ATSDR’s minimal risk levels (MRLs) and environmental media evaluation guides (EMEGs) for perfluoroalkyls (PFAS)
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ATSDR’s minimal risk levels (MRLs) and environmental media evaluation guides (EMEGs) for perfluoroalkyls (PFAS)

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  • English

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    • Description:
      ATSDR is a federal public health agency with a role in evaluating whether exposures to contaminants pose a health threat. ATSDR does not have regulatory authority to enforce environmental violations or regulations. ATSDR works closely with its federal partners like EPA, which has the authority and responsibility to establish national guidance and regulatory standards for public drinking water supplies.

      ATSDR Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) are screening levels. ATSDR uses them to identify environmental exposures that might harm people’s health. If an exposure is below an MRL, it is not expected to result in adverse health effects. If an exposure is above an MRL, ATSDR conducts further evaluation to determine if the exposure might harm human health.

      ATSDR develops MRLs using data from the epidemiologic and toxicologic literature. When the scientific data on a hazardous substance is incomplete, ATSDR applies uncertainty factors as part of the MRL calculation. These uncertainty factors help ensure that MRLs are at a level where health effects in people are not expected by accounting for

      • differences between health effects in humans and animals;when information about how a chemical may affect a sensitive population (for

      • example, the very young, or people who may have other health problems) is incomplete;

      • when information about the chemical levels that may be associated with health effects is incomplete.

      ATSDR sets each MRL well below a value that is likely to cause a health effect.


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