United States . '             Communications, Education,
                        Environmental Protection       And Public Affairs
                        Agency    .                (1703)
 4>EPA        Press   Advisory
                              For Release Monday, October 5, 1998
                        Following are some agency developments which may interest you. If you need
        more information on any-of. these subjects, call the appropriate contact.
                                   ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS

                                   Denise Kearns, (202) 260-4376
      To protect human health and the environment, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency today moved
toward a screening program that for the first time ever will evaluate certain health arid environmental effects of
some 15,000 chemicals used in thousands of common products, ranging from pesticides to plastics.  The Agency
accepted final recommendations from an independent advisory group of nationally recognized scientists, public
health experts, industry representatives and others that call for a program to identify and characterize chemicals
,known as "endocrine disrupters." These chemicals have been shown to result in developmental and reproductive
abnormalities in wildlife, and are suspected by some scientists of causing adverse health effects in humans,
including birth defects, breast cancer, prostate cancer and infertility.                 ,  - -           .

      ; Now that these recommendations have been received 'from', the Endocrine Screening and Testing Advisory
Committee (EDSTAC), the Agency, will formally propose its screening and testing program by the end of the
year. "Science has only recently come to understand the possible threats posed to public health from endocrine
disrupters. The national screening program recommended by the committee is a critical first step in our efforts to
identify any health threats from these substances and ensure that human health and the environment are
protected," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner.   .      '

      Based on the committee's recommendations, EPA plans to establish its screening program by initially
focusing oil 15,000 chemicals, which are produced in volumes exceeding 10,000 pounds per year, and for which
existing test data, is limited. EPA plans to submit these chemicals to a series of high throughput pre-screening
(HTPS) assays, which would help the agency prioritize the chemicals for additionalscreening. Chemicals that test
negative in the screening assays may riot need further testing.  However, chemicals that test positive would
be subject to a series of additional tests, including specific tests to determine'their reproductive, developmental ,
and behavioral effects.

  ; Currently, EPA is working to scientifically validate the HTPS assays recommended by the EDSTAC as a first
step toward constructing ts screening and testing program for suspected endocrine dkruptors.
In addition, the agency is considering all other reconimendations detailed in the EDSTAC report. These include
the need to address the effects of endocrine disrupters on ecological systems and in wildlife and the testing needs

of chemical combinations. EPA also is reviewing new and existing screening tests and the mechanisms available
for validating these tests.

       EPA established EDSTAC in 1996, following enactment of the Food Quality Protection Act and the Safe
Drinking Water Act. Both laws contain provisions directing EPA to establish a screening and testing program for
chemicals suspected of disrupting the endocrine system.The purpose of EDSTAC was to provide the Agency with
guidance in the design of this program.                 .   '

       After publishing its proposed screening and testing program at the end of the year, EPA will request
comments from the public on it. The public can order the report from EPA's TSC A Hotline at 202-554-1404. The
report can also be viewed and downloaded from the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/opptendo.

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