ACSH Petitions EPA to Change on Risk Assessments for Carcinogens

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A story in the February 1, 2006 Chemical Week describes ACSH's effort to get EPA to explain the divergence between its regulations and its science on chemicals:

ACSH says that the 2001 Data Quality Act (DQA) -- which requires that information disseminated by federal agencies be objective, transparent, and reproducible -- requires EPA to use sound science when ranking a substance's carcinogenicity. EPA's reliance on high-dose animal studies to rank carcinogens does not meet those requirements, ACSH says.

ACSH's concern centers on EPA's risk assessment guidelines that help its science advisory panel give a substance one of five "hazard identifications": carcinogenic to humans; likely to be carcinogenic to humans; suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential; inadequate evidence to assess carcinogenic; or not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. "WLF and ACSH respectfully submit that information contained in the Risk Assessment Guidelines, regarding the use of animal studies to assess whether substances under investigation are human carcinogens, complies with neither Office of Management and Budget guidelines" nor EPA's own data quality guidelines, the petition says.

The DQA also requires that EPA give a timely response to EPA's petition, the council says.