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IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic (Cancer) (Interagency Science Consultation Draft)

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Contact
Norman Birchfield
by phone at:   703-347-0174
by fax at:   703-347-8699
by email at:  birchfield.norman@epa.gov
On February 19, 2010, the draft IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic (Cancer) external review draft document and the charge to external peer reviewers were released for public review and comment. The draft document and the charge to external peer reviewers were reviewed internally by EPA and by other federal agencies and White House Offices before public release. In the new IRIS process, introduced by the EPA Administrator, all written comments on IRIS assessments submitted by other federal agencies and White House Offices will be made publicly available. Accordingly, interagency comments and the interagency science consultation draft of the Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic and the charge to external peer reviewers are posted on this site.

Downloads/Related Links
Background
Inorganic arsenic is used for hardening copper and lead alloys. It also is used in glass manufacturing as a decolorizing and refining agent, as a component of electrical devices, in the semiconductor industry, and as a catalyst in the production of ethylene oxide. Arsenic compounds are used as a mordant in the textile industry, for preserving hides, as medicinals, pesticides, pigments, and wood preservatives. Approximately 90% of the domestic consumption of arsenic is currently used with production of chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a wood preservative, the production of which is currently being phased out. Arsenic is also found naturally in the environment and is typically present in soil and water at detectable levels. Sources of human exposure to inorganic arsenic include drinking water, diet, air, and soils (which can contain naturally occurring arsenic or contamination from anthropogenic sources). This draft IRIS health assessment addresses only cancer human health effects that may result from chronic exposure to this chemical. An assessment of noncancer health effects of inorganic arsenic will be released for external peer review and public comment at a later date.

History/Chronology

1999NRC reviews the 1988 IRIS assessment and the available health data for inorganic arsenic and makes recommendations for updating the cancer assessment.
2001NRC updated the NRC (1999) report and evaluated the toxicological risk and health effects of arsenic as relevant to the 2001 Arsenic Rule.
2001NRC reviews the 2001 Primary Drinking Water Standard for inorganic Arsenic and EPA’s supporting risk assessment and makes recommendations for applying epidemiologic data in the cancer health assessment.
2003EPA started a reassessment of the IRIS assessment for inorganic arsenic.
Jul 2005EPA submitted the 2005 EPA reassessment of cancer assessment for inorganic arsenic to EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) for review.
Jun 2007SAB posted the 2007 SAB Response to the 2005 EPA reassessment of inorganic arsenic (cancer). [Link to the SAB Report and Review Panel Meetings]
Oct 2008The draft IRIS Toxicological Review for Inorganic Arsenic (cancer) was submitted to OMB for interagency review.
Feb 2010EPA released the draft IRIS Toxicological Review for Inorganic Arsenic (cancer) to SAB and simultaneously to the public for review and comment, focusing on EPA’s responses to the SAB (2007) report.

Next Steps

Following external peer review the draft report will be revised taking into consideration external peer review and public comments, will undergo a final EPA internal review and a review by a science discussion with other federal agencies and White House offices, and then will finally be posted to the IRIS Web site.

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