IRIS and the National Research Council (NRC)

October 2014 IRIS Workshop to Discuss the NRC Recommendations

On October 15-16, 2014, EPA hosted a public workshop to discuss recommendations from the National Academies' National Research Council's May 2014 report on ways to further improve the scientific quality of IRIS assessments. In their report, the NRC commended EPA for its substantive new approaches, continuing commitment to improving the process, and successes to date.

As a result, EPA announced an agreement with the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) to arrange for independent experts to attend the IRIS bimonthly public meetings, in order to provide input on the science underlying the development of IRIS assessments through participation in IRIS Public Science Meetings. These independent experts, speaking on their own behalf, attended the IRIS meetings to contribute to the scientific discussions of issues amongst EPA, stakeholders, and the public. The first meeting where NRC identified experts were invited to join the public discussion on key science questions and preliminary assessment materials was the February 2015 IRIS Public Science meeting. The February 2015 meeting agenda, listed under meeting materials, specifies the discussants that were identified by the NRC.

May 2014 NRC Review of the IRIS Assessment Development Process

In May 2014, the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) released their review of the IRIS assessment development process. The NRC report applauded EPA’s efforts to improve IRIS and found that the Program had moved forward steadily in planning for and implementing changes in each element of the assessment process.

While recognizing EPA was still implementing changes, they noted that, “overall, the committee expects that EPA will complete its planned revisions in a timely way and that the revisions will transform the IRIS program.” Their report noted that the IRIS Program had made substantial progress in a short time, and the committee offered recommendations that build on EPA’s progress.

These recommendations provide continued direction for further improving the IRIS Program.

April 2011 NRC Recommendations

In April 2011, the National Research Council (NRC) offered recommendations to the EPA for improving the development of IRIS assessments in their Review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft IRIS Assessment of Formaldehyde.