Report: EPA May Take More Than a Decade to Review Prioritized Chemicals

GAO report criticizes EPA for not obtaining data that companies gave to European Chemicals Agency as part of the REACH program.

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A new report issued by the U.S. Government Accounting Office says that the EPA may take as much as 10 years to decide whether 83 chemicals it has prioritized for review are harmful to humans.
 
The GAO report released April 29 says it may take several years to complete these initial risk assessments and, at the agency’s current pace, over a decade to complete all 83, especially as EPA does not have the toxicity and exposure data needed for 58 of the 83 chemicals prioritized for risk assessment.
 
The GAO report also criticizes the EPA because it has yet to obtain access to data that chemical companies gave to the European Chemicals Agency as part of the REACH program.
 
In addition to its risk assessment activity, the GAO says EPA has initiated other actions — such as increasing review of certain new uses of chemicals — that may discourage the use of these chemicals, but it is too early to tell whether these actions will reduce chemical risk.