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What is normal?

What is normal? That may sound like an odd question, but in fact it has considerable implications for the chemical industry and for chemical safety assessment.

2013 ICCA-LRI Workshop

More than 96% of all manufactured goods are directly touched by the business of chemistry, and exposures to chemicals occur as part of everyday life. So how can we better understand what is the range of normal regarding our responses to everyday exposures to chemicals? What are the potential implications for decisions related to chemical safety assessment? These questions were the focus of the 2013 International Council of Chemical Associations’ Long-Range Research Initiative (ICCA-LRI) workshop that was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on June 11 and 12.

Organized in collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the workshop considered these questions as well as the potential impacts of factors such as age, genetics, and nutrition on responses to chemical exposures. Presentations by toxicologists, exposure scientists, physicians, and epidemiologists provided a variety of viewpoints on the question of what is normal.

A hallmark of the ICCA-LRI workshops is that they bring together leading minds from a range of disciplines and perspectives, including governmental and regulatory agencies, academia, and industry. The workshops provide a venue to stimulate dialogue, promote information exchange, and advance thinking on diverse issues of critical importance to the industry.

Innovating Chemical Safety Assessment

The ICCA-LRI is a global research program under the auspices of the ICCA and includes LRI programs supported by the American Chemistry Council, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA). The ICCA-LRI supports research to advance understanding of the impact of chemicals on human health and the environment. The perspectives presented by this year’s workshop speakers and the interactive discussions among participants that followed serve to inform the LRI’s current research agenda. The workshop outcomes also help to identify key research issues related to understanding what is normal regarding responses to everyday chemical exposures as well as relevant directions for future ICCA-LRI research in chemical safety assessment.

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