Liz Szabo
USA Today
April 24, 2011

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The U.S. needs to do a better job protecting children and pregnant women from toxic chemicals, says a policy statement out today from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The group says children’s developing brains and bodies are far more vulnerable than adults’ to toxins. And while pediatricians typically spend more time in the clinic than on Capitol Hill, the policy’s authors say they felt compelled to advocate for patients who can’t defend themselves.

“Kids don’t vote,” says pediatrician Jerome Paulson of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., lead author of the statement.

The pediatrics group is the latest of a growing number of medical organizations – including the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and American Public Health Association- to call for changes in the way that the government regulates dangerous chemicals.