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planet at least as healthful, beautiful, and diverse as the one we are given.
The second comment is somewhat more negative, which is that I believe that many environmental policy questions pivot around children. And yet children are inadequately valued in the decision process about environmental hazards.
And that number three, prevention strategies, which pediatricians are well-versed in in the area of immunization or safety issues, are slow to be incorporated into medicine. But I think we are making some real progress, and I want to talk a little bit about
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On the first issue of providing future generations with a planet as healthful, beautiful, and diverse as the one we were given: I realize that is self-evident, and yet we Americans frequently trade off the quality of our environment for resource development and commercial expansion.
It is often thought that the protection of our environment is antipathetic to economic development, but it is not. A healthful, diverse, beautiful environment is an economic resource and major California industries, such as real estate, agriculture, and tourism, are closely linked to environmental quality.
On the second issue of environmental decisions revolving around children, and yet children being inadequately valued, I want to give a couple of examples.
The first is a chemical that we have all heard about on “60 Minutes.” It is called Daminozide, or Alar. It is a growth regulator, used on apples. It is a hydrazine compound, one of a class of chemicals well known to be carcinogens.
It was first licensed for use in 1963. And it is a systemic chemical-it gets into the stems, the fruit, the leaves; you cannot wash it off.
From 1963 on, research continued. National Cancer Institute, the Air Force, other agencies investigated this compound, and the family of compounds, and found it to be a carcinogen. In fact, the Air Force for years regulated UDMH, the breakdown product, as a carcinogen.
In 1986, the Academy of Pediatrics was so concerned about this that the President of the Academy wrote to the then head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lee Thomas, expressing the Academy of Pediatrics' concern about continued use of this product on apples, primarily because kids eat so much apple products: twenty-two times the amount an adult does on the weight basis.
And also because cancer exposures early in life bring about longer lifetime risks, larger lifetime risks.
EPA really failed to act in a health-protective manner. And I think there were a couple of reasons for this, one of which was that EPA had no public health, no child health input into a whole advisory process that they had set up on pesticides.
What they did was recommend that further studies be done. And so another four years elapsed while further studies were done on Daminozide. And in four years, the studies came in with a high rate of tumors on the test animals, mice and rats, that were exposed to UDMH, the breakdown product.
And so after four years, the EPA then got around to regulating and removing that chemical from apple products.
Basically, children were exposed to an additional four years of unnecessary carcinogen. We certainly had apples and apple juice long before Daminozide. And there was no reason the EPA had to wait that long. And in fact, they were responsible for the chaos in the marketplace that resulted in 1989, over the revelation of this chemical throughout the apple supply.
The second example of an environmental chemical, which I think presents unacceptable risks to children and to other consumers, is the pesticide Aldicarb. Aldicarb is used on many crops to control insects, and other crop-destroying pests. It is very effective. It is extremely toxic. It is systemic, and it lasts a long time.
When I say it is toxic, the LD-50 is about a milligram per kilo, which makes it about 1,000 times more toxic than malathion, the chemical that people were so concerned about in Southern California. It is an extremely toxic chemical.
Its first breakdown product is just about as toxic, and it is the chemical that resides in food and underground water supplies that are contaminated with Aldicarb.
You cannot wash it off. It is systemic; it stays in the food. And because it works so well, it has been the subject of misuse, chemical misuse.
In 1985, it was improperly used on watermelons, and more than 1,000 people were made ill in this state. Dr. Goldman and I participated in an investigation of this outbreak, and amongst other things, discovered that the chemical was even more toxic in the population than was predicted by the company's small studies using about a dozen of its own employees, and dosing them up with the chemicals.
And it is durable, as I said. It lasts a long time.
Chairman MILLER. Where do you get one of these jobs? [Laughter.]
Dr. JACKSON. I do not know if they could pay you enough.
Aldicarb has contaminated underground aquifers, particularly shallow, sandy areas, such as the potato-growing areas in Long Island, Wisconsin, and actually some of the bulb-growing areas in Northern California. It remains in the groundwater for long periods of time. They stopped using Aldicarb in Long Island more than 15 years ago, and they have still got it in their groundwater there.
It is extremely toxic. And the symptoms of illness-headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excess salivation, excess urinationyou can imagine trying to distinguish a baby, 18 months, with those symptoms from a baby with summertime flu. It is very hard to discriminate those symptoms from other causes of illness.
And because it is applied as a granular formulation, basically pumpers of the stuff, it looks like fertilizer that you are putting out, you have areas where you will get foci, or large amounts of it, and areas that will not get it. And if you were harvesting potatoes, you are going to have hot potatoes and cold potatoes from that harvest.
The EPA ordered the company to go out and sample these potatoes. They found that one of the potatoes had a level high enoughactually it was one-tenth of the LD-50. In other words, a child that sat down and ate one of these potatoes would be within ten-fold of the dose that would have killed half the test animal population.
The EPA said they were going to suspend the use on potatoes. The company said they would temporarily suspend it. And we are now in the process of battle over this. And I have attached to my testimony a letter that I wrote on behalf of the Academy of Pediatrics, basically urging that it not be used on a number of food products, particularly potatoes. It is also found in bananas and other food products.
The Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, under direction from you folks, the Congress, have instituted a study looking at pesticides in the diet of children. That is due for release next year, and I suspect it is going to have major ramifications on the use of these chemicals.
There are many other examples where children are at the pivot of environmental decision-making. I will not go through them. But there is some good news.
For example, if you take the ozone standard, the ambient ozone standard, the smog standard. Ozone causes bronchospasm, wheezing, asthma symptoms in children. And as a result of this research into children, when the California Air Resources Board dropped the allowable level, or the standard for ozone contamination to .09 parts per million, which is considerably less—it is about 30 percent less—than the EPA standard. And you know, obviously it means that Los Angeles is in violation of the air standard even more often. But it also is going to drive a lot of decisions about pollution, pollution control throughout the State, and ultimately around the nation.
I would be available to discuss many of these pesticide issues. It is something I have dealt with for a long time.
I have just a very brief third point, if I may, which is that we, as pediatricians, have been very concerned about prevention for a long time. We have worked hard, in terms of environmental tobacco smoke, getting information to parents, reducing smoking-efforts to reduce smoking amongst kids, reduce environmental hazards in terms of bicycle and auto trauma.
We have a project looking at workplace hazards in children, which, believe it or not, is a rather considerable issue. There are a lot of kids in the workplace around the country. And as Dr. Sandoval pointed out, when you do not have child care, and you are a farm worker, your kids go out to the field with you. And that is certainly an issue as well, in California.
And Dr. Goldman will be talking about lead hazards.
Thanks to both efforts by the Centers for Disease Control, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registries, there will be a two-day training, Kids and the Environment, for physicians, nurse-practitioners, for the next two days.
I mention this because, basically this is unprecedented. There is no such document like this, no compendium to inform physicians. I went through my entire training, and frankly, I was never even told to ask, when I interviewed a family, what the mother and father did for a living. I mean, that is how primitive the training was in terms of occupational and environmental health. And I think we have got to take steps to improve that.
sorts to reduetting informed hard, in eened
And one way to do it is to train the trainers. There are too many clinics and physicians out there to train everyone personally, but if we can train people to get information out, it is an important first step.
I will stop at that point, and welcome questions. And thank you for the opportunity to appear.
[Prepared statement of Richard J. Jackson, M.D., follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD J. JACKSON, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., CHIEF OF THE
HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT BRANCH OF THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, CHAIRMAN OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, SACRAMENTO, CA
Good Morning, I am Dr. Richard J. Jackson. I am a pediatrician with further training in epidemiology and preventive medicine. I have had extensive experience in environmental health, especially in the area of environmental toxicology including pesticides, and in epidemiology including reproductive hazards. I am Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Hazards and am Chief of the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Branch within the California Department of Health Services (CDHS).
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to speak to the Select Committee today and I wish to deliver three essential messages regarding children and the environment.
We adults are short term tenants on the planet: we need to be much more concerned about the world we will leave our children. We owe them a planet at least as healthful, beautiful and diverse as the one we were given.
Many environmental policy questions pivot around children, yet children are inadequately valued in most environmental decision processes.
Prevention strategies, while slow to be adopted within much of medicine, are intrinsic to pediatrics (for example immunization and safety issues). Concern about the environment, both present and future, is increasingly being recognized in pediatrics as a profound aspect of prevention.
On the first issue of providing future generations with a planet as healthful, beautiful and diverse as the one that we were given: this is self-evident, yet in our efforts to provide our children with a better world we Americans sometimes trade off the quality of our environment for resource development and commercial expansion. A much longer view of well-being and stewardship is needed. I understand the Iroquois Indians decided on the acceptability of a project depending on their estimate of its impact on the next seven generations.
It is often thought that protection of the environment is antipathetic to economic development - it is not. A healthful, diverse, and beautiful environment is an economic resource. Major California industries such as real estate, agriculture and tourism are closely linked to the environmental quality of the region. To an extent,