Contact: Scott Jensen (202) 249-6511  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 1, 2012) - The  Hydrocarbon Solvents Panel of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) today released the following statement about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft  Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment for trimethylbenzene (TMB) isomers:

"The Panel appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on EPA's draft TMB IRIS assessment. The Panel has shared its concern with the Agency that the selection of studies and literature for review was significantly flawed. EPA has not clearly articulated the criteria for decisions regarding study selection and did not include in its assessment all useful and relevant data. The assessment should recognize all useful data submitted to and accepted by EPA under regulatory mandate and in the public domain.

"While there have been improvements in the organization of this and other IRIS assessments, EPA continues to fall short of what is needed for improving the scientific basis of these assessments. IRIS assessments, including the assessment for TMB, are still plagued by many of the scientific shortcomings that were brought to light 16 months ago by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the draft IRIS assessment for formaldehyde, including the exclusion of studies without clear justification, inconsistent application of data evaluation protocols, and a lack of a consistent and systematic framework for conducting weight of evidence analysis.

"More effort is needed by the EPA to give IRIS the scientific strength and objectivity that has been called for by NAS and is expected by all stakeholders."


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