A new report released today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) shows EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) has significant problems with methodology, relies on sloppy research and has been criticized for a lack of transparency. The report, authored by CEI senior fellow Angela Logomasini and titled “EPA’s Flawed IRIS Program is Not the Gold Standard,” calls for IRIS to be shut down and its functions shifted into program offices at EPA.
Logomasini points out that information produced by IRIS does not undergo a full risk assessment, it only performs two of the EPA-identified four steps, and has made numerous controversial assessments with little basis in reality. One particularly controversial episode, addressed in the paper, is a faulty risk assessment of formaldehyde that drew a rebuke from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS).
“Far from being the ‘gold standard’ for risk assessment, EPA’s IRIS has a long history of flawed risk assessments based on faulty research that have led the agency to release counterproductive regulations,” said Logomasini. “These flawed regulations, based on IRIS assessments, have a profoundly negative impact on consumers and products Americans rely on in their daily lives. Concerns about IRIS’s work and methods have been raised by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), EPA’s Office of the Inspector General, Congress, and the National Academies of Sciences.”
The paper notes there is already a legislative proposal, H.R. 6468 “Improving Science in Chemical Assessments Act” sponsored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) in the 115th Congress, that would move most IRIS functions into program offices.
“IRIS should be shut down and its functions should be shifted into program offices in EPA, which have more rigorous standards for sound science,” said Logomasini.
You can read the full report here.