Do you remember doing the limbo as a kid? The idea was to see how low you could bend your body to get under a stick that got increasingly close to the floor. Today’s regulatory process is the modern version of the limbo. The problem is that science can’t even measure how low they want the limbo stick to go.
In several respects, the latest draft of EPA’s formaldehyde IRIS toxicological review is an improvement over an earlier version I reviewed as an EPA advisor in 2017. Unfortunately, other aspects of EPA’s current draft suffer from a lack of judgment and adherence to EPA’s guidelines and is a missed opportunity to work with outside parties, such as our European colleagues. The overall impression of EPA’s current draft is that formaldehyde is toxic at levels below what is often found indoors or in outdoor air.