Children's Health Risks from Chemical Exposures

In July 2000, the MDH completed a comparative risk analysis of children's exposures to pesticides, metals, volatile organic chemicals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This analysis was conducted to provide legislators and other decision-makers with information necessary to set priorities and establish policy to reduce children's exposures to harmful chemicals.

Comparative Risk Project

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) conducted an analysis of children's health risks from chemical exposures, using data from the Minnesota Children's Pesticide Exposure Study and standard methods for exposure estimation and risk assessment. This analysis included measurements of pesticides, volatile organic chemicals, metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

The goal of this analysis was to better understand children's health risks from chemical exposures, and to provide decision-makers with information to evaluate priorities and policies for reducing children's exposures to harmful chemicals. Specific objectives of this project were to: (1) evaluate children's individual and cumulative health risks from exposures to multiple chemicals; and (2) to compare health risks for the chemicals posing the highest risk(s).

The results of this analysis are summarized in a report that has been provided to the Minnesota Legislature (see below). Caution should be used in interpreting and extrapolating from the results of this analysis. Risk estimates are based on a small sample of Minnesota children and measurements in the study were collected over 4-6 days. In addition, households that reported frequent pesticide use were oversampled in the study. Therefore, the hazards and risks described in the report may either overestimate or underestimate children's health risks from chemical exposures.

For a description of the methods and results of this analysis, see the report Comparative Risks of Multiple Chemical Exposures (PDF: 149KB/45 pages) (July 2000), and the Abstract presented at the 1999 Society for Risk Analysis Meeting.


Updated Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 09:20AM