U.S. EPA recently reached out to the National Academies' National Research Council ("NRC") and requested that the NRC convene a scientific committee to evaluate whether there is a disconnect between the chemical testing strategies currently employed by U.S. EPA and adverse health effects that may result from low level exposure to chemicals in the environment. The U.S. EPA request comes on the heels of a 2014 NRC report that raised concerns as to whether U.S. EPA's testing strategies would detect health or ecological harms that may result from endocrine disrupters (which are chemicals that mimic, block or alter how hormones function in animals and people). According to U.S. EPA, "chemical testing and risk assessment strategies often don't address chronic low dose exposures, nor do they address people's total exposures to various chemicals that affect their bodies in similar ways and the multiple sources—diet, water, and air—of such chemicals."
Over the next year, the NRC anticipates convening a committee of toxicologists, molecular biologists, epidemiologists and other scientists that would be charged with preparing a report that analyzes whether U.S. EPA's current toxicity testing practices allow for adequate consideration of the low-dose adverse effects of chemical exposure. For further information on this NRC endeavor, please click here.