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Risk Assessment

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In January 2005, the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics submitted a Draft Risk Assessment of the Potential Human Health Effects Associated With Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Its Salts (PFOA) (PDF) (132pp, 450KB) to the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) for formal peer review. EPA sought this early stage scientific peer review from an outside panel of experts in order to ensure the most rigorous science is used in the Agency's ongoing evaluation of PFOA. That draft was preliminary and did not provide conclusions regarding potential levels of concern. The SAB reviewed the information that was available at the time, and suggested that the PFOA cancer data are consistent with the EPA Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment descriptor "likely to be carcinogenic to humans."

Since its review, additional research has been conducted pertaining to the carcinogenicity of PFOA. EPA is still in the process of evaluating this information and has not made any definitive conclusions regarding potential risks, including cancer, at this time.

More information can be found on the SAB PFOA Review Panel Website.

EPA is not waiting for all of the answers to be known before taking action, however. In January 2006, EPA asked eight companies in the industry to commit to reducing PFOA from facility emissions and product content by 95 percent no later than 2010, and to work toward eliminating PFOA from emissions and product content no later than 2015. All eight of the invited companies submitted commitments to the Stewardship Program by March 1, 2006. Read more information on the PFOA 2010/15 Stewardship Program.

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