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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA and NIH Award $6 Million to Study Link between Chemical Exposure and Childhood Leukemia

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, will receive $6 million to search for environmental causes of leukemia. Awarded jointly with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, the funds are a portion of almost $28 million in grants for five children’s health research centers across the nation.

“Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With this funding, the UC Berkeley-led research team can continue their important work identifying the link between chemical exposure and leukemia.”

This is the second round of funding that the UC Berkeley-based Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) has received from EPA and NIEHS. Previously, CIRCLE received about $3.7 million for work conducted from 2009 to 2015. With this latest grant, researchers will continue examining how early exposure to toxic chemicals might contribute to leukemia in children, with a new focus on identifying causes of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in an ethnically diverse population.

“Our goal is to identify the causes of childhood leukemia and to support prevention efforts by educating health practitioners, families and public health organizations on risk factors for leukemia,” said Catherine Metayer, Director for CIRCLE.

For many reasons, children are likely to be more vulnerable than adults to the effects of environmental contaminants. To better understand the impact of these exposures on children's health, EPA and NIEHS have jointly funded children’s centers—which combine community engagement with scientific research—since 1998. Through the children’s centers, EPA has developed a national network of researchers, health care professionals and parents groups.

More about the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers Program awards: https://www.epa.gov/research-grants/niehsepa-childrens-environmental-health-and-disease-prevention-research-centers 

Email notifications for EPA’s research funding opportunities are available at: http://www.epa.gov/research-grants/research-grants-fellowship-and-sbir-listserv