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October 23, 2009

Screening Endocrine Disrupters

EPA’s program will launch this month; key documents detail schedule, assays to be used

Britt E. Erickson

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s long-delayed Endocrine Disrupter Screening Program is expected to get off the ground this month. The agency released two key documents on Oct. 21: One provides a schedule for screening the first batch of chemicals, and another lists 11 assays that will be used to screen the chemicals for their potential to interact with estrogen, androgen, or thyroid pathways.

According to the schedule, EPA expects to send out about 750 screening orders to pesticide manufacturers and importers over the next five months for 67 pesticides or inert ingredients used in pesticides. Screening orders for seven of the chemicals will be issued this month.

As part of its approval of the documents, the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) advised EPA to accept “other scientifically relevant information” in lieu of data from all or some of the screening assays “to the greatest extent possible.”

CropLife America, a trade group that represents pesticide manufacturers, welcomed OMB’s decision. “I am particularly gratified that EPA will allow citation of existing data in response to test orders, as well as the use of new computational tools to help prescreen compounds slated for endocrine testing,” CropLife America President and CEO Jay Vroom said in a statement.

Congress ordered EPA to develop the Endocrine Disrupter Screening Program in 1996, but the agency just recently completed validation of the screening assays. EPA eventually plans to screen all pesticide chemicals under the program.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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