Online Program

Engaging environmental protection agencies at the state level

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Heather Reddick, DrPH, Toxicology Division, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Austin, TX

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)  has the unique challenge of permitting one of the most developed and diverse industrial economies in the nation while protecting human health and the environment.   One of the best ways to meet this challenge is to diligently incorporate the latest scientific methods and models during the permit and review process to ensure that each chemical emitted in Texas is kept below a level that could potentially cause adverse health effects. 

With this goal in mind, the TCEQ created guidelines for development of effects screening levels (ESLs) and reference values (ReVs).  ESLs and ReVs are levels of air contaminants that, based on the most up-to-date science available, are designed to prevent adverse health effects, including cancer, respiratory diseases, and eye/respiratory irritation for all members of the population.  These levels and values are set sufficiently below a level that would be expected to cause adverse effects, so that even when concentrations of a contaminant are above the ESL or ReV, adverse health effects would not be expected to occur.  The guidelines used to develop these values have undergone two extensive external scientific peer reviews from some of the nation’s leading scientists.  The Toxicology Division of the TCEQ then compares monitoring data to the appropriate ESLs and/or ReVs to verify that concentrations of air contaminants remain at or below levels that would be expected to cause adverse health or welfare effects. 

This presentation will discuss methods and techniques that TCEQ toxicologists use to access current university research on health effects of toxic exposures in order to develop toxicity values and inform policy development.  Strategies that foster ongoing collaboration between researchers, governmental agencies and policy makers will be discussed and examples of how academic research can influence policies at the state and federal levels will be provided.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss strategies to foster ongoing collaboration between researchers, governmental agencies and policy makers.

Keyword(s): Environmental Health, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a toxicologist for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and I have also been the project director on several federally funded grants focusing on environmental health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.