The EPA New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program is a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and academia in the United States to identify new chemicals that may pose an unreasonable risk to human health and/or the environment. The program provides a unique opportunity for academic researchers to collaborate with the EPA on evaluating new chemicals before they enter the commerce stream.
The goal of this research program is to conduct timely, thorough evaluations of new chemical substances before they are introduced into commerce and to ensure that environmental laws are complied with during the manufacture, use, disposal, and recycling of these substances. The following article covers what you need to know about this important program.
How does it work?
Chemical substances that are new to the market and may have an unreasonable risk of causing harm to human health or the environment are identified by the EPA. The EPA then partners with academics in the United States, who evaluate these substances and identify data gaps that need to be addressed, as well as methods for determining whether unreasonable risks exist.
Finally, a research plan is developed with recommendations on how best to address any potential unreasonable risks identified through the research.
Benefits of this program
EPA uses the following criteria to determine whether a new chemical substance poses an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment:
- The potential adverse effects of the new chemical substance
- The magnitude and duration of exposure to the new chemical substance
- Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that exposure will occur
- Whether there are any safer substitutes for the new chemical substance
- Whether there are any feasible means of adequately warning against, or protecting people from, any adverse effects of exposure to the new chemical substance
- Any other factors which EPA may consider pertinent
The EPA’s New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program is a voluntary research program for industry. It helps companies assess the potential hazards of new chemicals before they enter commerce in the United States. Under the program, EPA will not object to new chemicals subject to premanufacture notices if the company agrees to conduct research to address EPA’s data gaps. The program benefits industry by providing a predictable regulatory path for new chemicals and benefits the public by providing EPA data on the hazards of new chemicals before they enter commerce.