Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EPA Announces Plan of Action to Address Four IRIS Assessments

The USEPA  will be taking a closer look at "four draft Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessments that were placed on hold in June 2010, pending a review of some of the underlying studies relied on in the assessments." The four assessments are methanol, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE), and acrylonitrile. 

These assessments have been on hold now for nearly a year because a National Toxicology Program (NTP) report questioned research completed by "the Ramazzini Institute, a lab in Italy that conducts animal testing to evaluate the potential cancer-causing effects of chemicals."   According to a previous press release:
NTP researchers reportedly raised questions about findings at the Ramazzini Institute, a controversial Italian animal testing lab that studies chemical carcinogenicity. The Institute has long been criticized by the chemical industry, particularly over its findings that aspartame sweetener can cause cancer.
EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) "decided to jointly sponsor an independent Pathology Working Group (PWG) review, in cooperation with the Ramazzini Institute, of selected studies, including the methanol cancer assessment study. The review has begun and will continue over the next several months. The results will be made public and the cancer assessment for methanol will remain on hold until its completion."
The USEPA announcement can be read here.

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