22 January 2001 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]By Glenn Hess
A coalition of chemical manufacturers and trade associations has assembled an advisory panel to provide an independent review of industry efforts to improve the public's understanding of hazard and exposure data that will be generated on high production volume (HPV) chemicals.
Larry Games, president of the Alliance for Chemical Awareness (ACA) and vice-president of Procter & Gamble Company, said the panel of government officials, academics and environmental and consumer activists will provide input as the coalition develops a technical framework to evaluate the risks of HPV chemicals while considering their uses in commerce.
The ACA was established in March 2000 to enhance the availability of information to the public about major chemicals in commerce. The group is initially focusing on chemicals being tested as part of US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) HPV Chemical Challenge Program.
These are chemicals produced or imported in amounts exceeding one million pounds per year. More than 400 chemical companies have volunteered to evaluate potential health and environmental hazards on more than 2,000 chemicals by 2004 under the program.
"We're trying to avoid a train wreck at the end of the process," says Du Pont vice-president Hugh Campbell. The coalition wants to put the toxicological data generated by the HPV program into context so the public "isn't unduly alarmed."
In addition to developing a framework to help manufacturers and regulators assess the risks of chemicals, the officials said the ACA will also establish a network of information sources and tools to help companies and government agencies communicate the uses, risks, benefits, alternatives and uncertainties of HPV chemicals.
The group wants to include exposure data in chemical risk assessments and is developing an Internet-based library of accepted screening-level exposure models.
The 11-member advisory panel includes former EPA Assistant-Administrator Lynn Goldman, Marilyn Wind of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Karen Florini of Environmental Defense.
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