Battelle scientists and chemists will work on a new, $24 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help protect public health and the environment.
There are thousands of chemicals present at low levels in the environment, food, cosmetics, clothing, and other products. We know very little about many of these chemicals. If there is a potential hazard because of exposure to them, how much exposure does it take to have an effect? What’s the range of certainty? How can one prioritize these chemicals for future research, based on their toxicity and potential for exposure? The new contract will help address these questions.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work on this program,” said Karen Riggs, who oversees EPA business at Battelle. “Exposure analysis is a research area that draws upon capabilities and resources across our organization.”
Current efforts known as ToxCast and Tox21 underway at EPA and other federal agencies are high-throughput screening programs that search commercial chemicals for potential bioactivity. The program to which Battelle will contribute, ExpoCast, provides complementary exposure information on those same (more than 3,000) chemicals.
EPA will use the toxicity and exposure information to prioritize the order in which chemicals should be evaluated further and to refine associated risk assessments.
Under the new contract, Battelle will receive, collect, and analyze environmental, biological, and consumer product samples for the chemicals of interest. Emphasis will be on rapid screening methods to identify as many chemicals as possible. Battelle’s expertise in analytical method development may be critical to the work as often the chemicals will never have been measured in particular matrices.
Source: Battelle press release, adapted. Battelle is an official media sponsor of Global Biodefense.