- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The agency described IRIS as a database that contains the EPA’s “scientific positions on human health effects that may result from exposure to chemical substances in the environment.” They also said that, while it “is not expressly soliciting comments on this notice,” it will accept information related to the substances included in the notice. The agency specifically mentioned unpublished studies or other primary technical sources that are not available through the open literature.
According to the Federal Register notice, the EPA uses five general criteria to set the priorities for the IRIS agenda: (1) potential public health impact; (2) EPA statutory, regulatory or program-specific implementation needs; (3) availability of new scientific information or methodology that might significantly change the current IRIS information; (4) interest to other governmental agencies or the public; and (5) availability of other scientific assessment documents that could serve as a basis for an IRIS assessment. The agency said that its decision to assess any given chemical substance depended on available resources, and that the availability of risk assessment guidance, guidelines and science policy decisions also may have an impact on the timing of its decision to assess a chemical substance.
While continuing to work on the 72 chemicals currently on the list, the EPA will add another 20 in 2008. As results are available, information will be posted on the Web at www.epa.gov/iris.