3407.0 The Use of Biomarkers to Assess Environmental Health Risk

Monday, November 5, 2007: 4:30 PM
Risk assessment is the science that sets standards limiting exposure to environmental agents with the aim of developing policies that protect human health. Information about chemical hazard, dose-response, and human exposure is evaluated, but there are many uncertainties in the process. The development of biomarkers has been emphasized by EPA as a way to address some of these uncertainties. Biomarkers are tools that can strengthen risk assessment by filling important gaps in the exposure-to-disease continuum and refining estimates of exposure, dose and effect. They can help explain chemical transport and transformation in the body and provide information about interactions at the cellular and molecular levels that lead to toxic endpoints. Further, they can provide information about human susceptibility, identifying factors that may make certain subpopulations more vulnerable to the harmful effect of toxicants. A goal of biomarkers research is the development and validation of tools that can be used in a real world setting, such as to measure chemical exposures of a population or to predict the early biological effect after exposure to a toxicant. Biomarkers can be incorporated into epidemiology studies and used in field and clinical applications. The U.S. EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) has funded a portfolio of work dealing with development, validation and use of biomarkers for environmental human health assessment. Presentations in this session will focus on biomarkers to assess exposure to arsenic, lead, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and halogenated organic compounds, as well as markers of early asthma.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe why EPA funds biomarker research, how biomarkers fit into the risk assessment paradigm, and how this type of research can impact environmental health policy. 2. Describe some of the exposure biomarkers being developed by researchers funded through EPA's Science to Achieve Results grants program. 3. Describe some of the biomarkers of health effect that are being developed by researchers funded through EPA's Science to Achieve Results grants program.

4:45 PM
Pulmonary Biomarkers Based on Alterations in Protein Expression Following Exposure to Arsenic
R. Clark Lantz, PhD, Brandon J. Lynch, Scott Boitano, PhD, Gerald S. Poplin, Sally Littau, George Tsaprailis, PhD and Jefferey L. Burgess, MD MPH
5:00 PM
Placental levels of halogenated organic compounds and cord blood immune markers
Wilfried Karmaus, Cristin Larder, Mark Knottnerus, Hanem Hasan, Sridhar Samineni and Venu Gangur
5:15 PM
An assessment of cumulative exposure to lead and mercury in subsets of the US population
Onyemaechi Nweke, DrPH, MPH, Daniel A. Axelrad and Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, MPH
5:30 PM
Passive Smoking, Inflammatory Markers and Childhood Asthma
Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, PhD and Arnold Platzker, MD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Maternal and Child Health, Epidemiology

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing

See more of: Environment