Study of chemical impacts on kids raises questions

A study of pesticide and chemical exposures in children being conducted by government researchers is raising some disturbing — and by that we mean “outright creepy” — questions. For one thing, $2 million in funding will come from the American Chemistry Council, an industry group with, one might imagine, a vested interest in the results. While the ACC and the U.S. EPA both claim that the source of funding will have no effect on the study, enviros are skeptical of the whole deal. Also troublesome is the fact that children who participate in the two-year study must live in homes likely to be heavily polluted with pesticides (Hispanic migratory farm workers, perhaps?) and their parents must agree to have the home periodically sprayed with pesticides, for which they receive the princely sum of up to $970. So, what are they calling this exercise wherein the chemical industry pays to have poor kids up to three years of age exposed to chemicals and studied? The Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study, or CHEERS.