Chemical group seeks changes in EPA's endocrine study

The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), Washington, DC, last month urged the US Environmental Protection Agency to refine the proposed database that will be used to select chemicals for EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).


The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), Washington, DC, last month urged the US Environmental Protection Agency to refine the proposed database that will be used to select chemicals for EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).

The EPA, through the 2-year old EDSP program, is testing the potential effect of various chemicals on the human endocrine system. The EPA will use data from its findings to construct the database, which could generate toxicity information for more than 2,000 chemicals.

Jim Cooper, manager of government relations at SOCMA, said that few studies have been conducted to determine the effects of chemicals on the endocrine system, which regulates reproduction and related hormones in humans and mammals. Cooper said EPA hopes to begin in 2001 picking chemicals to be entered into the database and plans to begin the screening and testing program in 2003.

SOCMA is recommending that the information be incorporated into the EPA's High Production Volume (HPV) Chemical Challenge, which would be added to the priority-setting process to ensure that chemicals of real concern are addressed. HPV is a separate program in which screening level data for 2,800 chemicals is being developed. The data could be used as a trigger to indicate whether further study is needed for a particular chemical.

Members of the chemical and other industries were being allowed to volunteer until last December to compile information for HPV. The results of this program could be used in the EPA's endocrine screening program, says SOCMA.

SOCMA also said it's recommending that the database include the results of studies where a chemical did not have an adverse effect. The timing of the selection process should be adjusted to incorporate these types of information, said the group.

SOCMA also is proposing that the EPA update the list of chemicals used as inert ingredients in pesticide formulations to reflect only chemicals currently in use; develop a mechanism to ensure that chemicals placed on the list for endocrine screening are not misinterpreted as endocrine disruptors; and develop a process to handle confidential business information.

A prototype of the database is currently available.

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