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NAS Committee Should Evaluate All Relevant Science, NTP's RoC Listing Criteria for Formaldehyde Determinations


Contact: Liz Snyder Bowman (202) 249-6509  
Email: Liz_Bowman@americanchemistry.com

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2013) – The Formaldehyde Panel of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) advocated for a robust review of formaldehyde that evaluates all the relevant scientific evidence during the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) meeting today to discuss the review of the Formaldehyde and the Styrene Assessments in the National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC).

“We support a robust review of formaldehyde that evaluates all the relevant scientific information for an open, transparent and objective review of this science for regulatory decisions and future listing determinations,” said Steve Risotto, ACC senior director, in his comments to the NAS committee. “We encourage the NAS committee to evaluate the current RoC listing criteria to evaluate whether they lead to scientifically sound recommendations.”

ACC’s Formaldehyde panel provided comments to the NAS review panel on how an independent weight of evidence determination should be based on a robust review of formaldehyde that evaluates all the relevant scientific information, including: potential modes of action, human relevance and responses at environmentally relevant exposures. 

“Reaching an informed decision requires the integration of human and animal data to assess—not only whether the epidemiological data suggest an association between exposure and human health—but also whether any such association is supported by the available evidence concerning a mode of action. This integration is not currently part of NTP’s RoC listing criteria. Reviewing the application of NTP’s criteria in the 12th RoC without considering the appropriateness of those criteria ignores a significant body of important formaldehyde research and would support a myopic view of scientific evidence that is out of step with the advances made in recent years,” said Risotto.

ACC’s Formaldehyde Panel also called the committee’s attention to key conclusions of the 2011 NAS review of EPA’s draft hazard assessment for formaldehyde, including concern about the reliance on the peak-exposure metric to determine causality in the primary epidemiology study (the National Cancer Institute cohort study)—instead of a more conventional dose metric.

“The 2011 committee’s conclusions that EPA’s draft assessment ‘does not provide a clear framework for causal determinations’ can also be applied to NTP’s assessment of formaldehyde for the RoC,” said Risotto. 

“ACC is pleased that formaldehyde’s listing in the 12th RoC is under review and we appreciate any assistance the committee can provide to encourage the release of the data from the NCI study,” said Risotto.

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