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EPA Science Matters: March 13, 2018

One of the biggest challenges in understanding the potential hazards of exposure to PFAS chemicals is the lack of toxicity information. EPA researchers have partnered with researchers at the National Toxicology Program to develop a tiered testing approach to quickly generate toxicity and kinetic information for approximately 75 PFAS compounds.

Wildfire smoke is dangerous. It’s also a major component of air pollution. EPA researchers are investigating whether particles in wildfire smoke have different health effects depending on the type of wood burned and stage of the fire, such as flaming or smoldering. 

Typically, when a product is screened for chemicals, the researcher is only looking for the presence of a few specific chemicals. Using a new approach, called suspect screening, EPA researchers are testing household products for all chemicals present. These data can be used to prioritize which chemicals should be screened for health risks.

EPA is partnering with Unilever to improve risk assessments of chemicals in consumer products. EPA’s researchers are combining chemical data from newly developed testing and screening techniques with Unilever data on exposure information from use of consumer products. This collaboration has the potential to provide better ways to evaluate the potential health effects of new ingredients and chemicals. 

It just got easier to find environmental chemical toxicity data. EPA has updated ECOTOX, a publicly available application that provides environmental chemical toxicity data used to assess the effects of chemical exposures to aquatic life, terrestrial plants, and wildlife. ECOTOX 5.0 is now available in beta version, offering an opportunity to provide feedback before this updated version becomes final.