Phthalates and Cumulative Risk Assessment (NAS Final Report)
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Risk assessment has become a dominant public policy tool for making choices, based on limited resources, to protect public health and the environment. It has been instrumental to the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as other federal agencies in evaluating public health concerns, informing regulatory and technological decisions, prioritizing research needs and funding, and in developing approaches for cost-benefit analysis.
People are exposed to a variety of chemicals throughout their daily lives. To protect public health, regulators use risk assessments to examine the effects of chemical exposures. This book provides guidance for assessing the risk of phthalates, chemicals found in many consumer products that have been shown to affect the development of the male reproductive system of laboratory animals.
Because people are exposed to multiple phthalates and other chemicals that affect male reproductive development, a cumulative risk assessment should be conducted that evaluates the combined effects of exposure to all these chemicals. The book suggests an approach for cumulative risk assessment that can serve as a model for evaluating the health risks of other types of chemicals.