Chemical Safety Research News
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In 2012, EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability research developed and used innovative approaches to better understand chemical hazards, consumers’ exposures to chemicals and the associated risks. These approaches can be used to inform the design of safer chemicals. Read about all of EPA’s 2012 research accomplishments including chemical safety research in the recently released annual report.
On January 29-31, an EPA Science Advisory Panel (SAP) heard presentations from EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability researchers about using computational toxicology research tools to help prioritize chemicals for EPA’s Endocrine Disruption Screening Program (EDSP). EPA researchers are working with the EDSP to accelerate prioritizing chemicals for Tier 1 testing. The SAP report will be released soon.
The Exposure and Human Health Committee of EPA’s Science Advisory Board heard presentations from EPA’s staff in May 2012 about using computational toxicology research to inform chemical risk assessments. The draft report from this Committee was reviewed by the full SAB in March where additional recommendations were made to strengthen the application of computational toxicology to assess chemical exposure, hazard and risk to human health and the environment.
EPA formed a work group to develop a draft state of the science paper that assesses current scientific studies to determine if non-monotonic dose response curves capture adverse effects that are not captured using current chemical testing strategies and to determine if there adverse effects that current tests miss. The EPA work group reviewed the various scientific studies and drafted a NMDRC state-of-the science paper. While EPA is interested in all aspects of NMDRC, the state of the science paper focuses on non-monotonic dose response for endocrine disruptors—estrogens, androgens and thyroid active chemicals. The work group includes scientific experts from EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, EPA's Office of Research Development and scientists from other federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s National Toxicology Program (NIEHS/NTP), and the National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD). The draft paper is being reviewed by the EPA inter-Agency Working Group and working group members from other federal agencies. Comments received from reviews will be considered and incorporated, where appropriate, by the EPA. EPA has asked the National Academies of Science's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology to review the draft paper. The NAS BEST review will include an expert peer review and a public comment period.
EPA is accepting nominations of nationally and internationally recognized scientists, engineers, and social scientists for BOSC subcommittees to support its six research programs including the Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research Program. The nomination period is open until April 1, 2013.
Conferences, Meetings, Events, & Webinars:
EPA scientists participated in the 2013 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting and ToxExpo™. Advances in EPA's toxicology research were featured at SOT symposia, workshops, platform discussions, informational sessions, poster sessions and at EPA's booth in the ToxExpo™ exhibit hall. SOT provides a forum to discuss and disseminate information about this research to the scientific community.
EPA’s Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice monthly meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of every month at 11 AM. On March 28, Dr. Matt Martin presented an overview of the CSS Dashboards. Dr. David Wishart from University of Alberta will present on April 25th featuring the T3DB Database, a unique bioinformatics resource that combines detailed toxin data with comprehensive toxin target information.
EPA Chemical Safety Research in the News:
The most recent issue of the Science Matters newsletter features articles about EPA’s chemical safety and sustainability research including stories about developing automated, rapid methods to predict chemical risks, research on emerging substances such as tiny nanomaterials and a summary of recently completed studies on potential PCB exposures in schools.
Funding & Awards
EPA STAR research center receives award
One of EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) research centers, The University of California's Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, received California's highest environmental honor on January 22, 2013. The UC CEIN was awarded the California Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the field of Green Chemistry.