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EPA to Require Tests on Pesticides to Determine Risk to Humans and Animals

The Environmental Protection Agency for the first time will require pesticide manufacturers to test 67 chemicals contained in their products to determine whether they disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates animals' and humans' growth, metabolism and reproduction, the agency said yesterday.

Researchers have raised concerns that chemicals released into the environment interfere with animals' hormone systems, citing problems such as male fish in the Potomac River that are bearing eggs. Known as endocrine disruptors, the chemicals may affect the hormones that humans and animals produce or secrete.

"Endocrine disruptors can cause lifelong health problems, especially for children," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a statement. "Gathering this information will help us work with communities and industry to protect Americans from harmful exposure."

Testing will begin this summer and will focus on whether these chemicals affect estrogen, androgen and thyroid systems. The tests eventually will encompass all pesticide chemicals. 

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