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Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria (First External Review Draft)

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Report Information

EPA has announced that the First External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria has been made available for independent peer review and public review. This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science and will ultimately provide the scientific bases for EPA’s decision regarding whether the current standard for SO2 sufficiently protects public health.

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Douglas Johns
  • by phone at:   919-541-5596
  • by email at:  johns.doug@epa.gov

Background

EPA has released for public comment and independent expert peer review the first external review draft of a document entitled, Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria. Sulfur oxides is one of six principal (or criteria) pollutants for which EPA has established national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The Clean Air Act requires EPA to periodically review the scientific basis for these standards by preparing an Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), formerly called an Air Quality Criteria Document (AQCD). The draft ISA was prepared as part of the review of the primary or human health-based NAAQS for sulfur oxides. The draft ISA evaluates and integrates the newly available health evidence, and contains the key information and judgments formerly found in the AQCD. A series of Annexes to the draft ISA provides more extensive and detailed summaries of the most pertinent scientific literature. This is EPA’s latest evaluation of the scientific literature on the potential adverse health effects resulting from exposures to sulfur oxides, particularly sulfur dioxide or SO2. There are significant new data, particularly epidemiological studies, that strengthen the evidence for these effects since the last scientific review.

History/Chronology

1969EPA published the first Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Air Quality Criteria for Sulfur Oxides.
1970EPA published an update to the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Air Quality Criteria for Sulfur Oxides.
1977The Air Quality Criteria Document (including 3 volumes) were updated in response to specific requirements of Section 108 of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1977.
Dec 1982EPA published an update to the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides.
Dec 1986EPA published the Second Addendum to Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (1982): Assessment of New Findings on Sulfur Dioxide and Acute Exposure Health Effects in Asthmatic Individuals.
Aug 1994EPA published the Supplement to the Second Addendum (1986) to Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (1982): Assessment of New Findings on Sulfur Dioxide and Acute Exposure Health Effects in Asthmatic Individuals.
May 2006EPA put out a call for related information as part of an undertaking to update the science assessment for sulfur oxides.
Feb 2007EPA hosted a workshop on the assessment of health science for the review of the NAAQS for Nitrogen (NOx) and Sulfur Oxides (SOx).
Sep 2007EPA releases the First External Review Draft (see Downloads for documents) for an External Peer Review and public comment.
Dec 2007EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) announced a public meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee's (CASAC) Sulfur Oxides (SOx) Primary NAAQS Review Panel (Panel) to conduct a peer review of the report.

Next Steps

The first draft ISA will be reviewed by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) at a public meeting on December 5-6, 2007 in Research Triangle Park, NC. A second draft ISA will be released in 2008, which will address CASAC and public comments received on the first draft ISA. Once final, the complete ISA will be posted on the EPA Web site to provide the scientific bases for EPA’s periodic review and possible revision of the primary NAAQS for sulfur oxides.

Additional Information

Included for public review is the draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides - Health Criteria (First External Review Draft). Comments on this document may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the keyword EPA-HQ-2006-0260< (for the docket ID) to comment on this report. The deadline for comments is November 30, 2007.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Sulfur Oxides – Health Criteria (First External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-07/108.

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