Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health

Sly, Peter D., Eskenazi, Brenda, Pronczuk, Jenny, Sram, Radim, Diaz-Barriga, Fernando, Machin, Diego G., Carpenter, David O., Surdu, Simona and Meslin, Eric M. (2009) Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117 8: 1185-1190. doi:10.1289/ehp.0800480

Author Sly, Peter D.
Eskenazi, Brenda
Pronczuk, Jenny
Sram, Radim
Diaz-Barriga, Fernando
Machin, Diego G.
Carpenter, David O.
Surdu, Simona
Meslin, Eric M.
Title Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health
Journal name Environmental Health Perspectives   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-6765
Publication date 2009-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1289/ehp.0800480
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 117
Issue 8
Start page 1185
End page 1190
Total pages 6
Place of publication Research Triangle Park, NC, United States
Publisher U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Language eng
Abstract Background: Studying the impact of environmental exposures is important in children because they are more vulnerable to adverse effects on growth, development, and health. Assessing exposure in children is difficult, and measuring biomarkers is potentially useful. Research measuring biomarkers in children raises a number of ethical issues, some of which relate to children as research subjects and some of which are specific to biomarker research. Objective: As an international group with experience in pediatric research, biomarkers, and the ethics of research in children, we highlight the ethical issues of undertaking biomarker research in children in these environments. Discussion: Significant issues include undertaking research in vulnerable communities, especially in developing countries; managing community expectations; obtaining appropriate consent to conduct the research; the potential conflicts of obtaining permission from an ethics review board in an economically developed country to perform research in a community that may have different cultural values; returning research results to participants and communities when the researchers are uncertain of how to interpret the results; and the conflicting ethical obligations of maintaining participant confidentiality when information about harm or illegal activities mandate reporting to authorities. Conclusion: None of these challenges are insurmountable and all deserve discussion. Pediatric biomarker research is necessary for advancing child health.
Keyword biobanks
environmental exposure
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences -- Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 11:49:26 EST