The North American Metals Council (NAMC) is an unincorporated, not-for-profit group formed to provide a collective voice for North American metals producers and users (i.e., the North American “metals industry”) on science and policy-based issues that affect metals in a generic way.
NAMC currently has 23 members, 5 of which are Steering Committee members.
Addressing the Unique Risk Assessments for Metals
A primary advocacy objective for NAMC is to highlight the unique risk assessment issues presented by metals and to ensure that those regulatory agencies engaged in risk assessment appropriately address those unique issues. In that regard, NAMC worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the development of the “Framework for Metals Risk Assessment,” a science-based document that describes basic principles that address the special attributes and behaviors of metals and metal compounds to be considered when assessing their human health and ecological risks. As noted in the EPA document,
- Metals are naturally occurring constituents in the environment and vary in concentrations across geographic regions
- All environmental media have naturally occurring mixtures of metals, and metals are often introduced into the environment as mixtures
- Some metals are essential for maintaining proper health of humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms
- Metals, as chemical elements, and unlike organic chemicals, are neither created nor destroyed by biological or chemical processes, although, these processes can transform metals from one species to another (valence states) and can convert them between inorganic and organic forms
- The absorption, distribution, transformation, and excretion of a metal within an organism depend on the metal, the form of the metal or metal compound, and the organism’s ability to regulate and/or store the metal.
In its ongoing advocacy efforts related to chemical risk management programs within the U.S. and abroad, NAMC will continue to highlight the importance of recognizing the specialized needs for metals risk assessment.
More information on the EPA framework document can be accessed here.
SELENIUM WORK GROUP
NAMC also serves as a home and secretariat for the Selenium Work Group, which focuses solely on advocacy and technical research on issues pertaining to selenium. See “The Selenium Workgroup” page for more information on the Work Group’s activities and research papers.