In October, EPA requested nominations for substances that it should evaluate under the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Today CPR releases Setting Priorities for IRIS: 47 Chemicals that Should Move to the Head of the Risk-Assessment Line -- a paper that we've submitted to EPA as our nominations for priority chemicals.
Following up on our recent IRIS reform white paper, which made recommendations for how to improve the IRIS process and complete more reviews of basic toxicology information, CPR has completed additional research into how EPA sets priorities for IRIS assessments. The paper was written by CPR President Rena Steinzor, Policy Analyst Matt Shudtz, and myself.
We found 253 chemicals that have been identified by EPA regulatory program offices that are missing key IRIS information. From this list, we named 47 that we believe need to be the highest-priority, based on the air toxics, drinking water, and Superfund program offices’ most pressing needs. EPA is currently working on assessments for 17 of these substances.
Regulatory decisions under the Clean Air Act, Superfund, and Safe Drinking Water Act are all dependent on risk assessments which rely on the numerical toxicology data contained in the IRIS database. Delaying these assessments requires EPA program offices to rely on less rigorous estimates of the risks associated with toxic substances. This can negatively impact regulatory decisions -- how can you properly protect the public from exposure to chemicals if you haven't first adequately assessed the health effects ...