EPA Awards $7.7 Million for Chemical Risk Assessment

15.11.2022 - The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $7.7 million in research grant funding to 11 technology institutions to develop and evaluate innovative methods and approaches to inform understanding of the human health risks of exposure to chemical mixtures in the environment.

To help address the research need, the agency said institutions receiving the grants – for the most part universities – will conduct research focused on the development and improvement, evaluation and integration of predictive toxicology methods to evaluate environmental chemical mixtures.

While toxicology studies have traditionally focused on the effects of single chemicals on human health, the EPA noted that chemicals in the environment are often present as mixtures in the air, water, soil, food, and products in commerce and can include PFAS, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), disinfection by-products (DBPs) and other “well-characterized mixtures.”

The US health watchdog said it sees a need to assess the toxicity of chemical mixtures to understand how their combined effects on human health and the environment differ from what scientists know about individual chemicals.

Due to their lower cost and higher throughput, new approach methods and use of alternative animal models have emerged as potential approaches to advance the risk assessment, the agency said.

The EPA recently announced additional actions to phase down “climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The goal is to reduce consumption of the chemicals by 40% against “historic levels”, starting in 2024.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist