The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released a list of 134 chemicals that will be tested for their potential to act as endocrine disruptors (ED). EDs are chemicals that interact with hormone systems and possibly affect the growth or reproduction of animals.
The EPA’s program for screening these particular chemicals will take years and will kill approximately 80,000 animals. Since this program relies heavily on animal testing, it will provide information that is hard to interpret and is unlikely to help the EPA protect either humans or the environment from harmful chemicals.
The EPA has spent millions of dollars to create a large-scale non-animal testing program called ToxCast and has already used the program to profile the endocrine activity of more than 300 chemicals in the first phase of this program.
In addition, the EPA used ToxCast to study the health effects of the oil dispersants used in last summer’s Gulf Coast oil spill, yet the review panel overseeing the EPA’s endocrine program has so far refused to accept information from ToxCast. This is perplexing in light of the EPA’s own confidence in the usefulness of the program. Rather than killing tens of thousands of animals, the EPA should take its own advice and use ToxCast to test the potential endocrine activity of these chemicals.
Please take a moment to write to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to politely insist that the EPA use the non-animal ToxCast program to test the new list of chemicals for their potential to cause endocrine disruption.
You can contact the EPA here: