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ECHA Announcement on Formaldehyde Contrary to U.S. Report on Carcinogens

WASHINGTON (December 10, 2012) - The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) announced on December 7, 2012 that it disagreed with a request to classify formaldehyde as a "known human carcinogen." Following a comprehensive, scientific review, RAC concluded that formaldehyde be listed as a "presumed human carcinogen" based on laboratory animal evidence. The following statement addressing the RAC announcement can be attributed to Steve Risotto, senior director at the American Chemistry Council:

"This European conclusion-based on a comprehensive scientific review-classifies formaldehyde in a less-stringent category than last year's review by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the United States. This major European regulatory decision reinforces that the science could not support the conclusions reached by NTP on formaldehyde.
"The RAC's finding contradicts both the National Toxicology Program's decision to classify formaldehyde as a known carcinogen, per the 12th Report on Carcinogens in 2011, and a similar proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

The  European Chemical Agency Website explains that the "RAC is responsible for preparing the opinion of the Agency on applications for authorization, proposals for restrictions and proposals for harmonized classification and labeling."

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