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US EPA opens inorganic arsenic cancer assessment for public review


The USA is importing the highest amount of arsenic on a global scale. 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).

IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic (Cancer)
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) conducted a review of the scientific basis supporting the human health cancer hazard and dose-response assessment of inorganic arsenic that will appear on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. EPA revised the assessment and is now returning the assessment to the SAB and releasing the document to the public for a focused review of EPA's responses to the SAB recommendations.

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.

Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the key word EPA- HQ-ORD-2010-0123 (for the docket ID).
Following external peer review of the report, the final assessment will be posted to the IRIS database.

Related Information

EPA Announcement on IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic (Cancer) (External Review Draft)
Federal Register Notice from February 19, 2010 about the Draft Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic
IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic (Cancer) (External Review Draft) (PDF)
Charge to External Peer Reviewers (SAB) (PDF) 

SAB. Advisory on EPA’s Assessments of Carcinogenic Effects of Organic and Inorganic Arsenic: A Report of the US EPA Science Advisory Board (July 2007) (PDF)
U.S.EPA. Toxicological Review of Ingested Inorganic Arsenic: in Support of Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) July 2005 (PDF)
Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

Related EVISA Resources

EVISA Link Database: Toxicity of Inorganic Arsenic
EVISA Link Database: Industrial Use of Inorganic Arsenic

Related News

EVISA News, September 5, 2008: Exposure to inorganic arsenic may increase diabetes risk
EVISA News, March 15, 2008: Arsenic in rice milk exceeds EU and US drinking water standards
EVISA News, September 7, 2006: Toxic inorganic arsenic species found in Japanese seaweed food
EVISA News, March 7, 2007: Elevated Arsenic Levels Found In Rice Grown In South Central States of the USA
EVISA News, August 3, 2005: Surprisingly high concentrations of toxic arsenic species found in U.S. rice
EVISA News, June 27, 2005: Susceptibility to arsenic toxicity influenced by genes
EVISA News, May 17, 2005: Arsenic in Pressure-Treated Lumber - Enhancing Childrens Cancer Risks

last time modified: February 23, 2010


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