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New Framework for Assessing Metals Risks

Release Date: 03/08/2007
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(3/8/07) Many EPA programs make decisions on regulation of metals, particularly controlling releases to the environment and establishing acceptable levels in air, water, or land. To assess better the hazards and risks from metals exposure, the agency has developed a new document that lays out the latest and best science available on metals risk assessment. The agency today released the final Framework for Metals Risk Assessment which outlines key principles about metals which will be considered in conducting human health and ecological risk assessments.

In developing the framework, EPA consulted with the scientific community, the EPA Science Advisory Board, and stakeholders in an open and transparent process. External scientific experts and the public gave important feedback on the document. Topics addressed in the framework include: principles for conducting metals risk assessments, environmental chemistry and fate and transport, and assessments related to human health, aquatic life, and land issues. The framework is not a mandate on exactly how a particular program must conduct its assessments, but a set of key principles that will be useful in preparing such assessments.

To view the Framework for Metals Risk Assessment: epa.gov/osa/metalsframework