Arsenic, Inorganic

CASRN 7440-38-2

IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic (Cancer) (Interagency Science Consultation Draft, 2009)

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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.

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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.


Date Description
01-1988EPA published the IRIS Health Hazard Assessment for Inorganic Arsenic.
02-1999NRC reviewed the 1988 IRIS assessment and the available health data for inorganic arsenic and made recommendations for updating the cancer assessment in Arsenic in Drinking Water.
03-2001NRC updated the NRC (1999) report and evaluated the toxicological risk and health effects of arsenic as relevant to the 2001 Arsenic Rule in Arsenic in Drinking Water – 2001 Update.
04-2001NRC reviewed the 2001 Primary Drinking Water Standard for inorganic Arsenic and made recommendations for applying epidemiologic data in the cancer health assessment.
05-2003EPA started a reassessment of the IRIS assessment for inorganic arsenic.
06-Jul 2005EPA submitted the 2005 EPA reassessment of cancer assessment for inorganic arsenic to EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) for review.
07-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]
08-Oct 2008The draft IRIS Toxicological Review for Inorganic Arsenic (cancer) was submitted to OMB for interagency review.
09-Jun 2009EPA hosted an interagency science consultation on the draft IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic.
10-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.


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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This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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