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Draft Toxicological Review of 1,2,3-, 1,2,4-, and 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene: In Support of the Summary Information in the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Notice of public comment period and listening session.


EPA is announcing a 60-day public comment period and a public listening session for the external review draft human health assessment titled “Toxicological Review of 1,2,3-, 1,2,4-, and 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene: In Support of Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)” (EPA/635/R-11/012A). The draft assessment was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD). EPA is releasing this draft assessment for the purposes of public comment and peer review. This draft assessment is not final as described in EPA's information quality guidelines, and it does not represent and should not be construed to represent Agency policy or views.

EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) will convene an expert panel for independent external peer review of the draft assessment. The EPA SAB is a body established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act with a broad mandate to advise the Agency on scientific matters. The public comment period and the SAB peer review are separate processes that provide opportunities for all interested parties to comment on the document. The SAB will schedule one or more public peer review meetings, which will be announced in the Federal Register at a later date.

EPA is also announcing a listening session to be held on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, during the public comment period. The purpose of the listening session is to allow all interested parties to present scientific and technical comments on the draft IRIS health assessment to EPA and other interested parties attending the listening session. EPA welcomes the scientific and technical comments that will be provided to the Agency by the listening session participants. The comments will be considered by the Agency as it revises the draft assessment after the independent external peer review.


The public comment period begins, June 29, 2012, and ends August 28, 2012. Technical comments should be in writing and must be received by EPA by August 28, 2012.

The listening session on the draft IRIS health assessment for 1,2,3-, 1,2,4-, and 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene (TMB) will be held on August 1, 2012, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m., Eastern Time, or when the last presentation has been completed. If you would like to make a presentation at the listening session, you should register by July 25, 2012, following the detailed instructions below under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.


The draft “Toxicological Review of 1,2,3-, 1,2,4-, and 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene: In Support of Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)” is available primarily via the Internet on the NCEA home page under the Recent Additions and Publications menus at A limited number of paper copies are available from the Information Management Team, NCEA; telephone: 703-347-8561; facsimile: 703-347-8691. If you request a paper copy, please provide your name, mailing address, and the document title.

The listening session on the draft assessment of TMB will be held at the EPA offices at Two Potomac Yard (North Building), 7th Floor, Room 7100, 2733 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia, 22202. There are two buildings at Potomac Yard, please be sure you go to Building Two, the North Building. Please note that to gain entrance to this EPA building, attendees must register at the guard's desk in the lobby and present photo identification. The guard will retain your photo identification and provide you with a visitor's badge. At the guard's desk, attendees should give the name Christine Ross and the telephone number, 703-347-8592, to the guard on duty. The guard will contact Ms. Ross who will meet you in the reception area to escort you to the meeting room. When you leave the building, please return your visitor's badge to the guard and you will receive your photo identification.

A teleconference line will also be available for registered attendees/speakers. The teleconference number is 866-299-3188 and the access code is 926-378-7897, followed by the pound sign (#). The teleconference line will be activated at 8:45 a.m., and you will be asked to identify yourself and your affiliation at the beginning of the call.

Information on Services for Individuals with Disabilities: EPA welcomes public attendance at the TMB Listening Session and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Christine Ross at 703-347-8592 or To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Ms. Ross, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.


I. Information about IRIS

IRIS is a database that contains potential adverse human health effects information that may result from chronic (or lifetime) exposure to specific chemical substances found in the environment. The database (available on the Internet at contains qualitative and quantitative health effects information for more than 540 chemical substances that may be used to support the first two steps (hazard identification and dose-response evaluation) of a risk assessment process. When supported by available data, the database provides oral reference doses (RfDs) and inhalation reference concentrations (RfCs) for chronic health effects, and oral slope factors and inhalation unit risks for carcinogenic effects. Combined with specific exposure information, IRIS data are used by government and private entities to help characterize public health risks of chemical substances in site-specific situations and thereby support risk management decisions designed to protect public health.

II. How To Register for the Listening Session

To attend the August 1, 2012, listening session, register by July 25, 2012, by sending an email to (subject line: TMB Listening Session); by calling Christine Ross at 703-347-8592; or by faxing a registration request to 703-347-8689. Please reference the “TMB Listening Session” and include your name, title, affiliation, sponsoring organization, if any, full address, and contact information. To present at the listening session, indicate in your registration that you would like to make oral comments and provide the length of your presentation. When you register, please indicate if you will need audio-visual aid (e.g., lap top and slide projector). In general, each presentation should be no more than 30 minutes. If, however, there are more requests for presentations than the allotted time allows, then the time limit for each presentation will be adjusted. A copy of the agenda for the listening session will be available at the meeting. If no speakers have registered by July 25, 2012, the listening session will be cancelled and EPA will notify those registered of the cancellation.

III. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0459 by one of the following methods:

  • Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email:
  • Fax: 202-566-9744.
  • Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 28221T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-566-1752.
  • Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center's Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is 202-566-1744. Deliveries are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. If you provide comments by mail or hand delivery, please submit one unbound original with pages numbered consecutively, and three copies of the comments. For attachments, provide an index, number pages consecutively with the comments, and submit an unbound original and three copies.

Instructions for submitting comments to the EPA Docket: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0459. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the closing date will be marked “late,” and may only be considered if time permits. It is EPA's policy to include all comments it receives in the public docket without change and to make the comments available online at, including any personal information provided, unless a comment includes information claimed to be confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through or email. The Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at

All documents in the docket are listed in the index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center.


For information on the federal docket, contact the Office of Environmental Information Docket; telephone: 202-566-1752; facsimile: 202-566-9744; or email:

For information on the public listening session, please contact Christine Ross, IRIS Staff, National Center for Environmental Assessment, (8601P), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone: 703-347-8592; facsimile: 703-347-8689; or email:

If you have questions about the document, contact Allen Davis, National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA); telephone: 919-541-3789; facsimile: 919-541-0245; or email: [].

Dated: June 12, 2012.

Darrell A. Winner,

Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.

[FR Doc. 2012-16027 Filed 6-28-12; 8:45 am]