The guidance document, “Pesticide Cumulative Risk Assessment: Framework for Screening Analysis,” gives information on how the EPA screens available data to determine which pesticide groups may be toxic -- presenting what it calls a cumulative risk -- and therefore require further testing. The guidance document stands to make the EPA’s screening process more efficient, allowing the agency to efficiently prioritize its assessments.
According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the EPA must consider available information on the cumulative effects of pesticides that have a common mechanism of toxicity in an efficient use of resources, which this guidance document seeks to allow. Previously, these assessments were resource intensive and required scientific analysis of large data sets.
In its release, the EPA included an example copy of the assessment for abamectin and emamectin benzoate, which were determined to share a similar toxicological profile, and therefore could present an aggregate risk, meaning one derived from exposure to the same chemical in multiple pathways. Using conservative exposure assumptions, the agency developed a screening level cumulative analysis.
The public comment period for this document will close on Aug. 28, 2015.
EPA testimony statements are available at www.epa.gov.