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Center Set Up To Evaluate Evidence Of Chemical Threats To Human Reproduction

Date:
January 7, 1999
Source:
Nih-National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences
Summary:
The National Toxicology Program and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences today announced the establishment of an NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction. The organizers said the center will bring together experts to evaluate data indicating that a chemical or mixtures of chemicals could impair human reproduction and development.
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The National Toxicology Program and the National Institute ofEnvironmental Health Sciences today announced the establishment of an NTP Centerfor the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction. The organizers said thecenter will bring together experts to evaluate data indicating that a chemicalor mixtures of chemicals could impair human reproduction and development. For reasons that are "largely unknown," according to the officialannouncement:

  • Between 5 and 10 percent of couples who want to have childrencannot do so,

  • About half of all pregnancies are not successfully completed, --NIEHS research has shown that many fertilized fetuses disappear before theprospective mother is even aware she is pregnant --

  • Some 3 to 5 percent of newborns suffer from major birth defects,and

  • "A decline in human sperm counts over recent decades has beenreported but not confirmed."

The organizers said the center is not intended to conduct research orprovide counseling or medical treatment but will convene panels of 10-15scientists with expertise in reproduction, toxicology and related areas toreview the information available on the effects of a chemical on reproductionand development. Panel meetings will be open to the public and will permitpublic comment.

Michael D. Shelby, Ph.D., chief of the Laboratory of Toxicology at NIEHSwill direct the center's activities. Dr. Shelby said, "The center wasestablished in response to growing public concern for the effects ofenvironmental exposures on human fertility and the health of children." Hesaid, "Consistent, unbiased, scientifically sound evaluations [from the center]will provide a much needed service to the public, as well as to other governmentagencies and the scientific community."

The announcement in the Federal Register page 68782, vol. 63, Number239 said that the center will review, initially, two or three chemicals ormixtures a year that are nominated by the public, scientists, industry, workersand/or government agencies.

The expert panels will prepare consensus reports on the strength of scientific evidence that an exposure poses a hazard to reproduction and the health of children. Panel reports, the Federal Register announcement said, will bewritten "in terms that can be understood by those who are not scientificallytrained." and be published in the NIEHS' journal Environmental HealthPerspectives and on a center website linked to the NTP and NIEHS websites.

Scientific and administrative support to operate the center will beprovided under contract by Sciences International Inc., and nominations ofchemicals and of panel members should be sent there to the attention of JohnMoore, DVM, 1800 Diagonal road, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314-2808.

Oversight will be provided through the NTP Board of ScientificCounselors, a chartered peer review group of scientific experts primarily fromoutside government.

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The NTP is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services andserves many regulatory agencies within HHS and some outside as well. NTP isheadquartered at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and shares the samedirector, Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., as NIEHS, which is one of the NationalInstitutes of Health.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Nih-National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Nih-National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. "Center Set Up To Evaluate Evidence Of Chemical Threats To Human Reproduction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990107073650.htm>.
Nih-National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. (1999, January 7). Center Set Up To Evaluate Evidence Of Chemical Threats To Human Reproduction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990107073650.htm
Nih-National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. "Center Set Up To Evaluate Evidence Of Chemical Threats To Human Reproduction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990107073650.htm (accessed August 30, 2015).

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