CHAPTER TWO: TOXICOLOGIC RESEARCH AND INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
health agencies and programs, assess whether adequate information is
available on the health effects of the substance. Furthermore, the law requires
that ATSDR, in cooperation with the National Toxicology Program, initiate a
research effort designed to determine the health effects of those substances for
which adequate information is not available (or under development).
ATSDR used several mechanisms to fill priority data needs in FY 1999.
These included industry testing through EPA, private-sector voluntarism, and
academic-based research conducted through the Minority Health Professions
Foundation. Additional research needs are being addressed through other
agency programs (e.g., an interagency agreement with the National Toxicology
Program and ATSDR's Great Lakes Human Health Effects Research Program).
Significant progress has been made in filling these key research needs. Through
FY 1999, ATSDR has identified 201 priority data needs. A total of 117 priority
data needs are being addressed via these mechanisms. In addition, 39 priority
data needs have been reclassified as data needs, and 14 priority data needs
have been filled. Data obtained from the research program are used to update
ATSDR toxicological profiles and to develop health-guidance values for
hazardous substances evaluated in ATSDR's public health assessments
conducted at waste sites.
Industry Testing Through EPA
The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) authorizes EPA to
ensure that chemicals are safe for their intended use. EPA places some of this
responsibility on chemical manufacturers and processors by requiring them to
conduct toxicologic testing. Costs of conducting this research are completely
borne by the industries.
During FY 1999, ATSDR and EPA
finalized information to support
Substances with some research
development of a TSCA test rule for
needs to be addressed by
eight substances that ATSDR
TSCA test rule
previously had identified as having
research needs. A test rule is the legally
enforceable document that describes
(1) EPA's authority to require testing,
(2) the specific testing required, (3)
why it is required, and (4) who should
conduct the testing. The proposed test
rule will address substance-specific
research needs identified in ATSDR's
priority data needs documents.
Publication of the proposed test rule is
expected in the summer of 2000.