EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) has completed a draft document, an "Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides--Health Criteria (First External Review Draft) (EPA/600/R-07/108, September 2007)" and has requested that CASAC peer review the document. The purpose of the document is to provide a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science. When finalized, it will provide the scientific bases for EPA’s decision regarding whether the current standard for sulfur dioxide sufficiently protects public health.
EPA is required to carry out a periodic review and revision, as appropriate, of the air quality criteria and the NAAQS for six criteria air pollutants, which include sulfur oxides. Primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of ``sensitive'' populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly.