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Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016

Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016

Letter From the NIEHS and NTP Director

In fiscal year (FY) 2016, NTP continued to advance toxicology and inform public health policy by providing information about substances in our environment to decision makers and the public. Numerous studies were published on substances of public health concern, such as viruses, metals, and widely used industrial chemicals. NTP also developed more efficient approaches to predict how chemicals may affect human health through the Tox21 initiative.

NTP submitted the 14th Report on Carcinogens to the Health and Human Services Secretary for review and approval in FY 2016. On November 30, 2016, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell released the 14th Report on Carcinogens. The newly reviewed listings, include trichloroethylene, five viruses, all listed as known to be a human carcinogen; and the class cobalt and cobalt compounds that release cobalt in vivo, listed as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. There are a total of 248 substances listed in the report.

In May 2016, NTP released preliminary study findings on cancer and cell phone radiofrequency radiation in rats. Previous human observational studies have found limited evidence for an increased risk of cancer from cell phone use. In these new studies, NTP scientists found low incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats, but not in female rats. These findings have been shared with federal regulatory partners to ensure they have the latest information available for public health guidance on cellular telephones and other radiofrequency radiation emitting devices.

I invite you to read this report to learn about what we accomplished in FY 2016 to safeguard public health by informing policy with the best science.

Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.

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Dr. Linda Birnbaum

Dr. Birnbaum has served as the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) since 2009. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)