Supporting the Texas A&M Superfund Research Center’s challenge of rapidly detecting potentially harmful chemicals, the Exposure Science Core is working to determine the nature and extent of potential exposures to hazardous chemicals following a natural disaster. Core scientists use sophisticated instrumentation to identify known chemicals of interest, as well as previously unknown chemical exposures in environmental samples, and then calculate human exposure levels (which describe the potential or actual contact of a hazardous substance with a plant, animal, or media). A partnership between Justin Teeguarden and Erin Baker, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Terry Wade, at Texas A&M University, this core enables teams in all four projects to determine potential health effects and how best to remove the chemicals from the environment. In doing so, the core advances the center’s overall goal of developing rapid, effective tools for disaster response related to human exposures.
- Coordinate exposure estimates and support exposure translation across the Texas A&M University Superfund Research Center by working with all center projects to help characterize environmental media concentrations of chemicals, predict redistribution following an environmental emergency, assess the toxicological hazard, and develop novel materials to reduce exposures.
- Provide capacity in targeted chemical analysis of known toxicants in complex mixtures, both environmental and laboratory-derived. The center will draw on the expertise of the Geochemical and Environmental Group (GERG) laboratories at TAMU, which has performed targeted analyses for these compounds for more than 30 years.
- Provide rapid global non-targeted exposomic (the measure of all the exposures of an individual in a lifetime and how those exposures relate to health) analyses of complex