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Determining significant endpoints for ecological risk analyses. 1998 annual progress report

Description: 'The goal of this report is to establish a protocol for assessing risks to non-human populations exposed to environmental stresses typically found on many DOE sites. The authors think that they can achieve this by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative dose/effects experiments, and by coupling changes in metabolic rates and energy allocation patterns to meaningful population response variables (such as age-specific survivorship, reproductive output, age at maturity and longevity). This research is needed to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, and radiation with concomitant exposure to chemicals. They believe that a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks can only be determined once its understood the extent to which molecular damage from contaminant exposure is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization. The experimental facility will allow them to develop a credible assessment tool for appraising ecological risks, and to evaluate the effects of radionuclide/chemical synergisms on non-human species. This report summarizes work completed midway of a 3-year project that began in November 1996. Emphasis to date has centered on three areas: (1) developing a molecular probe to measure stable chromosomal aberrations known as reciprocal translocations, (2) constructing an irradiation facility where the statistical power inherent in replicated mesocosms can be used to address the response of non-human organisms to exposures from low levels of radiation and metal contaminants, and (3) quantifying responses of organisms living in contaminated mesocosms and field sites.'
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.; Scott, D.; Rowe, C.; Bedford, J. & Whicker, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimation of potential population level effects of contaminants on wildlife. 1998 annual progress report

Description: 'The objective of this project is to provide DOE with improved methods to assess risks from contaminants to wildlife populations. The current approach for wildlife risk assessment consists of comparison of contaminant exposure estimates for individual animals to literature-derived toxicity test endpoints. These test endpoints are assumed to estimate thresholds for population-level effects. For several reasons, uncertainties associated with this approach are considerable. First, because toxicity data are not available for most potential wildlife endpoint species, extrapolation of toxicity data from test species to the species of interest is required. There is no consensus on the most appropriate extrapolation method. Second, toxicity data are represented as statistical measures (e.g., NOAELs or LOAELs) that provide no information on the nature or magnitude of effects. The level of effect is an artifact of the replication and dosing regime employed, and does not indicate how effects might increase with increasing exposure. Consequently, slight exceedance of a LOAEL is not distinguished from greatly exceeding it. Third, the relationship of toxic effects on individuals to effects on populations is poorly estimated by existing methods. It is assumed that if the exposure of individuals exceeds levels associated with impaired reproduction, then population level effects are likely. Uncertainty associated with this assumption is large because depending on the reproductive strategy of a given species, comparable levels of reproductive impairment may result in dramatically different population-level responses. The authors are working on several tasks to address these problems: (1) investigation of the validity of the current allometric scaling approach for interspecies extrapolation and development of new scaling models; (2) development of dose-response models for toxicity data presented in the literature; and (3) development of matrix-based population models that, coupled with dose-response models, will allow for realistic estimation of population-level effects for individual responses. Uncertainties associated with the current ...
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II & Rose, K.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bioavailability of organic solvents in soils: Input into biologically based dose-response models for human risk assessments. 1998 annual progress report

Description: 'The purpose of this study is to determine the bioavailability of organic solvents following dermal exposures to contaminated soil and water. Breath analysis is being used to obtain real-time measurements of volatile organics in expired air following exposure in rats and humans. Rhesus monkeys will be used as surrogates for humans in benzene exposures. The exhaled breath data is being analyzed using physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to determine the dermal bioavailability of organic solvents under realistic exposure conditions. The end product of this research will be a tested framework for the rapid screening of real and potential exposures while simultaneously developing physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to comprehensively evaluate and compare exposures to organics from either contaminated soil or water. This report summarizes work 7 months into a 3-year project. Method development has produced systems for solvent exposure from soil and water which mimic actual exposure, and for which animals and human volunteers can be safely tested. Soil exposure is generally open to the air (working the soil) while water exposure is generally immersion. For 6--8 hour test exposure, a patch has been developed where soil is contained against the skin by a non-occlusive membrane, while simultaneously allowing volatilization of test solvent to the environment (activated charcoal). The water counterpart is an occlusive glass culture dish, sealed to skin with silicone adhesive. Shorter term exposure is done by one hand immersion in a bucket containing circulating water or soil, the volunteer instructed to move fingers through the water or soil. Human volunteers and animals breathe fresh air via a new breath-inlet system that allows for continuous real-time analysis of undiluted exhaled air. The air supply system is self-contained and separated from the exposure solvent-laden environment. The system uses a Teledyne 3DQ Discovery ion trap mass spectrometer (MS/MS) equipped with ...
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Wester, R.C. & Maibach, H.I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improved risk estimated from carbon tetrachloride. Annual progress report, October 1, 1996--September 30, 1997

Description: 'Carbon tetrachloride (CCl{sub 4}) has been used extensively within the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons facilities. Rocky Flats was formerly the largest volume user of CCl{sub 4} in the US, with 5,000 gallons used there in 1977 alone. At the Hanford site, several hundred thousand gallons of CCl{sub 4} were discharged between 1955 and 1973 into underground cribs for storage. Levels of CCl{sub 4} in groundwater at highly contaminated sites at the Hanford. facility have exceeded the drinking water standard of 5 ppb by several orders of magnitude. High levels of CCl{sub 4} at these facilities represent a potential health hazard for workers conducting cleanup operations and for surrounding communities. The level of CCl{sub 4} cleanup required at these sites and associated costs are driven by current human health risk estimates which assume that CCl{sub 4} is a genotoxic carcinogen. The overall purpose of these studies is to improve the scientific basis for assessing the health risk associated with human exposure to CCl{sub 4}. Specifically, the authors will determine the toxicokinetics of inhaled and ingested CCl{sub 4} in F344/Crl rats, B6C3F1 mice, and Syrian hamsters. They will also evaluate species differences in the metabolism of CCl{sub 4} by rats, mice, hamsters, and man. Dose-response relationships will be determined in all these studies. This information will be used to improve the physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for CCl4 originally developed by Paustenbach et al. (1988) and more recently revised by Thrall and Kenny (1996). They will also provide scientific evidence that CCl{sub 4} , like chloroform, is a hepatocarcinogen only when exposure results in cell damage, cell killing, and regenerative cell proliferation. In combination, the studies outlined in this proposal will provide the exact types of information needed to enable refined cancer risk estimates for CCl{sub 4} under the new ...
Date: October 27, 1997
Creator: Benson, J.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Determining significant endpoints for ecological risk analyses. 1997 annual progress report

Description: 'This report summarizes the first year''s progress of research funded under the Department of Energy''s Environmental Management Science Program. The research was initiated to better determine ecological risks from toxic and radioactive contaminants. More precisely, the research is designed to determine the relevancy of sublethal cellular damage to the performance of individuals and to identify characteristics of non-human populations exposed to chronic, low-level radiation, as is typically found on many DOE sites. The authors propose to establish a protocol to assess risks to non-human species at higher levels of biological organization by relating molecular damage to more relevant responses that reflect population health. They think that they can achieve this by coupling changes in metabolic rates and energy allocation patterns to meaningful population response variables, and by using novel biological dosimeters in controlled, manipulative dose/effects experiments. They believe that a scientifically defensible endpoint for measuring ecological risks can only be determined once its understood the extent to which molecular damage from contaminant exposure is detrimental at the individual and population levels of biological organization.'
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.; Rowe, C.; Scott, D.; Bedford, J. & Whicker, F.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improved radiation dosimetry/risk estimates to facilitate environmental management of plutonium contaminated sites. 1998 annual progress report

Description: 'The objective of this research is to evaluate distributions of possible alpha radiation doses to the lung, bone, and liver and associated health-risk distributions for plutonium (Pu) inhalation-exposure scenarios relevant to environmental management of PuO{sub 2}-contaminated sites. Currently available dosimetry/risk models do not apply to exposure scenarios where, at most, a small number of highly radioactive PuO{sub 2} particles are inhaled (stochastic exposure [SE] paradigm). For the SE paradigm, risk distributions are more relevant than point estimates of risk. The focus of the research is on the SE paradigm and on high specific activity, alpha-emitting (HSA-aE) particles such as 238 PuO{sub 2} . The scientific goal is to develop a stochastic respiratory tract dosimetry/risk computer model for evaluating the desired absorbed dose distributions and associated health-risk distributions, for Department of Energy (DOE) workers and members of the public. This report summarizes results after 1 year of a 2-year project.'
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Scott, B.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department