Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health

Peter D. Sly, Brenda Eskenazi, Jenny Pronczuk, Radim Šrám, Fernando Diaz-Barriga, Diego Gonzalez Machin, David O. Carpenter, Simona Surdu, Eric M. Meslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1190
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume117
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Environmental Health
Ethics
Biomarkers
Research
Pediatrics
Research Subjects
Research Ethics
Child Health
Confidentiality
Environmental Exposure
Growth and Development
Developed Countries
Developing Countries
Research Personnel
Health

Keywords

  • Biobanks
  • Biomarkers
  • Children
  • Environmental exposure
  • Genetics
  • Infants
  • Informed consent
  • Research ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Sly, P. D., Eskenazi, B., Pronczuk, J., Šrám, R., Diaz-Barriga, F., Machin, D. G., ... Meslin, E. M. (2009). Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117(8), 1185-1190. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0800480

Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health. / Sly, Peter D.; Eskenazi, Brenda; Pronczuk, Jenny; Šrám, Radim; Diaz-Barriga, Fernando; Machin, Diego Gonzalez; Carpenter, David O.; Surdu, Simona; Meslin, Eric M.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 117, No. 8, 2009, p. 1185-1190.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sly, PD, Eskenazi, B, Pronczuk, J, Šrám, R, Diaz-Barriga, F, Machin, DG, Carpenter, DO, Surdu, S & Meslin, EM 2009, 'Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 117, no. 8, pp. 1185-1190. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0800480
Sly PD, Eskenazi B, Pronczuk J, Šrám R, Diaz-Barriga F, Machin DG et al. Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2009;117(8):1185-1190. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0800480
Sly, Peter D. ; Eskenazi, Brenda ; Pronczuk, Jenny ; Šrám, Radim ; Diaz-Barriga, Fernando ; Machin, Diego Gonzalez ; Carpenter, David O. ; Surdu, Simona ; Meslin, Eric M. / Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2009 ; Vol. 117, No. 8. pp. 1185-1190.
@article{4338501c6f774bb3ab897b58b80554ac,
title = "Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health",
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.",
keywords = "Biobanks, Biomarkers, Children, Environmental exposure, Genetics, Infants, Informed consent, Research ethics",
author = "Sly, {Peter D.} and Brenda Eskenazi and Jenny Pronczuk and Radim Šr{\'a}m and Fernando Diaz-Barriga and Machin, {Diego Gonzalez} and Carpenter, {David O.} and Simona Surdu and Meslin, {Eric M.}",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1289/ehp.0800480",
language = "English",
volume = "117",
pages = "1185--1190",
journal = "Environmental Health Perspectives",
issn = "0091-6765",
publisher = "Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ethical issues in measuring biomarkers in children's environmental health

AU - Sly, Peter D.

AU - Eskenazi, Brenda

AU - Pronczuk, Jenny

AU - Šrám, Radim

AU - Diaz-Barriga, Fernando

AU - Machin, Diego Gonzalez

AU - Carpenter, David O.

AU - Surdu, Simona

AU - Meslin, Eric M.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Biobanks

KW - Biomarkers

KW - Children

KW - Environmental exposure

KW - Genetics

KW - Infants

KW - Informed consent

KW - Research ethics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=69249158308&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=69249158308&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1289/ehp.0800480

DO - 10.1289/ehp.0800480

M3 - Article

C2 - 19672395

AN - SCOPUS:69249158308

VL - 117

SP - 1185

EP - 1190

JO - Environmental Health Perspectives

JF - Environmental Health Perspectives

SN - 0091-6765

IS - 8

ER -