EPA Starts New Effort for Low-Dose, Hormone-Like Chemicals

"Spurred by mounting scientific evidence, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a new effort to examine whether low doses of hormone-mimicking chemicals are harming human health and whether chemical testing should be overhauled."

"The EPA, responding to a report by a team of 12 scientists published in March, is collaborating with other federal agencies to assess whether traces of chemicals in food, cosmetics, pesticides and plastics affect human development and reproduction. As part of that review, they will evaluate whether current testing is capturing an array of effects linked to hormone mimics, and if the agency should alter its risk assessments.

The federal scientists will complete a 'state of the science' paper by the end of 2013. The scientists in the March report criticized the federal government’s decades-old strategy for testing chemicals – exposing lab rodents to high doses then extrapolating down for real-life human exposures. They said it is inadequate to protect people and urged reforms because hormone-like chemicals can have health effects at low doses that do not occur at high doses, a phenomenon called 'non-monotonic dose response.'"

Brian Bienkowski reports for Environmental Health News December 13, 2012.

Source: EHN, 12/13/2012