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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 The Committee on Toxicology 50 YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC SERVICE TO THE NATION Toxicology plays a major role in the assessment of health and environmental hazards associated with the many substances that are used or encountered by military personnel and the general public. More than 75,000 chemical substances are currently manufactured or used in commerce in the United States, and almost 1,000 more are introduced into commerce each year. Many laws have been enacted that require government agencies —primarily the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—to protect the general population and workers from toxic exposures to chemical substances in the environment and the workplace. The Department of Defense (DOD), which employs millions of military personnel and civilians, has the responsibility to protect not only active military personnel, but also their families and other civilians who live or work on or near military installations. Toxicological issues encountered by the US military can be traced back at least to World War I, when Germany launched chemical-warfare attacks on Allied troops. Gas poisoning in World War I resulted in 100,000 deaths and over 1 million casualties. Toxicological issues in the military also rapidly expanded to occupational environments. During World War I, nearly 230 fatalities per billion pounds of manufactured explosives were attributed to exposures to TNT and nitrous gases in US munitions plants. Military personnel are at times exposed to new chemicals used in vehicles, equipment, and clothing. Concerns often arise about the acute and chronic toxicity associated with the use of those chemicals and the materials that contain
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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 them. In response to those concerns, the military has established toxicology laboratories for the Army, Navy, and Air Force to generate data on the toxicity of chemical-warfare agents, other munitions, pesticides, jet fuels, submarine pollutants, and many other substances used or encountered by the military. In addition to generating data in laboratories, the armed forces have often asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct independent toxicity and health risk assessments of chemicals used by the military. In response to many requests from the DOD for toxicological studies, the NRC in 1947 convened the Committee on Toxicology (COT)—with expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, and chemistry—to provide scientific information and expert advice on difficult questions involving toxicology and risk assessment. One of the oldest scientific bodies of the NRC, COT was created to be a US counterpart of the Commission de Toxicologie of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and to represent the US professions of toxicology and industrial hygiene in international forums. However, the need for COT's services in many important military and domestic situations has long been recognized, especially by the armed forces, and federal agencies have requested COT's assistance many times in tackling complex scientific issues. Such civilian agencies as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), EPA, the Coast Guard, CPSC, OSHA, and the Department of Energy have sought advice from COT on matters related to toxicology and risk assessment. COT subcommittee meeting.
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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 This pamphlet highlights some of the work of COT over its first 5 decades of service (1947-1997) and describes some of COT's recent and current activities. BACKGROUND The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was chartered by the US Congress and President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 as a private institution dedicated to furthering science and technology and providing independent, authoritative scientific and technical advice to the federal government. NAS and its associated organizations—the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the NRC—constitute what has been called the “Supreme Court of Science” and the most important independent expert advisory mechanism for science and technology relevant to public policy in the United States and perhaps in the world. The NRC is the principal operating agency of NAS and NAE and conducts most of the studies done in their names on scientific and technical matters of national importance. The studies are carried out primarily by committees, panels, and working groups consisting of distinguished experts chosen by the NRC in science, engineering, medicine, and other disciplines from universities and other institutions. About 200 study reports are prepared and distributed by the NRC each year. The reports are provided to the government and available to the public through the National Academy Press (800-624-6242) or the COT Toxicology Information Center (202-334-2387). Recent reports are also available through the web site of the National Academy Press (http://www.nap.edu/readingroom). MISSION COT's mission is to conduct independent, authoritative studies on issues in toxicology for the Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, EPA, and other governmental agencies. COT's specific responsibilities to its sponsoring agencies are the following: To serve as an independent body to assess or adjudicate controversial problems in toxicology. To respond to scientific questions from sponsoring agencies. To assess contaminant limits for emergency and continuous exposures. To assess standards and procedures for the safe handling, use, and disposal of hazardous materials. To assess precautionary and protective measures for exposures of personnel to hazardous substances.
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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 To assess protocols for monitoring of hazardous substances and surveillance of exposed personnel. To assess techniques and substances for hazardous substance treatment and decontamination. To recommend research on toxicological and other scientific issues. To evaluate programs or studies conducted by sponsoring agencies and to assist in interpreting the results of the studies. COT reports, like all other NRC reports, provide independent evaluations of scientific information, identification of data gaps, and technical recommendations. All COT reports are advisory. They do not represent government standards, and they do not contain judgments regarding the acceptability of health risks. STUDY PROCEDURES AND REPORT REVIEW COT's primary output is in the form of independent, peer-reviewed, consensus reports to government agencies in response to requests for scientific information or evaluations. When an agency requests a study, COT develops a project plan and seeks approval from its parent organizations within the Academy complex: the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, the Commission on Life Sciences, and the NRC Governing Board. Once approval is obtained and financial support by sponsors is arranged, COT and the NRC identify renowned scientists with appropriate expertise to undertake the project. The scientists review the literature and other pertinent materials and prepare a consensus report. Before the report is released, it is edited and submitted to rigorous external peer review according to procedures of the NRC Report Review Committee. Because COT reports carry the weight and the authority of the NRC, report review is an integral part of producing a COT report. Critical and careful review helps to ensure that the highest scientific and expository standards are met. SPONSORING AGENCIES In its early days, COT's studies and reports were confined to the needs of its original sponsors—the US armed services and the former Atomic Energy Commission. Most of COT's work was performed for the Army, Navy, and Air Force, all of which needed information on potential health hazards to military and civilian personnel from exposures to substances ranging from fuels and explosives to sunscreens and pesticides. Since then, COT has accepted requests for assistance from other government agencies (see shaded box). The reports for civilian agencies address many of the same kinds of topics as those produced for the armed services.
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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 COT Sponsors Primary Sponsors: Army Navy Air Force Other Sponsors: Atomic Energy Commission (later part of the Department of Energy) Coast Guard Consumer Product Safety Commission Department of Energy Environmental Protection Agency General Services Administration National Aeronautics and Space Administration Occupational Safety and Health Administration MEMBERSHIP COT is composed of about 20 members who are experts in relevant sciences and are appointed for 3-year terms by the NRC. COT's list of distinguished past and present members (see shaded boxes) include national and international leaders in such fields as toxicology, epidemiology, occupational health, pharmacology, pathology, biochemistry, chemistry, industrial hygiene, biostatistics, and risk assessment. Members are chosen from universities and other institutions for Chairs of COT H.H. Schrenk 1947-1950 Lawrence T. Fairhall 1951-1952 Harold C. Hodge 1952-1958 Norton Nelson 1958-1961 Arnold J. Lehman 1961-1968 William L. Sutton 1968-1969 Herbert E. Stokinger 1969-1972 Bertram D. Dinman 1972-1977 Joseph F. Borzelleca 1977-1981 Roger O. McClellan 1982-1987 John Doull 1987-1992 Rogene F. Henderson 1992
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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 Current and Past Members of COT Alarie, Yves 1974-1978 Greenwald, Peter 1981-1983 Reinhardt, Charles F. 1972-1980 Amdur, Mary O. 1975-1977 Grice, Harold C. 1975-1978 Richardson, A.P. 1951-1952 Angle, Carol 1985-1988 Griesemer, Richard 1983-1986 Rodricks, Joseph V. 1977-1982 Axelrod, David 1977-1980 Guzelian, Philip 1986-1989 Rowe, Verald K. 1964-1972 Bates, Richard R. 1982-1984 Halperin, William 1983-1989 Schrenk, H.H. 1947-1952 Bell, Hays 1988-1994 1995- Shaffer, C. Boyd 1969-1975 Bingham, Eula 1986-1992 Hamblin, D.O. 1947-1952 Shank, Ronald C. 1977-1983 Borzelleca, Joseph F. 1975-1981 Heath, Clark 1983-1986 Shy, Carl M. 1979-1981 Buck, Germaine M. 1995- Henderson, Rogene 1985- Silverman, Leslie 1952-1957 Burns, John J., Jr. 1975-1976 Higgins, Ian T. 1977-1982 Sipes, I. Glenn 1987-1990 Hine, Charles H. 1952-1957 Smuckler, Edward A. 1980-1983 Carlson, Gary P. 1996- Hites, Ronald 1991-1993 Smyth, Henry F., Jr. 1964-1970 Carter, Dean 1991-1994 Hodge, Harold C. 1950-1958 Snyder, Robert 1980-1984 Cory-Slechta, 1991-1997 Deborah 1993-1996 Irish, D.D. 1947-1951 Spanggord, Ronald J. 1982-1985 Cox, Colonel Spencer, Peter S. 1979-1984 Wesley C. 1950-1953 Jones, Warren H. 1977-1979 Standaert, Frank G. 1971-1977 Sterner, James H. 1947-1952 Dagirmanjian, Rose 1984-1987 Karol, Meryl 1984-1987 1971-1973 Dean, Jack H. 1996- Kerkvliet, Nancy 1987-1990 Stewart, Richard D. 1971-1974 Dinman, Bertram D. 1967-1977 Kilgore, Wendell W. 1979-1982 Stokinger, Richard D. 1952-1975 Doull, John 1987-1993 Kimmel, Carole 1988-1994 Sutton, William L. 1964-1969 Driscoll, Kevin E. 1995- Klaassen, Curtis 1988-1991 DuBois, Arthur B. 1967-1976 Kodell, Ralph 1987-1993 Tardiff, Robert G. 1975-1977 Koelle, George B. 1995-1997 Taylor, Kathleen 1985-1991 Eckardt, R.E. 1969-1971 Koller, Loren 1990-1996 Taylor, Robert 1986-1989 Ecobichon, Donald 1981-1984 Krewski, Daniel 1987-1990 Tephly, Thomas 1984-1989 Eisenbud, Merril 1952-1962 1995- Tepper, Lloyd B. 1982-1985 Terhaar, Clarence J. 1982-1985 Fairhall, Lawrence T. 1947-1952 Larson, Paul S. 1951-1952 Fassett, David W. 1957-1962 Lehman, Arnold J. 1950-1970 Van Winkle, W., Jr. 1951-1952 Faustman, Elaine 1994-1997 Feigley, Charles 1989- Maibach, Howard I. 1979-1984 Wagner, Bernard 1986-1993 Fishbein, Lawrence 1979-1981 Mandel, H. George 1977-1982 1995- Ford, Richard 1953-1957 Maynard, Elliott A. 1958-1961 Waitt, General Alden H. 1947-1948 Fowler, Bruce 1988-1991 McClellan, Roger O. 1979-1987 Walker, Bailus 1990-1996 Frederick, William G. 1962-1964 McConnell, Watanabe, Philip G. 1977-1982 Friess, Seymour L. 1967-1976 Ernest E. 1988-1994 Watson, Annetta 1994-1997 McKone, Thomas E. 1995- Whittenberger, James L. 1958-1961 Gardner, Donald 1988-1997 Medinsky, Michele 1992- Witschi, Hanspeter 1991-1997 Gaulden, Mary 1987-1993 Menzer, Robert E. 1982-1985 Wogan, Gerald 1992-1995 Gaylor, David W. 1981-1987 Wood, Colonel John 1950-1951 1993- Nay, Carl A. 1958-1961 Generoso, Walderico 1989-1995 Nelson, Norton 1952-1961 Yant, William P. 1947-1951 Gerarde, Horace W. 1958-1961 Norton, Stata E. 1977-1979 Yost, Garold 1991-1997 1962-1966 Graham, Judith A. 1996- O'Donoghue, John 1994- Zapp, John A., Jr. 1952-1964 Greaves, Ian 1989- Green, Sidney 1993- Peck, Harold M. 1969-1976
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THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years 1947-1997 their professional qualifications, judgment, and integrity. They bring to the committee's deliberations the expertise that enables authoritative and thorough examination of the problems presented. The members of COT have included current and past presidents of the Society of Toxicology, the Teratology Society, and the Society for Risk Analysis. COT's current roster includes members of NAS, advisers to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and members of the science advisory boards of the National Institutes of Health and EPA. Most of the work of COT is carried out by its various subcommittees, panels, and working groups, assisted by staff professionals. Like the members of all other NRC study committees and boards, all members of COT and its subsidiary groups serve without monetary compensation. In a typical year, the members of COT and its subcommittees and panels donate more than 10,000 hours in service to the nation. Additional experts and consultants are called on to augment these groups when special expertise is needed. National Research Council Staff Paul Gilman Executive Director Commission on Life Sciences Kathy Iverson Manager Toxicology Information Center James J. Reisa Director Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Ruth E. Crossgrove Publications Manager Norman Grossblatt Editor Carol A. Maczka Program Director Toxicology and Risk Assessment Catherine M. Kubik Senior Program Assistant Kulbir S. Bakshi Program Director Committee on Toxicology Linda V. Leonard Senior Program Assistant Margaret McVey Program Officer Lucy Fusco Project Assistant Susan N.J. Pang Research Associate Abigail Stack Research Associate
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Representative terms from entire chapter: