History of the NTP

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The National Toxicology Program (NTP) was established in 1978 by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (today known as the Department of Health and Human Services). The program was created as a cooperative effort to:

  1. Coordinate toxicology testing programs within the federal government. 
  2. Strengthen the science base in toxicology.
  3. Develop and validate improved testing methods.
  4. Provide information about potentially toxic chemicals to health, regulatory, and research agencies, scientific and medical communities, and the public.

The need for a program like the NTP arose because of increasing scientific, regulatory, and Congressional concerns about the human health effects of chemical agents in our environment. Many human diseases were thought to be directly or indirectly related to chemical exposures; therefore, it was thought that decreasing or eliminating human exposures to those chemicals would help prevent some human disease and disability. Secretary Richard S, Schwiker granted permanent status to the NTP in October 1981.