Diane Hostetler | Tom Kerns | Brian Saunders

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Question to be Discussed Wednesday through Saturday



We have been considering the ethics of human subjects pesticide toxicity studies.

Please read about these two currently ongoing human subjects toxicity studies which look at the effects of pesticide exposure in humans. These studies are going on right now. One is studying the effects of agricultural pesticide exposure on young children, and one is looking at the health effects of indoor urban pesticide exposure on pregnant mothers, as well as on fetal growth and the development of these women’s babies.

Both of these studies are published in the current January 2003 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. This monthly journal is published by the National Institute of Enviironmental Health Sciences, one of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

You can view a short, half-page summary of each of these studies. The first summary is titled “Positioning Through Play Clothes” and can be seen here

The second summary is titled “Prevalent Risk to Pregnant Women” and can be seen here

Both studies, of course, required informed consent of the human subjects.

The Question for you to consider:

Do you consider the ethics of these two studies to be materially different than the ethics of the proposed human toxicity studies (by the pesticide manufacturers) we discussed last week.

If so why?

If not why not?


note: If anyone is interested in reading the full articles describing these studies, here they are.


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© Diane Hostetler, Tom Kerns, Brian Saunders