Environmental Protection Agency

Consolidate Federal Chemical Hazard Assessment

I suggest a consolidation of chemical hazard assessment in a single forum to produce uniform Federal assessment documents on chemical hazards. Multiple agencies could then use this product in their specific risk assessment and risk management activities. While chemical “RISK” changes depending on use and exposure patterns, necessitating different approaches to assessing and managing risk as appropriate based on use and other specific circumstances, “HAZARD” (toxicity, flammability, corrosivity, reactivity, etc.) is a constant. Currently, many agencies (e.g., EPA, OSHA, CPSC, DoD, and HHS) and offices within those agencies, conduct separate hazard assessments on chemicals as part of their risk management process, often with conflicting interpretations of basic chemical hazard data. Creating a single, centralized Federal chemical hazard assessment document on toxicity and physical hazard would save money and time by eliminating duplication of effort, would avoid confusion of differing interpretations by different reviewers, and would still allow individual agencies to apply appropriate risk assessment approaches and risk management strategies tailored to their mandates (e.g., protection of workers for OSHA). Including all Federal Agencies developing hazard assessments in the process would ensure that multiple viewpoints are brought to the table and that the hazard assessments produced would be usable by all the different agencies to achieve their various missions. Contributing Agencies could commit current budget dollars and FTEs from their current expert staff to support this effort. The final consolidated hazard assessment for a chemical (or class of related chemicals, where appropriate to do so) could be reviewed under a single, publicly open process (either a separate group or through NAS). An open process would ensure minimal political interference in the process. Coordination of the development and review process could be rotated among the participating Agencies

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Idea No. 10246