Open communication and interactive partnerships at the federal, state, and international levels are crucial for the success of NTP activities. NTP works closely with agencies represented on the NTP Executive Committee to address issues of importance to public health. Through relationships with regulatory agencies, NTP has an indirect role in shaping public health policy. Federal and state government agencies rely on the scientific knowledge and its interpretation provided by NTP to make credible decisions that protect public health and the environment.
NTP also plays a critical role in:
- Fostering interagency collaborations in research and exposure assessment
- Providing information to regulatory agencies about alternative methods for toxicity testing, interpretation
- Exploring new technologies for evaluating how environmental agents cause disease
NTP conferences and workshops provide an opportunity for researchers, regulatory, policy makers, and the public to examine issues together, exchange information, and reach agreement on future directions of toxicology and risk assessment.
NTP is increasingly active in developing international partnerships to establish effective means for avoiding duplicative efforts in toxicology testing. NTP is collaborating with the Ramazzini Foundation (Fondazione Europea B. Ramazzini) on standardization of the conduct and reporting of laboratory studies on the health effects associated with long-term exposure to environmental agents. They share common interest in identifying agents that cause cancer and in understanding the interaction and synergism between genetic susceptibility to cancer and exposure to cancer-causing agents.
Read the Summary Report of the National Toxicology Program and Environmental Protection Agency-Sponsored Review of Pathology Materials from Selected Ramazzini Institute Rodent Cancer Bioassays (388 kb).
NTP forms partnerships with other Federal Agencies to address common goals of investigating the effects of environmental and other agents on human health.
- Cell Phones - More than 100 million Americans currently use wireless communication devices, with thousands of new users added daily. The Federal Communication Commission requires these devises to meet its guidelines for exposure to radiofrequency radiation. We currently do not have enough data to determine whether these guidelines will also protect against potential adverse effects of long-term exposure. NTP is working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish suitable exposure systems for designing Radiofrequency Radiation Emissions from Cellular Phones toxicity studies.
- Solar Radiation - The U.S. public is increasingly exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight due to more leisure time spent in outdoor activities and also from other sources (e.g., tanning booths). NTP is coordinating an effort between the NIEHS/NIH and NCTR/FDA to study the phototoxicology and photocarcinogenicity of substances nominated to NTP, including those of high priority to the FDA.
- Occupational Mixtures and Exposures - NTP is coordinating an effort between the NIEHS/NIH and NIOSH/CDC to better understand worker exposures, educate workers, and identify occupational health research gaps. Current efforts are addressing worker exposure to welding fumes and 1-bromopropane.
- Safe Drinking Water Program - More than 200 million Americans are estimated to use treated drinking water, so the availability of safe drinking water is of enormous importance to public health. Although chlorination is one of the major public health advances of the 20th century, by-products of chlorination or other disinfection processes (disinfection by-products, DBPs) may cause health problems. Also, some agents found naturally in water or that contaminate public water systems may pose a threat to public health.
To provide scientific data for setting sound standards for water quality, NTP is collaborating with the EPA on a research program to assess potential risks from human exposure to DBPs.
- DNA-Based Products - DNA-based therapies are being developed to treat a wide range of human diseases. However, by their very nature, they pose a risk of interacting with the host's genes or disrupting normal cellular processes in unexpected, unpredictable, and potentially harmful ways. Presently, NTP is collaborating with the FDA and sister NIH institutes to study the safety of DNA-based products.
- Endrocrine-Disrupting Agents - Endocrine disruptors are naturally occurring or man-made substances that may mimic or interfere with natural hormones in the body. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are of interest to the FDA, and through an interagency agreement, the NIEHS/NIH supports toxicology studies being conducted at the NCTR/FDA.