EPA Suppressing Risk Evaluation of Chemicals


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) an operation within the Environmental Protection Agency has been restrained from releasing reports since June 2018 due to presumed lack of support from the Office of the Administrator. Industry groups including the American Chemistry Council and the Competitive Enterprise Institute have criticized IRIS for "creating unwarranted health scares".

At issue is the alleged relationship between formaldehyde and the risk of leukemia. This chemical among a number evaluated by IRIS are significant to the poultry industry. Formaldehyde is an exceptionally effective disinfectant which can be applied as a liquid disinfectant, as a vapor for fumigation or incorporated in a feed additive which will effectively destroy Salmonella and other non-spore forming pathogens with residual action.

The findings of the GAO are disputed by administrators at the EPA who claim that previous regulations and policies developed during the previous Administration required extensive revision.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has commented in Congressional testimony that selecting specific chemicals for evaluation was the prerogative of Program Offices based on priorities.