
and how that could affect susceptibility.