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Toxics

EPA Support For Cutting-Edge Database May Speed Toxicity Testing

EPA is contributing to a public database of emerging biological research that scientists say could dramatically accelerate the process of gauging chemical toxicity.

The agency will be awarding research contracts next month that will help supply the information storehouse, called the Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS) Database, but the effort also has study results ready to submit and could start doing so any day, an EPA researcher says.

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EPA TO REQUIRE MORE INDUSTRY TESTING OF HIGH-VOLUME CHEMICALS

EPA this month is expected to announce additional industry testing requirements for widely used chemicals for which basic toxicity data are unavailable, as part of a landmark agreement between the agency and industry to study the potential health effects of the most produced chemicals. At the same time, EPA is planning to unveil early next year a database that will improve public access to such information.

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EPA TO FORM INTERNAL WORKGROUP ON OVERHAULING RISK ASSESSMENTS

High-ranking EPA officials are forming a workgroup to examine how the agency selects relevant data for assessing the potential public health risks from environmental pollutants, which could recommend sweeping changes in the way EPA conducts risk reviews.

The new group reflects an industry request that EPA reevaluate its risk assessment data selection, but falls short of industry's proposal that the workgroup's findings should be applied to past agency decisions.

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OEHHA MAKES FEW REVISIONS TO DRAFT CHEMICAL PRIORITIZATION PROCEDURE

Health hazard assessment officials have made few substantive changes to their draft Proposition 65 chemical prioritization process, despite calls by industry representatives and environmentalists for multiple amendments. The process, which guides how compounds are picked for advancement to state scientists to determine whether they should be listed as either carcinogens or reproductive toxicants, is expected to be considered by the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) at a Nov. 1 meeting, and the Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity Identification Committee (DART) at its Nov.

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FDA STUDIES FOOD SAMPLES FOR PERCHLORATE; REG ACTION SEEN UNLIKELY

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is testing food samples for perchlorate, an effort stakeholders say will be helpful in painting a more complete picture of human exposure to the rocket-fuel component beyond just drinking water consumption. While FDA is not ruling out potential regulatory action on the chemical's presence in food, one environmentalist said a food-specific regulatory limit is unlikely. Instead, the information being compiled by FDA will be most useful in helping U.S.

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DOD Objects To Stringent Colorado Indoor Air Rules For Pervasive Toxin

The Defense Department is calling Colorado's decision to adopt a stringent indoor air policy for trichloroethylene (TCE) premature, pointing to the unresolved controversy over the scientific values on which the state bases its screening and remediation policy.

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Senate Vote Shifts Corzine's Focus To Committee Talks On Chemical Security

The Senate's rejection of an effort by Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) to provide localities with $70 million for chemical plant security has forced the senator to shift his focus to congressional talks on producing bipartisan legislation to impose broad counterterrorism requirements on the industry.

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EPA Expected To Require More Industry Toxicity Testing Of High-Volume Chemicals

EPA this month is expected to announce additional industry testing requirements for widely used chemicals for which basic toxicity data are unavailable, as part of a landmark agreement between the agency and industry to study the potential health effects of the most produced chemicals. At the same time, EPA is planning to unveil early next year a database that will improve public access to such information.

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DuPont Settlement On C-8 Includes Novel Health Panel Study

An agreement between DuPont and residents near a West Virginia manufacturing facility includes the creation of an expert panel to review the potential public health risks from groundwater contamination in the area and determine the scope of potential future lawsuits against the company. Legal experts say the settlement offers a novel approach to resolving the uncertainties that are often at the heart of toxic tort claims against industry.

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Recent Toxic Tort Ruling Sets Stage For Supreme Court Review

A recent federal appeals court ruling in a toxic tort case that lowered the bar for bringing class-action suits in federal court furthers a split among circuit judges and makes it more likely the Supreme Court will have to address the issue, according to legal experts.

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