National Academies Harshly Criticizes Chemical Review Approach Used By Trump EPA

EPA indicates it will overhaul its systematic review method used in chemical risk evaluations

February 16, 2021
Sam Lovell, (202) 572-3544,

Today, the National Academies released its peer review of EPA’s 2018 TSCA Systematic Review Guidance Document that was applied to the first ten chemical risk evaluations under TSCA. In response to the report, EPA has announced that it will not be using the prior administration’s systematic review approach and will be developing a method that addresses the National Academies’ recommendations.

The National Academies report notes, “The committee finds that the process outlined in the 2018 guidance document, and as elaborated and applied in the example evaluations, does not meet the criteria of  ‘comprehensive, workable, objective, and transparent’…. As a general finding, the committee judged that the systematic reviews within the draft risk evaluations considered did not meet the standards of systematic review methodology.”

“It is no surprise that the National Academies’ peer review of the TSCA systematic review approach identifies grave shortcomings across multiple areas. EPA must substantially improve this approach to ensure that risk evaluations are scientifically robust and protect public health,” said Dr. Jennifer McPartland, Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense Fund. “The agency’s announcement today is a welcome signal that it is prioritizing health and the use of strong science in its decision-making.”

Additional Background:

  • EDF raised serious concerns in extensive comments submitted to the agency on the draft TSCA Systematic Review Guidance document.

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