About Richard Becker, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.

Senior Director, Science and Research Division & Board-Certified Toxicologist | American Chemistry Council
Author Archive: Richard Becker, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.

Successful chemical assessment programs allow the science to speak for itself

Everyone who is committed to producing better and timely chemical assessments would agree objectivity is one of the hallmarks of a sound assessment program. Objectivity is particularly important when it comes to evaluating studies and results that will form the foundation for a chemical assessment. To ensure a strong foundation, these studies and results must […]

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Unfinished business: Changes to IRIS still needed to ensure assessments are based on modern science

The May release of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) progress in improving the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) was accompanied by much fanfare. The “kudos” directed to Ken Olden, who took over the IRIS program two years ago, are well-deserved. Dr. Olden has brought about a […]

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Recently finalized methanol assessment begs the question: Will science ever drive assessments?

Just a few short weeks after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its revised draft methanol assessment under the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), the Agency quickly issued a finalized assessment. While everyone agrees that the Agency needs to complete assessments in a timely manner, the release of the final assessment so quickly after […]

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ACS hosts important dialogue on endocrine disruption and green chemistry

The $56 billion that American chemical manufacturers commit every year to developing new innovations can be fueled in part by the principles of green chemistry and green engineering. In fact, these principles continue to serve as important guide posts for manufacturing products that enhance safety and help improve the protection of public health and the […]

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New report could improve the scientific foundation for regulatory decisions

A new report by the Research Integrity Roundtable, designed to improve the scientific analysis and independent expert reviews underpinning many important regulatory decisions, could lead to science-based improvements to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) and other critical assessment programs. A product of 18 months of stakeholder dialogues between scientists and policy experts from industry, […]

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Precautionary principle can do more harm than good, CPSC commissioner says

Commissioner Nancy A. Nord of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says “it’s time to discard the precautionary principle at the CPSC,” referring to work underway as mandated by Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Currently, the CPSC appears to be making decisions to limit or ban a substance […]

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Unenlightened “How Chemicals Affect Us” gets a D+ in endocrine disruption

Twenty years of scientific literature on “endocrine disruptors” cannot be drummed up in 790 words, but consumers’ fear of them can (“How Chemicals Affect Us,” May 2, 2012). A good writer, but not a science reporter, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, before all else, failed even to define “endocrine disruptor.” This is important because […]

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