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Draft Metals Risk Assessment Framework Released

Release Date: 12/20/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 /

(12/20/04) Today, EPA released the “Draft Framework for Inorganic Metals Risk Assessment” to provide guidance to scientists in assessing the human health and ecological risks associated with inorganic metals and metal compounds. The draft framework is available for public comment through Jan. 18, 2005. Many EPA programs make decisions on whether and how to regulate metals, particularly controlling releases to the environment and establishing acceptable levels in air, water, land and other media. EPA continually updates scientific guidance documents such as the metals framework to ensure that the agency’s regulatory actions are based on sound science. The framework presents recommendations for conducting metals risk assessment; including tools, methods and data for conducting human exposure and health assessments. In developing the framework, EPA consulted extensively with the scientific community and stakeholders. Scientific papers were prepared by outside experts working in cooperation with EPA scientists to provide information on key metals issues such as environmental chemistry, exposure, human health and ecological effects, and bioavailability and bioaccumulation. The draft framework is available on EPA’s website at: As an additional step to ensure the framework reflects sound science, EPA’s Science Advisory Board will conduct a rigorous review of the draft framework in early February 2005.