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NTP To Revise Process For Listing Carcinogens

by Britt E. Erickson
November 7, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 45

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has proposed a revised process for determining which substances will be included in its biennial “Report on Carcinogens.” The congressionally mandated report lists chemicals, viruses, and other substances that are either known or reasonably anticipated human carcinogens. The latest version was released in June, four years overdue because of intense opposition from the chemical industry over the inclusion of styrene and formaldehyde (C&EN, June 20, page 11). The proposed changes to the determination process include enhancing transparency and stakeholder input, particularly in developing the initial listing status for candidate substances. The review process for determining the initial list of candidates for the latest version, the 12th report, was conducted internally by NTP and closed to the public. Shortly after the release of that report, styrene manufacturers filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health & Human Services for listing their product as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen. Industry claims that listing styrene “is contrary to the weight of scientific evidence and opinion.” NTP is holding a public briefing on Nov. 29 to discuss the proposed changes and is accepting comments until Nov. 30.


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