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February 21, 2023

EPA Seeks Experts to Serve on BOSC Panel to Review Documents Concerning New EPA Transcriptomic Assessment Product

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On February 15, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested nominations for technical experts to serve as Special Government Employees (SGE) on a review panel under the authority of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), a federal advisory committee to the Office of Research and Development (ORD). 88 Fed. Reg. 9880. EPA states that selected experts will review ORD’s draft documents detailing scientific studies supporting the development of transcriptomic-based toxicity values and their implementation as a new EPA Transcriptomic Assessment Product (ETAP). According to EPA, the ETAP is a proposed ORD assessment product that uses a standardized short-term in vivo study design and data analysis procedures to develop transcriptomic-based toxicity values for data-poor chemicals. Draft documents will be provided in the BOSC docket prior to the meeting for an in-depth evaluation of:

  • Literature review and scientific studies supporting the development of transcriptomic points of departure from short-term in vivo studies;
  • Derivation of transcriptomic toxicity values for chronic toxicity;
  • Incorporation of transcriptomic toxicity values into a new standardized assessment product that is intended for data-poor chemicals; and
  • Example application of the ETAP to a data-poor per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS).

According to EPA, the review of the draft documents detailing underlying scientific studies and implementation of ETAP by the BOSC is being performed in close coordination with a separate BOSC review of a value-of-information (VOI) analysis comparing the ETAP with traditional human health assessment practices. EPA states that the VOI analysis is intended to evaluate the public health and economic trade-offs associated with the timeliness, uncertainty, and costs of the different toxicity evaluation and assessment approaches.

The review will take place between April and July 2023. Nominations are due March 3, 2023.