Last week NIP and EPA announced a cooperation to test tens of thousands of chemicals for toxic effects. The work is expected to generate data specific to human health effects of exposure to a store of chemicals.
The National Institutes of Health is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research.
The Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and with safeguarding the natural environment: air, water, and land. The EPA began operation on December 2, 1970 , when it was established by President Richard Nixon. It is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President of the United States . The EPA is not a Cabinet agency, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank. The current Administrator (as of 2007) is Stephen L. Johnson, and the current Deputy Administrator is Marcus Peacock. The agency has approximately 18,000 full-time employees.
NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni says, this information will help improve people's health.
The effort represents a major step toward moving the field of toxicology from traditional studies on laboratory animals—which are expensive and take years to complete—to rapid, automated testing using cultured human cells.
EPA's National Center for Computational Toxicology will use its computer resources to compare traditional, animal-derived toxicology data with the results from the new, automated methods. Robert Kavlock, director of the EPA center, says the results from the collaboration could eventually help scientists determine health effects from mixtures of substances. The work could also identify populations of people who, due to their genetic makeup, are particularly susceptible to toxic effects of particular chemicals, he adds.