Despite repeatedly expressing public support for children’s health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ending funding for a network of research centers focused on environmental threats to kids, imperiling several long-running studies of pollutants’ effects on child development.
The move, critics say, is part of a broader effort by President Donald Trump’s administration to downplay science that could lead to stricter regulations on polluting industries.
At issue are 13 Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers located at institutions across the country, from the University of California, Los Angeles, to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Jointly funded by EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) for more than two decades, the children’s centers study everything from childhood leukemia to the development of autism spectrum disorders. Grants to those centers have long been considered unique in the public health world for including funding for both research and public outreach.