EPA Vows To Improve IRIS Toxic Effects Database

July 13, 2011

EPA announced July 12 that it intended to improve the quality and transparency of an important database of scientific studies on the health effects of environmental contaminants.

The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is available to the public online. It publishes reviews by EPA scientists of the environmental health effects of many chemical substances used in commerce, based on peer-reviewed scientific literature.

EPA said it would make the information more transparent to the public by making its hazard assessments shorter and clearer and using more graphics and tables to present the data. Congressional investigators in 2008 had found the Bush administration skewing health information at the behest of industries whose activities might have been harming public health.