High Throughput Heuristics for Prioritizing Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals

  • John F. Wambaugh, Anran Wang, Kathie L. Dionisio, Alicia Frame, Peter Egeghy, Richard Judson, R. Woodrow Setzer
  • Environmental Science & Technology, November 2014, American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • DOI: 10.1021/es503583j

Rapid, automated approach to estimate human exposure to over 8,000 environmental chemicals

What is it about?

This publication describes a rapid (high-throughput) method developed by EPA to estimate exposure to over 8,000 environmental chemicals. This method can estimate exposure for the general population as well as demographic groups such as children age 6-11. The method identified the five best predictors (heuristics) of chemical exposure 1) Consumer use and industrial process use; 2) Chemical/industrial process without consumer use; 3) Pesticide (nonactive) use: 4) Pesticide active use; and 5) Total production volume. For the thousands of chemicals with no other available information, this method can be used by EPA to forecast an average exposure intake of chemicals which helps to better protect human health and the environment. More information is available at: http://www2.epa.gov/chemical-research/rapid-chemical-exposure-and-dose-research

Why is it important?

The US EPA ensures the safety of thousands of chemicals. Quantitative exposure data are available for only a small fraction of registered chemicals. This type of exposure data is needed to thoroughly evaluate chemicals for potential risks to humans, wildlife and ecosystems. EPA's high-throughput method is able to estimate exposure for thousands of chemicals to better protect human health and the environment. In fact, EPA is planning to combine the exposure estimates from this method with high-throughput biological activity data on thousands of chemicals to determine which chemicals have the highest potential for endocrine disruption. Endocrine disrupting chemicals can interfere with the endocrine system and lead to problems with reproduction (i.e. egg and sperm production) and development (i.e. healthy fetal growth) in both humans and wildlife.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Richard S Judson and Dr John Fredrick Wambaugh

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