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terça-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2012

Audit Faults EPA Efforts to Assess Health Risks

Author(s): Jeremy P. JacobsA new report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said the agency lacks an effective program to collect information and monitor the possible health risks posed by nanomaterials

According to the report, "If EPA does not improve its internal processes and develop a clear and consistent stakeholder communication process, the agency will not be able to assure that it is effectively managing nanomaterial risks.

While the report notes that the EPA has taken some steps to monitor and regulate the substances, such as a recent policy under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to identify new pesticides containing nanoscale materials, and a voluntary reporting program under FIFRA, the report states that problems would persist despite these rules. The agency, says the OIG report, is not “communicating an overall message” to stakeholders about policy changes and the risks of nanomaterials. 

The report also says that EPA’s nanomaterial efforts are “limited” by a “lack of risk information” and “reliance on industry-submitted data.” The OIG recommends that the EPA develop a program that disseminates and coordinates nanomaterial information throughout the agency. The EPA responded by agreeing to the recommendation, but made several objections. Stephen Owens, the EPA Assistant Administrator, said, "The agency has taken significant steps to provide information, seek public input, and engage the public in general on agency actions to assess and manage potential health and environmental risks from nanomaterials…In sum, EPA has been committed for several years to developing and taking action to ensure the safe use of nanoscale materials, and to engaging and informing our stakeholders and the public on these actions."

The original article may still be available at here

Fonte: Meridian Institute