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Environmental Assessment

IRIS Toxicological Review of Tetrahydrofuran (THF) (External Review Draft)

IRIS Toxicological Review of Tetrahydrofuran (THF) (External Review Draft)

Note: EPA has updated this document, but this version is provided as a courtesy to the public as a matter of public record.

Ghazi A. Dannan
by phone at:   202-564-2068


EPA announces the release of the Toxicological Review of Tetrahydrofuran and notice of the External Peer Review Panel Meeting in the August 20, 2007 Federal Register Notice. This draft assessment is provided for public viewing and comment. Public comments received on the Toxicological Review within the external review period (next 60 days) will be provided to the peer reviewers prior to the meeting for their consideration. Any comments not received within the requested time period will be considered by EPA in their revisions.

EPA is conducting a peer review and public comment of the scientific basis supporting the human health hazard and dose-response assessment of tetrahydrofuran (THF) that when finalized will appear on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database.
THF is used as a solvent for polyvinyl chlorides, vinylidene chloride polymers, natural and synthetic resins (particularly vinyls), in topcoating solutions, polymer coatings, cellaphane, protective coatings, adhesives, magnetic strips and printing inks. It is also used for Grignard and metal hydride reactions. THF is used as an intermediate in chemical synthesis. For example, it is used in the preparation of chemicals including adipic acid, butadiene, acrylic acid, butylrolactone, succinic acid, 1,4-butanediol diacetate, motor fuels, vitamins, hormones, pharmaceuticals, synthetic perfumes, organometallic compounds, and insecticides. It is also used in the manufacture of polytetramethylene ether glycol, polyurethane elastomers, and elastic polymers. THF can be used in the fabrication of materials for food packaging, transport, and storage.

This is EPA's first assessment of noncancer health effects and carcinogenic potential of tetrahydrofuran. The IRIS program is preparing an assessment that will incorporate updated health effects information available for tetrahydrofuran and current risk assessment methods.

The IRIS assessment of tetrahydrofuran will consist of a Toxicological Review and IRIS Summary. The Toxicological Review is a critical review of the physiochemical and toxicokinetic properties of chemical, and its toxicity in humans and experimental systems. The assessment will present reference values for the noncancer effects of tetrahydrofuran (RfD and RfC), and a cancer assessment. The Toxicological Review and IRIS Summary will undergo Agency review, Interagency review, and external scientific peer review. The final product will reflect the Agency opinion on the overall toxicity of tetrahydrofuran.


Aug 2007EPA releases the first External Review Draft for public review and comment.

Next Steps

Following External Peer Review, the final assessment will be posted to the IRIS database.

Downloads/Related Links

Additional Information

Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov website. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the key word EPA- HQ-ORD-2007-0599 (for the docket ID).


U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Tetrahydrofuran (THF) (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, NCEA-S-1620, 2007.

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