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Genomics: Applications, Challenges, and Opportunities for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Abstract:

Genomics information has great potential to enhance assessment of risks to human health and the environment. Although understanding genomic responses with respect to adverse ecological and human health outcomes is not, as yet, established, it is important to consider the likely future impacts of genomics technologies on risk assessment and decision-making. Four areas are identified as those likely to be influenced by the generation of genomics information within, and the submission of such information to, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA): risk assessment, prioritization of contaminants and contaminated sites, monitoring, and reporting provisions. For each of these risk assessment and regulatory applications, representative activities are presented to illustrate the application. Three major challenges for the USEPA associated with genomics are also identified in the areas of research, technical development, and capacity. The USEPA's initial activities to address these challenges are discussed. The Agency recognizes it must be prepared to use genomics information, and that many scientific, policy, ethical, and legal concerns will need to be addressed. The USEPA also recognizes it is essential to continue to collaborate with other federal agencies, academia, the regulated community, and other stakeholders in order to benefit from ongoing advances in genomics in the wider scientific and regulatory communities.

Keywords: USEPA; genomics; regulatory applications; risk assessment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10807030600561717

Affiliations: 1: Office of the Science Advisor, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Washington, DC, USA 2: Gulf Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, USEPA, Gulf Breeze, Florida, USA 3: Office of Planning, Analysis and Accountability, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 4: Western Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, USEPA, Corvallis, Oregon, USA 5: Health and Ecological Criteria Division, Office of Science and Technology, Office of Water, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 6: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Washington, DC, USA 7: Ecological Exposure Research Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, USEPA, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA 8: Environmental Analysis Division, Office of Information Analysis and Access, Office of Environmental Information, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 9: Health Effects Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 10: National Center for Environmental Economics, Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, Office of the Administrator, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 11: Environmental Carcinogenesis Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, USEPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA 12: Risk Assessment Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 13: Region 9, USEPA, San Francisco, California, USA 14: Office of Science Policy, Office of Research and Development, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 15: Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 16: Science Advisory Board Staff Office, Office of the Administrator, USEPA, Washington, DC, USA 17: Office of the Director, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, USEPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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