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April 14, 2022

Chairwoman Johnson Statement on EPA IRIS Release of Draft Formaldehyde Assessment

(Dallas, TX)— Today, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program issued its draft risk assessment on formaldehyde. The draft assessment concludes that there is a causal relationship between formaldehyde exposure and myeloid leukemia. The public comment period on the assessment is open until June 13, at which point the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will conduct a review. After a 2010 NASEM report on a draft formaldehyde assessment led to a complete overhaul of the IRIS program, follow-on reports from NASEM in 2014 and 2018 have commended the improvements made to the program.

“I applaud EPA for releasing its long-awaited IRIS assessment of formaldehyde for public comment. IRIS provides the gold standard of chemical risk assessment for public health entities at every level of government and it is unfortunate that this assessment was so severely delayed by political interference,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. “IRIS has publicly concluded in its draft that formaldehyde exposure is causally linked to myeloid leukemia. Now, EPA must ensure politics plays no part in its process as the Agency reviews public comments and finalizes the assessment. I have great confidence in the integrity of the National Academies’ review process, and I urge them to conduct their review thoroughly and expeditiously.”