On July 18, 2017 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) published a report entitled “Application of systematic review methods in an overall strategy for evaluating low-dose toxicity from endocrine active chemicals.” The report proposes a strategy for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate evidence of adverse human health effects from exposure to low doses of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The strategy has three steps:
1) Surveillance: active monitoring of new data, scientific literature, nontraditional information sources, and stakeholder input to identify and analyze health effects on a regular basis;
2) investigation and analysis: analyzing existing data, generating new data, conducting a systematic review of evidence, or integrating evidence from human and animal studies to further investigate potential signals; and
3) action: updating chemical assessments, monitoring for new data, requiring new data or models to reduce uncertainties, or updating toxicity-testing designs and practices.
The report further includes systematic reviews of animal and human toxicological data for phthalates and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) “to demonstrate how the results can be integrated and considered with other relevant data to draw conclusions about causal associations.” Both reviews showed that “current toxicity tests can identify a hazard that is presumed to be of concern to humans, but they may not be able to accurately predict the specific level of exposures at which humans are affected,” the NAS explained in their press release. Therefore, to better assess an endocrine active substance’s potential to cause health effects in humans at low doses, additional pharmacokinetic information is needed.
Andrew Turley (July 19, 2017). “U.S. study: EPA’s current tox tests insufficient for low-dose exposures.” Chemical Watch
American Chemistry Council (July 19, 2017). “ACC supports NAS recommendation that any systematic review of chemicals must be based on robust and reliable studies, but says report missed mark on specific chemicals mentioned.”
Rachel Shaffer (August 21, 2017). “Can low doses of chemicals affect your health? A new report weighs the evidence.” The Conversation
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2017). “Application of systematic review methods in an overall strategy for evaluating low-dose toxicity from endocrine active chemicals.” The National Academies Press