A scientific revolution is underway that is already affecting environmental, safety, and health regulatory policy and could dramatically change it within the next decade or so. It is not too soon for EPA as well as other affected agencies to begin the policy evolution necessary to keep up with the new technology.

Toxicogenomics — an emerging science that studies the interaction between peoples’ genes, toxic chemicals in the environment, and disease — has the potential to revolutionize risk assessments and the regulatory actions that rely on them, as well as to greatly advance the fields of toxicology and environmental health. Its use for risk assessment could alter dramatically how safety margins are calculated and how exposures are assessed, as well as premarket safety testing of chemicals, evaluations of new drugs, and a host of other issues — all of which in turn raise countless legal and
ethical issues.

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