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More Data on Chemical Safety

Fewer than 15 percent of the 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States have been tested for their effects on human health. Chemical companies should be required to provide the necessary data to ensure their products are safe.

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The Environmental Protection Agency, chemical industry, and Enivronmental Defense Fund partnered in 1998 to establish the U.S. High Production Volume, or HPV, Chemical Challenge to address significant gaps in chemical hazard data. This program sought to enlist chemical manufacturers to voluntarily test HPV chemicals—chemicals produced or imported in the United States in quantities of 1 million pounds or more per year.

Testing was supposed to be completed by 2004, but only 43 percent of these HPV chemicals have final data sets, and 10 percent are "orphans" that lack an industry sponsor for testing. Even less is known about chemicals that are not high volume. Fewer than 15 percent of the 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States have been tested for their effects on human health. Chemical companies should be required to provide the necessary data to ensure their products are safe.

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