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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
We are pleased to share with you an article our colleagues recently published in Inhalation Toxicology, titled “Cosmetic talc as a risk factor for pleural mesothelioma: a weight of evidence evaluation of the epidemiology.

In this paper, the authors pooled all of the mesothelioma studies of cosmetic talc miners and determined that, if in fact mesothelioma incidence had been significantly increased in these cohorts, it would have been detected using standard statistical techniques.  No increase at all was observed, and in fact there wasn’t a single reported case of mesothelioma in any cohort. 

The impetus for this study was a statement by EPA (in the early 1990’s) that the existing data were not sufficiently powerful to assess whether the miners were at risk.  Our analysis, which relies primarily on findings published since that time shows that there is now sufficient power to make such a determination.  As described in the paper, our findings are consistent with the fact that no pleural mesotheliomas have been observed in patients treated with very high doses of cosmetic talc placed directly in the pleura (“pluerodesis”).

Because miners were exposed to cosmetic talc at levels much higher than those associated with the use of cosmetic talc products, we conclude this is evidence that product use is highly unlikely to be a risk factor for mesothelioma.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Dr. Stacey Benson.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Posted on behalf of the author Paul Scott

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt on May 10, 2017 issued a memorandum revising the existing delegations of authority related to the approval of proposed remedies at Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or “Superfund” sites. In the memorandum, EPA Administrator Pruitt reserved his authority to make the remedy selection at CERCLA cleanup sites whose Record of Decision (ROD) had a proposed cleanup cost exceeding $50 million.   In the past, remedy selection decisions at these sites were performed by the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management and the Regional Administrators.  The stated purpose of Administrator Pruitt's delegation of this authority to his office for these sites was to improve the remedy selection process and to involve the Administrator and his office in the remedy selection process more directly.

This change in remedy selection authority will have a direct impact on contaminated sediment sites where the proposed remedy is often in the hundreds of millions of dollars let alone greater than 50 million dollars.  For most of the major contaminated sediment Superfund sites, the selected remedy will have to be approved by the Administrator instead of by a Regional Administrator or Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management.  For perspective, the proposed costs for the remedies for the following sediment sites from their respective RODs:

  • Hudson River: $460 million 
  • Passaic River: $1.38 billion 
  • Fox River: $390 million
  • Lower Duwamish River: $342 million
  • Portland Harbor: $1.05 billion

The announcement and a link to the memo are located on the EPA website here.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

Posted on behalf of the authors, Michael Ierardi and Dr. Marisa Kreider.

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Posted on behalf of authors Michael Ierardi and Claire McMenamy.

TSCA Stakeholder Meeting for Risk Assessment and Risk Prioritization- Will Your Business be Ready?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held two public meetings to gather input that will inform a proposed rule to establish a risk-based process for chemical prioritization (August 10), in addition to its process for conducting risk evaluations to determine whether a chemical presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment under TSCA section 6(b) (August 9).

By June 2017, EPA must decide on a risk-based screening process for evaluating new and existing chemicals. The previous “unreasonable risk” standard will be replaced by the “safety standard” for regulating chemicals, which will consider both hazard and exposure in a risk-based approach that is protective of human health and the environment.

During these meetings, stakeholders from government, private industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, as well as medical professionals, offered feedback regarding their suggestions and concerns. Cardno ChemRisk scientists, Dr. Denise Hill and Ms. Claire McMenamy, attended the meetings, and offer the following observations, as well as the selected comments, repeatedly offered by multiple stakeholders:

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

Cardno ChemRisk scientist, Denise Hill, will be attending the August 9th and August 10th public meetings hosted by the EPA regarding the amended Toxic Substances Control Act.

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