Baylor professor to serve on EPA committee monitoring the effect of chemicals on the environment

By Randy Fiedler

Dr. George P. Cobb

Dr. George P. Cobb, chair and professor of environmental science in the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences, has accepted an invitation to join an advisory committee which helps the U.S. Government monitor the effects of chemicals on environmental health.

Cobb has joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Substances Control Act Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (TSCA SACC). During his time on the committee, Cobb will provide his “best independent judgment” on scientific studies supporting the EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. His three-year term will expire on June 14, 2024.

According to the EPA invitation, the SACC “provides independent scientific advice, information and recommendations to the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics on the scientific basis for risk assessments, methodologies and pollution prevention measures or approaches. Its major objectives are to provide expert advice and recommendations to the EPA on risk assessments, models, tools, guidance documents, chemical category documents and other chemical assessment and pollution prevention products as deemed appropriate.”

Cobb said that having a Baylor representative selected for this national committee “is a significant advancement for Baylor as an institution…and puts us more firmly on the map nationally and internationally for environmental topics.”

In his role as a SACC member, Cobb said he and the other approximately 14 members will meet six times a year to assess risks that industrial chemicals may pose to human health and the broader environment.

“In the last two years, the committee has addressed chemicals such as dyes, solvents, flame retardants and asbestos,” Cobb said. “My service on the committee helps fulfill its charter to provide expertise in chemical fate and exposure assessment within environmental systems.”

Cobb’s appointment comes after he served for the past two years as an ad hoc member of the committee, and also served in ad hoc roles for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Science Advisory Panel, which evaluates pesticide registration and re-registration.

Cobb earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of South Florida, and joined the Baylor faculty in August 2011. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed papers, and maintains strong national and international collaborations through leadership positions in The American Chemical Society and The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

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