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EPA has recognized the need for consistent application of methods and data to metals risk assessment in consideration of the unique properties of metals. To inform the consideration of metals properties, and to engage the external scientific community, the Agency commissioned external experts to lead the development of a series of issue papers. The papers include:
  • Issue Paper on the Environmental Chemistry of Metals;
  • Issue Paper on the Human Health Effects of Metals;
  • Issue Paper on Metal Exposure Assessment;
  • Issue Paper on the Ecological Effects of Metals; and
  • Issue Paper on the Bioavailability and Bioaccumulation of Metals.
These papers, announced in the October 4, 2004 Federal Register Notice, reflect author's responses to public comments received during a public comment period held September 22 through November 7, 2003.(Comments remain available for viewing (ID Number OAR-2003-0192). Additionally, comment was received via a public meeting held October 28, 2003, in Washington, DC. Comments were requested on technical issues including the level of detail in the papers, the chemical, biological and physical processes addressed or omitted, models and approaches that might reduce uncertainty, and other considerations that would improve the utility of the papers to the development of the framework. To finalize the papers, authors were directed to review and consider public comments received. Therefore, the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the EPA and should not be construed as implying EPA consent or endorsement.

Having engaged the external community to broaden our knowledge base, the Agency is working to develop a framework for metals risk assessment. The framework will be provided for public comment, and review by the EPA's Science Advisory Board.