USEPA Announces Review of Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program
Per USEPA Press Release 05/17/2012
IRIS – Overview
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will conduct a comprehensive review of the agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program’s assessment development process. The IRIS program helps EPA protect Americans’ health and the environment by conducting health assessments of over 550 chemicals that may be present in our environment.
In April 2011, NAS recommended several ways to improve the development of IRIS assessments. EPA has embraced these recommendations and is implementing them using a phased approach. Future draft IRIS assessments released for public comment and peer review will demonstrate the progress EPA has made in implementing NAS recommendations.
“EPA is committed to a strong and robust IRIS program,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This program plays a significant role in protecting the health of our country’s citizens and the environment in which they live. We welcome the NAS’ review of the IRIS assessment development process and look forward to working with them to continue to strengthen the program.”
NAS will conduct a review of the IRIS assessment development process and the changes that are currently being made or planned by EPA in response to NAS’ April 2011 recommendations. NAS will also review current methods for weight of evidence analyses and recommend approaches for weighing scientific evidence for chemical hazard identification.
What Does This Mean??
The information from the IRIS system will be used in various EPA rulemaking and policy changes. In other words, depending on the hazards of the chemicals associated with risk to human health (exposure from air, water and/or waste releases into the environment through the use and disposal of these chemicals), the EPA may lower threshold determinations, add certain chemicals to the USEPA List of Lists or establish new rules for these chemicals. The USPEA has stated that the release of final IRIS assessments is consistent with EPA’s ongoing efforts to improve Americans’ health and protect the environment.
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More information about IRIS: http://www.epa.gov/iris