To ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the best tools for protecting human health and the environment under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the agency released a draft TSCA systematic review protocol on the 20th of December 2021.
This protocol is also aimed at strengthening EPA’s approach to review and select the scientific studies used for informing TSCA chemical risk evaluations. This is also to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment of making evidence-based decisions and developing policies guided by the best available scientific data.
The protocol is produced to meet the criteria of ‘comprehensive, workable, objective, and transparent’ which the previous systematic review process failed to meet. The February 2021 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) TSCA Committee said it was an incomplete and difficult to follow documentation. The revision of the approach and update of TSCA systematic review process by EPA led to the new draft.
The new draft includes key recommendations and approaches for the current TSCA risk evaluation of 20 high priority chemicals and will undergo a peer review at Scientific Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) meeting on April 19 to 22, 2022. The draft also enables the use of recent and future IRIS systematic reviews. Furthermore, it includes new methods aimed at reducing bias and improving evaluation consistency for all chemicals.
Further details specific to how the protocol has been used for each of these chemical risk evaluations are available on EPA’s website. From now till February 18, 2022, the agency is accepting comments on the draft protocol for 60 days.
Last Update: 2022-01-04