As chemicals increasingly permeate our environment, there is a need to consider the special vulnerability of the fetus and child. As a first step, a meeting was held on this subject at Browns Lake, Wisconsin, June 11-13, 1973, under the sponsorship of the Committee on Environmental Hazards of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Fresh thinking was sought by bringing together scientists, who know about environmental effects but not about child health, and pediatricians, who know about child health but have not given much thought to environmental effects. The proceedings recorded here reveal that each learned from the other, and there was indeed fresh thinking.
The many observations described at the meeting can be used by the American Academy of Pediatrics, various health agencies, individual investigators and practitioners as springboards for research or civic action. In this regard the Conference uncovered a serious problem. No federal health agency has the responsibility for research into the special exposures and susceptibility of the fetus and child. Several remedies were suggested and there was repeated reference to the important role for pediatricians, obstetricians, and others who care for the fetus or child in reporting suspected new environmental effects.
The format of the Conference encouraged equal participation by the pediatricians and the environmentalists (perhaps more appropriately designated as etiologists to include genetic considerations). Keynote addresses represented each group and seven comprehensive papers were given by speakers well informed about environmental effects.
- Copyright © 1974 by the American Academy of Pediatrics