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EPA Responds to Scientists' Concerns, Initiates New Effort for Low-dose, Hormone-like Chemicals

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Spurred by mounting scientific evidence, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a new effort to examine whether low doses of hormone-mimicking chemicals are harming human health and whether chemical testing should be overhauled.

The EPA, responding to a report by a group of 12 scientists published in March, is collaborating with other federal agencies to assess whether traces of chemicals found in food, cosmetics, pesticides and plastics affect human development and reproduction. As part of that review, they will evaluate whether current testing is capturing effects linked to hormone mimics, and if the agency should alter its risk assessments.

The federal officials will complete a "state of the science" paper by the end of 2013, which then reportedly will be reviewed by a national panel of scientists.

"The state of the science paper findings will provide information to help inform how the safety of chemicals [is] assessed," according to the EPA website.

"While EPA is interested in all aspects of low dose extrapolation, this short term effort is designed to meet immediate science-policy needs."

There is longstanding disagreement in the scientific community whether exposure to substances that mimic or block estrogen, testosterone and other hormones leads to human health impacts.


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