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NEWS RELEASE July 30, 2001

New Report Shows EPA Program as Dangerously Flawed

Health Nonprofit Issues Scientific Analysis Calling for End to Massive Chemical Testing Program

WASHINGTON—In a new report to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Aug. 1, 2001, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) calls for an end to the High Production Volume (HPV) chemical testing program. A thorough analysis conducted by PCRM staff scientist Nicole Cardello, M.H.S., has pin-pointed major flaws in both individual chemical test plans and in the HPV program as a whole.

"In order to protect human health, the EPA should halt the HPV testing program and instead focus on containment and regulation of toxic substances. Crude, duplicative animal tests, such as the ones called for in many of the test plans I have reviewed, will do nothing to protect the public or the environment," states Ms. Cardello. "Human exposure data, which are currently ignored by the program, should be assessed so that workers and the public can be protected from suspected carcinogens and other hazardous substances."

One of the most significant findings of PCRM’s new report is that out of the 24 chemical test plans that have undergone public review, 18 contain violations of animal welfare guidelines issued by the EPA.

At a cost of $16 million each year for the EPA to administer, the High Production Volume program encourages manufacturers to conduct screening-level toxicity tests on 2,800 chemicals produced in or imported to the United States in amounts exceeding 1 million pounds per year. Yet many of the chemicals slated for tests using rats, mice, and fish are already suspected human carcinogens or known toxins subject to regulatory controls. "Clearly, the HPV chemical testing program is a waste of taxpayer money and serves only to delay meaningful regulatory action," concludes Ms. Cardello.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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