EPA Creates Draft List of Pesticides for Endocrine Screening

EPA is in the final stages to begin screening pesticides for their potential effect on the human endocrine system. The agency is seeking comment on the draft list of 73 pesticides to be evaluated under the new screening regimen, according to a June 11 announcement.

The draft list of pesticide candidates were selected for screening based on their high potential for exposure to people or the environment, and not on possible endocrine disruption effects. The ultimate purpose of the screening will be to determine if the pesticides can adversely influence the endocrine system. This is not a draft list of potential endocrine disruptors.

"As a leader in endocrine disruptor research, EPA's science driven approach ensures that the data generated by this new testing is comprehensive and based on the best available science," said Jim Gulliford, EPA's assistant administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "EPA remains committed to protecting public health through quality scientific research and collaboration."

Building validated screens to detect endocrine disruption has taken years of open scientific collaboration, agency officials said. The draft list is the first set of chemicals considered for screening.

EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, mandated under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), will determine whether certain chemicals have an effect on the endocrine system, using validated tests and other scientific information. Under FQPA, all pesticide chemicals will be screened, starting with today's draft list.

EPA's draft list focuses on those pesticide ingredients -- active and inert -- with relatively high potential for human exposure. The agency gave priority to pesticide active ingredients where there is the potential for human exposure through food and water, residential exposure to pesticide products, and high levels of occupational exposure following an application of agricultural pesticides. For pesticide inert ingredients, the priority was on those with high production volumes found in human or ecological tissues, water, and indoor air.

After considering comments on the draft list, EPA will issue a second Federal Register notice with the final list of chemicals.

For more information about the draft list, visit http://www.epa.gov/endo/index.htm.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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