Vol. 11, No. 3, 2005 Page 8


"The federal government has proposed a national children's health study to sort out these issues [regarding the toxic effects of chemicals] over a period of 21 years.

That's too long to wait, Betty Mekdeci [executive director of Birth Defect Research for Children] said.

'Nationally, we're looking at off-the-chart stuff: a 1,700 percent increase in children being served for autism between 1992 and 2002; 450,000 children born every year with structural birth defects.' Schools are in a dither about students not being able to pass the FCAT, she said, 'but no one is looking at the fact that these kids are coming into the world with severe impairments that are making it tough for teachers to handle, tough for them to learn.

'For the U.S. Department of Education, these things are like a train coming down the track. One problem is, nobody wants to count it up and see what's coming.'"

"Birth defects puzzle officials," Jan Hollingsworth, Tampa Bay Online, May 16, 2005

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