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EPA releases final health assessment for TCE

Staff report

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its final health assessment for trichloroethylene to the Integrated Risk Information System database. IRIS is a human health assessment program that evaluates the latest science on chemicals in our environment.

The final assessment characterizes the chemical as carcinogenic to humans and as a human non-cancer health hazard. This assessment will allow for a better understanding of the risks posed to communities from exposure to TCE in soil, water and air. It will provide federal, state, local and other policy makers with the latest scientific information to make decisions about cleanup and other actions to protect people's health.

TCE is one of the most common man-made chemicals found in the environment. It is a volatile chemical and a widely used chlorinated solvent.

The assessment undewent several levels of peer review including, agency review, interagency review, public comment, external peer review by EPA’s Science Advisory Board in January 2011, and a scientific consultation review in 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. Comments from all reviewers are addressed in the final assessment.

More information is available at http://www.epa.gov/IRIS.

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