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Introduction and Monday's Topic

Hello and thank you to EPA for providing this e-forum. 

 Professionally,I am Maintenance Coordinator, Horticulture and 
Integrated Pest Management for Facilities Maintenance, Sarasota
County Government.Sarasota is located on the Gulf of Mexico, west
coast of Florida,a beautiful, environmentally conscious community
of about 300,000. We have an extensive library system, are a 
repository for Federal documents, and have an Environmental

 I did not join this discussion to represent Sarasota County
Government however. I am an environmental advocate,and registered
as a private citizen. I will be contributing my personal views
as a concerned mother of two sons who strives to protect them
from environmental toxins.Working for government,I am aware of
the tremendous amount of valid, peer-reviewed, scientific and
medical studies that research funded by taxpayers has produced.
EPA has web sites I often search. Although the adverse effects
of pesticides on human health and the environment are my primary
focus, air and water quality also interest me.The Internet is
a valuable tool in my search for valid research articles. Access
to University and Medical School sites, scientific journals,and
other academia sources is now available if I spend hours in front
of my computer. USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists
produce some good research that most of America never gets to see
either.I find numerous Environmental Advocacy organizations web
sites post some of the best published scientific and medical
studies on pesticides. They obviously have staff or volunteers
devoted to searching data bases worldwide, so the Internet has
allowed anyone interested the ability to research a topic.

 I like MEDLINE for searching for medical studies on pesticides
and human health. EPA relies on the pesticide manufacturer or
registrant to provide data to them, not my idea of an unbiased
source. MEDLINE is available by free subscription, but often only
abstracts are available online. The National Institute of Health
journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, is available online
with a paid subscription. Various Entomological Journals publish
research relating to pesticides, but many also require paid
subscriptions. I would like for libraries to make this type of
environmental information available online to all. I find that
in the State of Florida, State agencies are not good sources for
environmental information, they appear to be too concerned with
not offending industry. I would like EPA to make more information
available online. As public servants, information they receive
should be public. A searchable Health Effects Division would be
an improvement. 

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