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ACC Welcomes the Release of EPA’s IRIS Handbook for Review and Comment

Telly Lovelace

WASHINGTON (November 10, 2020) – ACC today issued the following statement after EPA’s release of the “Staff Handbook for Developing IRIS Assessments” for the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program:

“We welcome the opportunity to review and provide comments on the IRIS handbook. There are long-standing and well documented concerns from government and non-governmental organizations regarding the program’s lack of transparency, productivity and inability to produce scientifically sound hazard assessments that meet EPA’s needs on a consistent basis. The release of the handbook for comment is an encouraging sign that the agency may be addressing some of those concerns, including the long-standing over reliance by the IRIS program on outdated default assumptions.

“We will review the document to ensure that it clearly describes how the agency evaluates the quality of scientific evidence and integrates human, animal and mechanistic data to draw scientifically defensible conclusions regarding human health hazard, based on up-to date 21st century knowledge of modes of action.

“EPA chemical assessment programs, including IRIS, must meet objective and transparent standards. ACC looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and EPA to improve the IRIS program so that it will one day be able to produce high-quality, scientifically sound chemical assessments.”

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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