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:
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.
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.
Materials provided by Nih-National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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