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March 19, 1997

New Focus on Children's Environmental Health

JAMA. 1997;277(11):871-872. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350021008

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A "NEW AGE of environmental protection" is coming, says Carol Browner, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The immediate impetus is being directed at children, but in the long run it will affect everyone.

Browner was a speaker at the First National Research Conference on Children's Environmental Health, held late last month in Washington, DC.

Among the signs heralding this new age are the following:

• The passing of the Food Quality Protection Act last year;

• The establishment by the EPA of a new center for children's health;

• A series of new research initiatives by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) aimed at providing the basis for effective regulation; and

• A new approach to toxicologic testing that looks at effects of multiple agents rather than at single agents.

'Put the Children First'  Children are the focal point of environmental protection. "By putting our children