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2012 EPA Research Progress Report

Human Health Risk Assessment

EPA’s Human Health Risk Assessment research program provides state-of-the-science products in support of risk assessment, such as independently peer-reviewed human health assessments for individual chemicals and chemical mixtures; integrated science assessments and technical support to meet partner and stakeholder needs; and tools to modernize human health risk assessment.

The research results and products of the program are used by local, state, national, and international authorities to guide waste site cleanups, protect the air, set exposure limits for chemicals in drinking water, and determine the potential risk to public health from exposures to multiple environmental contaminants.

EPA researchers are helping to advance the science of risk assessment through original research, consultation with experts, and by accepting new challenges. These include developing community risk assessment tools and tailoring risk assessments to inform key decisions.

Research Highlights

This section highlights a few of the many achievements from EPA’s Human Health Risk Assessment program from 2012. For more information on the scope and impact of EPA research on human health risk assessment, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/ncea/.  

Growing IRIS: Advancing EPA's Integrated Risk Information System

EPA researchers provide leadership to assess the potential health effects posed by exposures to chemicals in the environment. A critical part of that effort is the Agency's Integrated Risk Information System, or "IRIS."

EPA's IRIS Program Releases Final Health Assessment for "Perc"

In February 2012, EPA released the final health assessment for the chemical tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene, or more commonly as "perc."

Final Non-Cancer Science Assessment for Dioxins Released

Over the past two decades EPA has worked to significantly reduce emissions from all of the major industrial sources of dioxins. Today, the largest remaining source of dioxin emissions is backyard burning of household trash.

Integrated Science Assessments: Gathering the Best Air Science to Protect Human Health and the Environment

EPA sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six "criteria" air pollutants—ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead—considered harmful to human health and the environment.

Asbestos Toxicity Estimates to Help Protect Health in Libby, Montana

EPA scientists are supporting clean up efforts for Libby Amphibole asbestos in order to protect public health.

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