An exploration of ethical issues in research in children's health and the environment

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The consideration of ethical issues relating to pediatric environmental health is a recent phenomenon. Discussions of biomedical ethics, research on children, and environmental health research have a longer history. In the late 1990s, researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, undertook a study to compare the effectiveness of several methods of reducing lead risk in housing. In a preliminary finding in the case of Grimes v. Kennedy Krieger Institute, Inc., a Maryland court questioned the ethics of performing research on children when there is no prospect of direct benefit to those children and whether parents can consent to such research. This case dramatically raised the profile of ethical issues among the pediatric environmental health research community. To broaden the discussion of these issues and in response to the Kennedy-Krieger case, the Children's Environmental Health Network held a working meeting on 5 and 6 March 2004 to explore this topic. The articles in this mini-monograph were prepared by the authors as a result of the workshop and represent their opinions. This article is an introduction to the workshop and a summary of the articles to follow.




Paulson, J. A. (2006). An exploration of ethical issues in research in children’s health and the environment. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(10), 1603–1608.

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