International Development, Community, and Environment


Tracey J. Woodruff, University of California, San Francisco
Swati D.G. Rayasam, University of California, San Francisco
Daniel A. Axelrad
Patricia D. Koman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Nicholas Chartres, University of California, San Francisco
Deborah H. Bennett, University of California, Davis
Linda S. Birnbaum, Duke University
Phil Brown, Northeastern University
Courtney C. Carignan, Michigan State University
Courtney Cooper, University of California, San Francisco
Carl F. Cranor, University of California, Riverside
Miriam L. Diamond, University of Toronto
Shari Franjevic, Clean Production Action
Eve C. Gartner, Earthjustice
Dale Hattis, Clark UniversityFollow
Russ Hauser, Harvard University
Wendy Heiger-Bernyas, Boston University
Rashmi Joglekar, Earthjustice
Juleen Lam, California State University, East Bay
Jonathan I. Levy, Boston University
Patrick M. MacRoy, Defend Our Health
Maricel V. Maffini
Emily C. Marquez, Pesticide Action Network
Rachel Morello-Frosch, University of California, Berkeley
Keeve E. Nachman, Johns Hopkins University
Greylin H. Nielsen, Boston University
Catherine Oksas, University of California, San Francisco
Dimitri Panagopoulos Abrahamsson, University of California, San Francisco
Heather B. Patisaul, North Carolina State University
Sharyle Patton, Commonweal
Joshua F. Robinson, University of California, San Francisco
Kathryn M. Rodgers, Silent Spring Institute
Mark S. Rossi, Clean Production Action
Ruthann A. Rudel, Silent Spring Institute
Jennifer B. Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council
Sheela Sathyanarayana, University of Washington
Ted Schettler, Science and Environmental Health Network
Rachel M. Shaffer, University of Washington
Bhavna Shamasunder, Occidental College
Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Kristin Shrader-Frechette, University of Notre Dame
Gina M. Solomon, University of California, San Francisco
Wilma A. Subra, Louisiana Environmental Action Network
Laura N. Vandenberg, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Julia R. Varshavsky, Northeastern University
Roberta F. White, Boston University
Ken Zarker, Washington State University
Lauren Zeise, California Environmental Protection Agency

Document Type



The manufacture and production of industrial chemicals continues to increase, with hundreds of thousands of chemicals and chemical mixtures used worldwide, leading to widespread population exposures and resultant health impacts. Low-wealth communities and communities of color often bear disproportionate burdens of exposure and impact; all compounded by regulatory delays to the detriment of public health. Multiple authoritative bodies and scientific consensus groups have called for actions to prevent harmful exposures via improved policy approaches. We worked across multiple disciplines to develop consensus recommendations for health-protective, scientific approaches to reduce harmful chemical exposures, which can be applied to current US policies governing industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants. This consensus identifies five principles and scientific recommendations for improving how agencies like the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approach and conduct hazard and risk assessment and risk management analyses: (1) the financial burden of data generation for any given chemical on (or to be introduced to) the market should be on the chemical producers that benefit from their production and use; (2) lack of data does not equate to lack of hazard, exposure, or risk; (3) populations at greater risk, including those that are more susceptible or more highly exposed, must be better identified and protected to account for their real-world risks; (4) hazard and risk assessments should not assume existence of a “safe” or “no-risk” level of chemical exposure in the diverse general population; and (5) hazard and risk assessments must evaluate and account for financial conflicts of interest in the body of evidence. While many of these recommendations focus specifically on the EPA, they are general principles for environmental health that could be adopted by any agency or entity engaged in exposure, hazard, and risk assessment. We also detail recommendations for four priority areas in companion papers (exposure assessment methods, human variability assessment, methods for quantifying non-cancer health outcomes, and a framework for defining chemical classes). These recommendations constitute key steps for improved evidence-based environmental health decision-making and public health protection. © 2022, The Author(s).

This article has been published as part of Environmental Health Volume 21 Supplement 1, 2022: A Science-Based Agenda for Health-Protective Chemical Assessments and Decisions.

Publication Title

Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source

Publication Date









chemicals, conflicts of interest, environmental health, environmental justice, EPA, hazard identification, health equity, risk assessment, TSCA

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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