The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology

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The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, also known as the CIIT Centers for Health Research or just CIIT, describes itself as "a private, not-for-profit research organization created by farsighted chemical industry leaders in 1974 to conduct independent research on the effects of chemicals. The purpose of CIIT is to advance industry and public interest in the acquisition, evaluation, and dissemination of information on the potential impact of exposure to chemicals and other substances on human health."[1]

CIIT described its founding as being precipitated by: "alarming reports about chemical pollution... threatening to overshadow the enormous benefits of chemicals to society, and industry's biggest challenge during that era was to overcome lack of knowledge about the health effects of chemicals." Its first president was Dr. Leon Goldberg, the founder and former head of the British Industrial Biological Research Association.[2]

In May 2004, an Environmental Protection Agency decision allowing wood products plants to continue emissions of formaldehyde, a chemical linked to cancer and leukemia, and other substances was "based on a cancer risk model developed by the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology. That assessment is about 10,000 times less stringent than the level previously used by the EPA in setting general standards for formaldehyde exposure."[3]

In addition to engaging in industry-friendly, industry-funded research on the health affects of chemicals, CIIT funds "training and education" programs at many levels, including biomedical research workshops for middle and high school teachers, summer internships for undergraduate college students, predoctoral fellowships for PhD students and postdoctoral fellowships for "scientists who have recently obtained advanced degrees."[4]

"CIIT's core research program on human health risks is funded by member companies of the American Chemistry Council... CIIT also receives research funding from federal grants and industry contracts."[5] In 2003, CIIT's externally funded research included several American Chemistry Council-sponsored studies and American Forest & Paper Association, American Petroleum Institute, Ethyl Corporation, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-funded studies.[6]

CIIT also receives money through "technology transfer", the selling of "inventions arising out of the research activities of CIIT staff sometimes [requiring] patents and licenses to encourage development and marketing." CIIT notes that, while "a portion of CIIT's research is funded by United States government grants... the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 gave universities and nonprofit institutions control of the inventions that arise from research supported by federal funding. This law provides the basis for current technology transfer practices at CIIT."[7]

Contact Information

CIIT Centers for Health Research
6 Davis Drive
P.O. Box 12137
Research Triangle Park, NC USA 27709-2137


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