Study in Progress

Scoping Plan to Assess the Hazards of Organohalogen Flame Retardants

Statement of Task

At the request of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will develop a scientifically based scoping plan to assess additive, nonpolymeric organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) as a class for potential chronic health hazards under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), including cancer, birth defects, and gene mutations. In developing the plan, the NASEM committee will complete the following tasks:

1. Survey available hazard data for OFRs and identify data needed (what exists and where there are data gaps) for a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) to conduct a class-level hazard assessment.
2. Identify one or more approaches to scientifically assess the potential for treating OFRs as a single class for purposes of hazard assessment.
3. Provide a plan, based on information gained from tasks (1) and (2) above, that will contain recommendations on how to most efficiently and effectively conduct research needed to evaluate OFRs under the FHSA, including timeline and cost estimates for obtaining scientific information and for executing the plan. The plan will focus on evaluation of OFR toxicity.

The product of the committee's work will be a brief consensus report. The report will include methods to conduct any needed research to evaluate toxicity of OFRs as a class. NASEM will develop the plan, taking into account that the plan, when executed, will provide a hazard assessment of OFRs as a class that will be used by a CHAP, along with data on exposure and human health effects, to complete a quantitative risk assessment. To that end, CPSC needs the hazard assessment plan as envisioned by NASEM, when executed, to be able to be readily integrated with a separate quantitative exposure assessment to complete a human health risk assessment. The ultimate CPSC goal is to assess the risk to human health posed by exposure to any OFR from the four categories of consumer products.

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