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The Environmental Protection Agency’s plans for evaluating potentially harmful chemicals under current law are unclear and may be unrealistic and impractical, according to a report Monday by the investigative arm of the U.S. government.
In February 2012, EPA named 83 chemicals to be examined in prioritized risk assessments under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Seven assessments were started that year, with another 18 planned over the next two years, including five flame retardants commonly used in the plastics industry.
But according to the Government Accountability Office report, it will take EPA more than a decade to get through all 83 top-priority chemical evaluations at its current rate.
According to the report, EPA does not have the toxicity and exposure data needed for 58 of the 83 chemicals prioritized for risk assessment, in large part because existing law does not require industry to develop and share toxicity data, a process that can take three to five years.
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