2017 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:14:39 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] House testimony questions TCE assessment
Partisan debate over IRIS continues in US

Chemical Watch
September 13, 2017 

The longstanding debate over the EPA's Integrated Risk Information System continued during and after a recent hearing, held by two House subcommittees.

Republicans questioned the programme's scientific foundation but also argued that IRIS has failed to adequately address critical reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and should be discontinued.

The House Science and Technology Committee's subcommittees on Environment and Oversight jointly held the hearing on 6 September.

One of the majority's witnesses was Kenneth Mundt of consultancy Ramboll Environ. He led an industry-backed analysis, published in July, challenging the EPA's conclusion that formaldehyde is carcinogenic when inhaled. The 2010 draft assessment generated under IRIS attracted strong criticism from the NAS as well as industry, and led to EPA efforts to improve the clarity and transparency of the IRIS programme. Formaldehyde is still officially under evaluation and the release date for the final assessment has yet to be determined.

Dr Mundt and James Bus, senior managing scientist at the consultancy Exponent, argued that IRIS sometimes extrapolates animal studies improperly and fails to differentiate between the studies it analyses in choosing which results to rely on. He said the IRIS assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE) may lead to the unnecessary reopening of Superfund sites.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director
Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
P.O. Box 998, Mountain View, CA 94042
Voice/Fax: 650/961-8918 

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