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Transcript: “Kids and Chemicals” for EPA Children’s Center website NOW with Bill Moyers Segment 2

Clip from “Kids and Chemicals” for EPA Children’s Center website
NOW with Bill Moyers Segment 2
Broadcast on PBS – May 10, 2002


DR. PHILIP LANDRIGAN:
Cancer, after injuries, is the leading killer of children in the United States. Developmental disabilities are common. They affect anywhere from five to ten percent of all children. Things like attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, autism.

Do you think these changes in the patterns of illness have anything to do with the food we eat the air we breathe, the water we drink?

We know that chemicals in the environment are responsible for some of these effects. We know, for example, that some cases of development disability in children are caused by exposures to lead, to pesticides, to mercury, to PCBs. We suspect that children who are exposed to pesticides are at greater risk of childhood cancer than other children. But mostly we don't know.


MOYERS: 
Exposure alone doesn’t mean a child will get sick, does it?

LANDRIGAN:
Exposure alone is just exposure. What matters is how intense is the exposure and when it occurs in the course of a child's development.

The amount and the timing?

That's right. If the child's exposure occurs at a critical window in early development, even a relatively small exposure can have devastating long-term consequences.


©Public Broadcasting System 2002

 

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