Toxicologists critique chemical risk assessments

Majorities of toxicologists rate most government agencies as accurately portraying chemical risks, but they rate leading environmental activist groups as overstating risks and some industry groups as understating risks, according to the survey by George Mason University researchers.

For example, 96% of survey respondents say Greenpeace overstates the health risks of chemicals; 80% say the Environmental Defense Fund overstates; and 79% say the Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Science in the Public Interest overstate the risks.

Conversely, 60% say PhRMA understates chemical risks, while 57% say the American Chemistry Council understates.

This survey of 937 members of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) was administered online from Jan 27 to March 2 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University.

Majorities of respondents say that most U.S. government agencies accurately portray risk, with only the EPA (40%) and the CPSC (47%) falling below a majority.

- see the survey results