Congressional legislation calling for comprehensive toxicity testing of chemicals and the almost simultaneous formation of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) last November signal the heightening interest in the screening of chemicals to prevent public health problems.
The NTP will coordinate activities in toxicology by four government agencies—the National Institute of Environmental
Health Science (NIEHS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
At the center is David Rall, MD, PhD, director of NIEHS, who has been chosen to head the NTP while remaining in his NIEHS post.
With a background in pharmacology, Rall, now 52, spent some early years at the NCI where he became interested in testing for toxic effects of anticancer drugs. He was associate director of the institute for a time and then, in 1971, was tapped to be director of the NIEHS.