By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 10, 2020, that the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program released the ORD Staff Handbook for Developing IRIS Assessments (IRIS Handbook) for public comment. EPA states that the IRIS Handbook provides operating procedures for developing IRIS assessments, including problem formulation approaches and methods for conducting systematic review, dose response analysis, and developing toxicity values. The IRIS Handbook notes that it does not supersede existing EPA guidance and does not serve as guidance for other EPA programs. EPA will publish a Federal Register notice announcing the beginning of a 90-day public comment period on the IRIS Handbook and on the draft charge questions for reviewers in advance of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) peer review. EPA will summarize comments received and provide them to the committee conducting the peer review. EPA has posted a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice.