Research and Testing
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Research and Testing
What MTBE research is underway or upcoming?
Though MTBE has been the subject of much research, substantial scientific uncertainties still exist. To facilitate the advancement of crucial scientific knowledge needed to assess and manage the potential health and environmental risks MTBE and other fuel oxygenates in the environment, EPA identified several key issues in Oxyfuels Information Needs (1996) and Oxygenates in Water: Critical Information and Research Needs (1998). Researchers at EPA and other governmental organizations industry, and academic institutions are conducting studies to learn more about MTBE. Many of these projects are listed in Appendix 2 of Oxygenates in Water: Critical Information and Research Needs.
You can access additional documents related to research of MTBE from the following EPA Web sites:
EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) conducts research in support of the Agency's mission to help ensure that efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information. ORD has several national labs and centers that are active in dealing with various aspects of oxygenates and oxygenated fuels:
Risk assessment and research strategies
EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) has prepared health risk assessments and research strategies on MTBE and fuel oxygenates.
EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) has been conducting research on MTBE exposure issues utilizing a wide variety of measurement methods and exposure scenarios for several years.
Health and environmental effects research
EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) conducts research on the uptake, metabolism, and elimination of MTBE in humans.
Risk management research
EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) conducts research on the treatment of sites and drinking water contaminated with MTBE.
Extramural environmental research grants
EPA's National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) administers EPA's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program, including funding on MTBE research under different competitive solicitations.