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HPV Challenge Overview

High Production Volume (HPV) chemicals are classified as those chemicals produced or imported in the United States in quantities of 1 million pounds or more per year. In 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Environmental Defense (ED), American Petroleum Institute (API), and American Chemistry Council (ACC) joined forces to launch the voluntary HPV Challenge Program in order to collect and make publically available basic hazard data for HPV Chemicals. The program has since been successfully completed and a wealth of environmental and human health hazard data has been made available to the public.

As part of the HPV Challenge Program, companies voluntarily provided basic data including physical-chemical properties and health and environmental hazard information on chemicals they had sponsored. EPA encouraged the submission of previously unpublished data and use of chemical categories to minimize the need for additional testing. Grouping chemicals into specific categories (e.g. aromatic extracts) is useful when many substances within the group have similar impacts on human health and the environment. Robust summaries of the available studies were created and sent to EPA for public review and comment. Where the chemical sponsor determined that new data needed to be collected, the sponsor developed and submitted a Test Plan designed to fill data gaps; this plan was subsequently sent to EPA for public review and comment.

After completing any new testing or analyses, a final chemical hazard characterization and new robust summaries were submitted to the EPA. For chemicals in a category, a Category Assessment Document (CAD) covering all the category substances was prepared and submitted. After reviewing the data submitted by the sponsor and other information, the EPA prepared a Screening-Level Hazard Characterization for each chemical which summarized their views on the available data and on the need for additional studies to fill data gaps. The chemical sponsor had the opportunity to respond in writing to the findings in the Screening-Level Hazard Characterization and these comments were made publicly accessible on EPA’s HPV website. A requirement to fill any perceived data gaps was not part of the HPV Challenge Program.

As of June 2007, companies sponsored more than 2,200 HPV chemicals, with approximately 1,400 chemicals sponsored directly through the HPV Challenge Program and over 860 chemicals sponsored indirectly through international efforts. As a result of the HPV Challenge Program, a significant amount of new and previously unpublished health and environmental data has been made publicly available by companies participating in the program. To learn about how API and its member companies worked to successfully respond to the challenge see Testing Group Overview.

The HPV Challenge Program is one of several programs that have provided important and necessary data on petroleum related substances. Other information related to the HPV Challenge Program can be found below:

  • This list contains related web sites including international and other HPV Chemical Programs such as OECD eChemPortal and the OECD Chemicals Safety Program.
  • The API Toxicology Database contains useful information petroleum-related substances that are on the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical Inventory or the European Inventory of Existing Commercial chemical substances.
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