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Upcoming Virtual Public Meeting on Formaldehyde Studies

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 9, 2023. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a virtual public meeting on May 16-18, 2023, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm Eastern Time to consult the Human Studies Review Board (HSRB), an independent advisory committee, about the scientific and ethical conduct of two human health studies on formaldehyde, as well as a draft weight of evidence document on the use of human studies for evaluating formaldehyde’s acute respiratory effects.  

Under EPA’s Human Studies Rule, this consultation is required for all studies that involve intentional exposure of human subjects to a substance or pesticide. This consultation process ensures that EPA relies on research that meets the appropriate standards for protection of human subjects.  

EPA is currently developing a draft Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) risk assessment for formaldehyde’s use as a pesticide and a draft risk evaluation of formaldehyde under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Agency will consider the studies being reviewed by the HSRB along with other studies as part of the FIFRA and TSCA assessments.  

Visit EPA’s website for the materials that will be discussed at the HSRB meeting, including the relevant studies, EPA’s science and ethics reviews of these studies, and the weight of evidence document that will be considered by HSRB.  

Register for the meeting here 

Background on EPA’s Draft IRIS Assessment of Formaldehyde 

EPA’s IRIS Program released a draft health assessment on formaldehyde for review and comment in April 2022, that provided scientific support for evaluating health risks from chronic exposure to formaldehyde through inhalation. The two controlled human exposure studies that will be presented to the HSRB at the upcoming meeting in May were used in the IRIS assessment to inform conclusions on how inhaled formaldehyde can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. EPA received public comments on the IRIS document and is now in the process of independent scientific peer review managed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). On Oct. 12 and Dec. 22, 2022, and on Jan. 20, 2023, NASEM held public meetings on the Review of EPA’s 2022 Draft Formaldehyde Assessment. The NASEM review is assessing whether EPA’s draft IRIS assessment was adequate and transparent in evaluating the scientific literature and used appropriate methods to synthesize the science. NASEM is also reviewing conclusions that were informed by the two controlled human exposure studies the HSRB will be reviewing at the May meeting. 

To learn more about EPA’s assessment of formaldehyde, visit EPA’s website.