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ACC Calls for EPA to Correct Databases

August 9, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 32

The American Chemistry Council is backing another industry group's request that EPA correct chemical information in several of the agency's publicly accessible databases. Erroneous information in those databases about the physical and chemical properties of 24 compounds should be rectified, ACC said in a July 29 letter supporting a May petition by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The 24 substances are mainly pesticides, such as aldrin and 2,4-D, and industrial chemicals including vinyl chloride and benzene. The databases contain chemical parameters that are supposed to be constants--such as octanol-water partition coefficients--that are used in directives by EPA and state regulators for risk assessments and in setting environmental cleanup requirements. But according to ACC, "The values for a given parameter can vary by up to 10 orders of magnitude across up to 17 EPA databases." The costs of cleanup may be influenced by which figure is used. ACC suggested that EPA work with the Design Institute for Physical Properties, administered by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, to identify or develop accurate values for the 24 chemicals. EPA is expected to respond soon to the request by the Chamber of Commerce, which asked for the correction under the federal Information Quality Act.


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