|Today's post by Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter is shared from eenews.net|
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) declared today that formaldehyde -- a common ingredient in home building products -- causes cancer in humans.
NTP, which is administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), listed formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen" in the 12th edition of its "Report on Carcinogens." Formaldehyde had been listed in previous editions as "reasonably anticipated" to cause cancer.
The classification is sure to add to the current debate surrounding formaldehyde and whether it should be more tightly regulated. U.S. EPA has released a draft assessment on the substance that labeled it carcinogenic -- a step toward tougher formaldehyde standards. Aspects of that report, however, were criticized by a National Academy of Sciences review, and industry has launched a significant lobbying effort against new formaldehyde regulations (Greenwire, April 8).
The NTP and NAS reports both agreed with EPA that formaldehyde exposure can lead to cancers of the nose, nasal cavity and upper throat. The NTP report breaks with the NAS review, however, in saying that there is sufficient evidence that formaldehyde exposure causes myeloid leukemia.
NTP acknowledged that there appear to be questions surrounding how formaldehyde affects human cells to produce myeloid leukemia, which was a major reason NAS disagreed with EPA's assessment. However, NTP said there are...