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How polluted is a preschooler's world?

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1:16pm, October 30, 2001

From Minneapolis, at the Second International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water.

Preschoolers ingest traces of atrazine, a herbicide used widely on corn, soybeans, and other major row crops, a new federal study finds. Though concentrations measured in the tots' drinking water were tiny, this preliminary phase of the analysis identified just one of several potential routes by which small children could be exposed to this and other toxic agents.

Simply because they're little, young children have a larger surface area per unit volume than do adults. They also have a tendency to put many nonfood items in their mouths and to eat a less varied diet than their parents do. For such reasons, toxicologists have worried that children might incur higher exposures to certain toxic chemicals than adults do. To begin evaluating this quantitatively, the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 directed the Environmental Protection Agency

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