EPA Announces Strategic Plan to Better Assess Human Endocrine Effects of Pesticides

On October 26, EPA unveiled a strategic plan to rebuild its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). EPA established the EDSP in 1996 following the amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The program has sought to evaluate how pesticides and other chemicals may affect estrogen, androgen, and thyroid systems. EPA encountered multiple challenges with implementing EDSP after its creation, such as a lack of scientific methods to rapidly and cost-effectively test thousands of chemicals and minimal support and direction for EPA staff to implement the program. The Agency’s strategic plan outlines three actions EPA will take to advance the EDSP.

  1. EPA will use its data collection authorities under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to obtain the data needed to make both FIFRA and EDSP decisions on whether the pesticide impacts the human estrogen, androgen, and thyroid systems and will require any needed protections.
  2. EPA will make endocrine decisions related to human health more expeditiously by using existing data collected under FIFRA and FFDCA when possible.
  3. EPA will require additional endocrine data for human health for 30 high-priority pesticides. These pesticides are considered high priority because preliminary data indicate the chemicals may cause activity in the endocrine system. EPA is seeking available data or information on these chemicals for 60 days as part of a public comment period.

EPA is taking public comments on this strategic plan until December 26.