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IRIS Bimonthly Public Science Meeting (September 2014)

UPDATE: The September IRIS Bimonthly Public Science Meeting is scheduled for one day on September 3, 2014.  The agenda is posted under the Agenda tab below.  Based on public input, ethylbenzene issue 2 has been broadened and issue 3 has been added.  If you are interested in participating as an opening discussant on these new issues, please send an e-mail to EPA_IRIS@icfi.com or call Susan Blaine (ICF) at 703-225-2471, no later than August 29, 2014.  If the list of opening discussants changes, an updated Agenda will be posted on Sept 2.

At the September meeting, materials related to the following new assessments will be discussed:

EPA has released scoping and problem formulation materials for new IRIS assessments of ethylbenzene and naphthalene for public comment and discussion. The scoping information is based on input from EPA's program and regional offices and is provided for informational purposes.

During problem formulation, the IRIS Program seeks input from the scientific community and the general public as it frames the specific scientific questions for the systematic reviews that it will conduct to develop the assessments. These problem formulation materials are the first to be developed since the National Research Council released its Review of EPA's IRIS Process in May 2014. EPA followed these recommendations in developing the ethylbenzene and naphthalene problem formulations materials. Background information on the chemicals is also provided.

In order to facilitate a scientific discussion, EPA has identified several key science questions on which we are seeking public input. The meeting agenda will be finalized on or about August 20.

Note: The IRIS Program realizes that the materials for this meeting have been posted approximately 40 days in advance. We acknowledge that this is shorter than the approximately two months in advance that has been customary for the literature-search/evidence-table packages for assessments in Step 1 and the public comment drafts for assessments in Step 4. However, the problem formulation materials posted for this meeting are much shorter than our other documents. They do not exceed 25 pages for either assessment, including prefaces and references. We believe this is still a reasonable amount of notice, and ask that our stakeholders join us in preserving the momentum and productivity of the IRIS Program by making this meeting as successful as the one held in June.

Meeting Objective:

IRIS bimonthly public science meetings allow the public the opportunity to provide input and participate in discussions about problem formulation, preliminary assessment materials, and draft IRIS assessments.

The objective of this public meeting is to obtain input from the scientific community and the public on the problem formulation materials which frame the specific scientific questions for the systematic reviews that will be conducted in the assessments of ethylbenzene and napththalene. Specifically, EPA is seeking input on the list of potential health hazards identified by the preliminary literature surveys, the availability of new studies, the hazard questions for systematic review, and public discussion of key science questions that will be addressed in the assessments.


The meeting will be held in the EPA Conference Center at 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202. The meeting will also be available by webinar/teleconference.


The meeting is scheduled for September 3, 2014.

How you can participate in the September Meeting:

Register by August 15, 2014 to participate as an opening discussant on one or more science questions.

  1. Suggest additional key science questions that you would like to join us in discussing by August 15, 2014.
  2. Send written comments [see docket links by chemical] by August 20, 2014.
  3. Discussants who intend to use summary visual aids should submit them to the chemical docket and e-mail a copy to EPA_IRIS@icfi.com no later than August 27, 2014.
  4. Register to participate in person by August 29, 2014 and via webinar by September 3, 2014.

Public Participation:

The IRIS Program is using a meeting format intended to promote public discussion. This format emphasizes conversational exchanges over presentations, with slides used mainly to present concepts and data via figures and tables. We would like to hear the full range of scientific perspectives during these discussions. Accordingly, we request that no more than two individuals from the same organization register as opening discussants on any particular topic. After the opening discussants have had a turn, then all meeting participants will be welcome to join the discussion.

To provide a reasonable opportunity for all stakeholders to participate in a thoughtful public dialogue on the scientific issues, and to help ensure that they have enough time to adequately prepare prior to the meeting, EPA would like to make all comments and meeting visual aids available to the public prior to the meeting. Therefore, meeting participants are requested to submit these materials to the appropriate chemical docket in advance of the September public meeting. Materials submitted to the docket will become available to the public shortly after submission. To provide time for all participants to prepare to contribute to the dialogue, the latest dates to submit materials to the dockets are August 20 for written comments and August 27 for summary visual aids to be used during the meeting.

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