Wednesday, November 24, 2010

EPA Goes After "Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals"

In 1996 Congress passed the Food Quality Protection Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, both of which included a provision requiring that EPA screen pesticide chemicals for their potential to produce effects similar to those produced by the female hormones.  The two laws gave EPA the authority to screen certain other chemicals and to include other endocrine effects. In fact, the two laws mandated action.

Fast forward to 14 years later and EPA is way behind on any effort to follow through on those mandates.  In large part this is because the technology for measuring endocrine effects just wasn't there back then (and some argue still is not there).  Throw in some political reticence to adding more regulatory burden to industry and you have a situation where action has been slow to come. 

But now EPA seems to have stepped up the activity level and has just issued its Second List of Chemicals for Tier 1 Screening. This list "includes 134 chemicals and substances that have been listed as priorities within EPA’s drinking water and pesticides programs."   It follows on the heels of "the initial list of chemicals to be screened for their potential effects on the endocrine system," which was released on April 15, 2009 and "the first test orders were issued on October 29, 2009."

Find out more about the endocrine disruptor testing program on the EPA site, including the status of test orders and EPA's policies and procedures.

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