In FY 2018, NIEHS provided support for NTP activities through interagency agreements with other federal agencies.
Under an interagency agreement, NIEHS provided resources to FDA to conduct toxicology studies on FDA-regulated agents and on issues of mutual interest to NIEHS and FDA at the National Center for Toxicological Research. Gonçalo Gamboa da Costa, Ph.D., Division of Biochemical Toxicology, is FDA project officer of the NCTR-NIEHS interagency agreement and provides oversight and coordination of NCTR activities funded under the interagency agreement with NIEHS. These studies are designed to provide FDA and other regulatory agencies with hazard identification and dose-response data to support risk assessment and risk management decisions that could affect public health. The interagency agreement supports studies on endocrine-active agents, dietary supplements, food additives and contaminants, therapeutics and medicines, cosmetic ingredients, nanoscale materials and development of novel toxicological approaches. Studies in these areas have produced 18 published NTP technical reports and more than 250 peer-reviewed journal publications. The studies have led to an increased understanding of the pharmacokinetics, mode-of-action, and dose-response relationships of the substances and to refinements of risk assessment models. Further information about NTP at the National Center for Toxicological Research and current research can be found in the Partner Agency Research section of this annual report.
NIEHS/NTP provides support to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through two interagency agreements. Studies under the interagency agreement on "Immunotoxicity of Workplace Xenobiotics" have assessed the potential toxicity of exposures to substances such as fungi, mycotoxins, volatile organic compounds, lead, latex, nickel, isocyanates, nanomaterials, and beryllium in occupationally exposed populations such as miners, farmers, health care workers, autoworkers, and firefighters. The second interagency agreement supports the development of methods to assess complex mixtures, such as asphalt fumes, welding fumes, and tungsten fibers, and to conduct occupational exposure assessments to identify toxicologically relevant exposures. Research under these agreements in FY 2018 evaluated occupational exposure to bisphenol A, alternative flame retardants, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coal tar sealants. For more information, see the Partner Agency Research section of the Annual Report.
This interagency agreement supports ongoing and anticipated studies conducted at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation to evaluate high-throughput and high-content screening assays in support of Tox21. Tox21 is a collaboration among federal agencies to characterize the potential toxicity of chemicals by using cells and isolated molecular targets instead of laboratory animals. This interagency agreement between NIEHS/NTP and the division produces data for information-poor substances to help prioritize them for further studies, including toxicological evaluation, mechanisms of action investigation, and development of predictive modeling for biological response.
Under this interagency agreement, NTP is working with DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop tools important to evaluating the use and impact of its work. For example, publication mining tools help to evaluate NTP’s impact across the agencies and with stakeholders to whom the work is disseminated and to extract and organize data (e.g., potential outcomes and impacts) from NTP’s large inventory of documents (e.g., publications and progress reports).
With projects under this interagency agreement, EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology works to accelerate the development and use of advanced methods and models for quantitative and qualitative risk assessments of environmental chemicals. Specifically, research in FY 2018 used non-targeted approaches to characterize chemicals present in feminine hygiene products.
This IAA between NTP and EPA’ National Center for Environmental Assessment facilitates communication and coordination to foster common practices in human health assessments and to minimize the differences in hazard assessment methodologies. Through exchange of scientific expertise and peer review of work products, the agencies increase the quality and integrity of toxicological assessments while ensuring efficient use of federal resources and avoiding duplicative effort.
Through an IAA to support the experimental study of cell phone radiofrequency radiation exposure, NIEHS/NTP and the National Institute of Standards and Technology collaborated under this interagency agreement to develop a new exposure system that addresses the limitation in existing systems. In a separate agreement, the NIST Text Analysis Conference, NIST assisted NTP with development of automated systematic review methods.