WASHINGTON--A leading House Democrat has urged his colleagues to
approve the funds necessary to make a proposed National Environmental
Childhood Cancer Registry a reality.
"I am very excited about this idea because the nation does not
have a childhood cancer registry to quantify and evaluate
child-specific risks of cancer," Rep. Vic Fazio (D-Calif) told a
congressional briefing sponsored by the National Coalition for Cancer Research.
He noted that researchers have long studied environmental, chemical,
physical, and biological agents for their possible role in childhood
cancers. "However, these studies are limited by inadequate
exposure data and sample sizes that just dont pass scientific
muster," the congressman said. "More data are needed, and a
national registry for childrens cancer could be the most
effective way to explore the potential causes of this disease in children."
The registry would be operated by the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry, part of the Department of Health and Human
Services, in cooperation with HHS, the Environmental Protection
Agency, state agencies, and community organizations. A House
appropriations subcommittee is currently considering a budget request
for $350,000 to implement the plan.
"This seems like a very small price tag for something that could
have a major impact on how we understand, ultimately prevent, and
treat childhood cancer in the future," Rep. Fazio said.