Improving EPA's Assessment of Inorganic Arsenic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) evaluates information on health effects that may result from exposure to certain chemicals.  In an effort to update its IRIS assessment of inorganic arsenic -- a substance naturally found in drinking water, fruits, and rice -- EPA asked the National Research Council to review a draft plan for carrying out the assessment and to evaluate critical scientific issues in assessing effects of oral exposure to the chemical.

In a new report, the Research Council offers recommendations for improving the way EPA carries out each stage of the IRIS process to obtain the best evidence-based conclusions, including procedures for reviewing and evaluating evidence, assessing the causal relationship between inorganic arsenic and various health effects, conducting a range of analyses, and identifying subpopulations that might have increased susceptibility to health effects from exposure to inorganic arsenic. 


Critical Aspects of EPA's IRIS Assessment of Inorganic Arsenic will be available to reporters only beginning 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 6.  The report is embargoed and not for public release before 11 a.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 7.  To obtain an embargoed copy, please contact the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail