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Luda Kopelovich

Luda Kopelovich

Ms. Luda Kopelovich is a Senior Associate Health Scientist with Cardno ChemRisk. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis where she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, and also a bachelor’s of art degree in Russian.  She received her MPH from University of California, Berkeley in 2015.  At Cardno ChemRisk (formerly ChemRisk, LLC), Ms. Kopelovich is regularly involved in litigation support, literature reviews, and exposure assessment. Her training includes risk assessment, dose reconstruction and evaluation, and environmental and occupational epidemiology. Additionally, she has been involved with assessing occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure to various chemicals, including asbestos, silica, diacetyl, benzene, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
We are excited to announce that one of our industrial hygienists, Mr. Thomas Slavin, received the best paper award at the 2017 American Foundry Society Metalcasting Congress, for the paper titled "Controlling Exposures to Air Contaminants in Metalcasting – a Performance-Based Approach". The paper, co-written with Mr. Robert Scholz, presents an approach to selecting controls for air contaminants in the metalcasting industry. It not only provides an evaluation of the current protocols used by the industry, but also provides foundries with additional guidelines to implement exposure control programs that are effective, reliable, and feasible. To learn more about the paper and about Cardno ChemRisk's capabilities, please contact Mr. Thomas Slavin.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Cardno ChemRisk recently presented an analysis examining the cancer risk associated with residential exposure to radioactive components in soils containing coal combustion residuals (CCRs) at the 2017 Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual conference. CCRs are waste products created as a result of burning coal at power plants during the production of electricity, and are one of the largest industrial waste streams generated in the United States. In 2012, approximately 40 percent of CCRs were beneficially used (i.e. concrete and wallboard), while the remaining 60 percent were disposed of in surface impoundments and landfills. Coal and CCRs are composed of various constituents, including naturally occurring radioactive materials. For our research, Cardno ChemRisk scientists utilized reported mean and upper bound isotope-specific radioactivity values to calculate the potential human health cancer risks associated with residential exposure to CCR-containing soil via ingestion of soil, inhalation of particulates emitted from soil, and external exposure to ionizing radiation. The mean cancer risk was 7 x 10-9, and the upper bound cancer risk was 1 x 10-8. Both the mean and upper bound calculated cancer risks were below the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) acceptable risk threshold of 1 x 10-6 to 1 x 10-4. These findings suggest that residents living on lots with ground soil containing CCRs are not at an increased risk of cancer due to the presence of naturally occurring radioactive components in CCRs under the exposure parameters analyzed.

If you would like to learn more about Cardno ChemRisk's experience with coal ash, please contact Paul Scott
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Cardno ChemRisk scientists have published a white paper titled "community-focused risk assessment: a valuable tool for manufactured gas plant site remediation". The white paper explains the importance of assessing a community's potential risk from chemical exposures during the remediation of an MGP site. The approach develops airborne fenceline concentration objections (FCOs) for chemicals of concern that are health-protective of all members of a community. Air monitoring concentrations collected during remediation are then compared to the FCOs to ensure that there is no potential risk to community members throughout remediation. Communication distributed throughout this process can also mitigate the concerns of community members and avoid negative publicity and possible litigation. This method can be applied to many remediation scenarios and is tailored towards a community more so than comparison of monitored concentrations to regulatory standards.

Please contact Erin Hynds with any questions.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Keller and Heckman and Cardno ChemRisk are pleased to announce a seminar addressing Strategic Implications of TSCA Modernization on January 24, 2017 in Houston TX. Join Keller and Heckman's attorneys and scientists and Cardno ChemRisk's scientists for a comprehensive program on how business strategies will be affected by the new TSCA Modernization Act. This seminar have been especially designed for senior managers and in-house counsel to understand the changed landscape and the seminar will provide attendees with essential, insights into EPA's direction and challenges in implementing the new legislation.

Program highlights include:

1. Changes in Statutory Requirements

2. Changes in New Chemical Review

3. Wherefore Existing Chemicals

4. New Requirements for Confidential Business Information (CBI)

5. How to Strategically Prepare For the Risk Evaluation Process

6. Supply Chain Challenges

Following the first day, we will be offering an additional two-day seminar on January 25-26, 2017 for regulatory staff and scientists, titled Compliance Requirements for TSCA Modernization Seminar. The comprehensive program will focus on how changes in EPA's authority and responsibilities are changing the landscape for new chemicals and how EPA will regulate existing chemicals under the new TSCA Modernization Act. This two-day seminar is especially designed for technical staff and managers who are responsible for regulatory compliance. The program highlights include:

1. Changes in EPA's Statutory mandates

2. Changes in New Chemical Review

3. Wherefore Existing Chemicals

4. Confidential Business Information (CBI) Challenges

5. What's Going To Happen in Risk Evaluation?

6. PMN and Exemptions: New Data Requirements?

7. Inventory Changes and Updates

8. New Recordkeeping Requirements

9. Hazard Assessment

10. New Exposure Assessment Challenges

11. Risk Prioritization

12. Risk Assessments - Novel Approaches

A detailed program agenda will be released soon! Please fill out our form to join the notification list, or contact , or  for more information
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Posted by on in Health & Environmental Risk Assessment
This posting is the second of a three-part series on formaldehyde emissions from hardwood plywood (HWPW), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and particleboard (PB), collectively called composite wood products. This series focuses on the benefits of applying computer modeling tools to the interpretation of formaldehyde emission data, and subsequent risk management decisions.

Part 2: Five Facts about Formaldehyde and Composite Wood Products

Formaldehyde is a component of one of the types of glue used to manufacture composite wood products. Formaldehyde emissions have recently been in the spotlight because U.S. EPA posted a pre-publication version of the Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products final rule on July 27, 2016 as Title VI of the Toxic Substance and Control Act (TSCA). The U.S. EPA has associated sufficiently high airborne concentrations of formaldehyde with eye, nose and throat irritation, and possibly some types of cancer with sufficient exposure. These Standards will have a broad impact on manufacturers, distributors, importers and sellers because a wide range of building structures and furniture contain composite wood products.

#1: Wood products made with "no-added formaldehyde" glues still emit naturally occurring formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a simple, single carbon volatile chemical that comes from many sources including fossil fuel combustion, animal and plant metabolism, as well as consumer product use or off-gassing. Notably, measureable formaldehyde emissions occur from wood-based products manufactured with "formaldehyde-free" glues because formaldehyde is a natural component of wood. For example, a recent emission study of particleboard glued with a no-added formaldehyde resin and a traditional urea-formaldehyde resin estimated standardized emission test chamber air concentrations of 0.023 and 0.063 parts per million (ppm) after 7 days of conditioning, respectively. Thus, even if the use of formaldehyde-based glues was eliminated, indoor air concentrations where wood-based construction materials are used will likely exceed outdoor concentrations.

#2: Indoor formaldehyde concentrations are unlikely to decrease appreciably after the U.S. EPA emission standard is implemented

The U.S. EPA emission standard is likely to reinforce current best manufacturing practice rather than cause a dramatic shift in exposures to formaldehyde. This observation reflects three decades of significant innovation and improvements in resin technology, the natural occurrence of formaldehyde in wood, and adoption of the California formaldehyde emission standard by many manufactures prior to finalization of the EPA standard. In 2012, U.S. EPA drafted a report titled "Formaldehyde from Composite Wood Products: Exposure Assessment" that described the results of various modeling scenarios developed in preparation for the emission standard. The results indicated that reductions in indoor formaldehyde concentrations as a result of the emission standard will decrease by a modest amount for most exposure scenarios. For example, the model indicated that initial formaldehyde concentration would decrease by about 9% in a new single family detached home, 13% in a manufactured home, and 26% in a camper trailer for emissions assumptions similar to the final standard.

#3: The whole is less than the sum of parts

A common misconception is that wood-based sources of formaldehyde to indoor air are additive. The CDC recently published a simplified modeling analysis to assist in the interpretation of laminate flooring emission test results. The CDC model assumes that the addition of a laminate floor source to an indoor space would add to the existing levels by the full amount measured in a test chamber under controlled conditions. Under real-world conditions, formaldehyde sources and room surfaces exhibit a complex set of interactions that reduce the likely impact of a single product to indoor air quality. One important process is the capture and retention of formaldehyde by porous materials such as drywall and furnishings that can reduce peak airborne concentrations. Another important mechanism that limits formaldehyde emissions is the decrease in emissions that occurs when airborne molecules of formaldehyde in a room "push back" on a potential source, sometimes called a "back-pressure" effect. The U.S. EPA exposure assessment report qualitatively discussed the effect of porous materials, and the model quantitatively addressed "back pressure."

#4: Emissions from consumer products diminish over time

Another common misconception is that formaldehyde emissions from wood products remain elevated for a long period of time. This misunderstanding is due in part to voluntary and regulatory emissions testing, which has emphasized the emission potential of newly manufactured products. Under real-world conditions, emissions from composite wood products gradually decay over time as the product ages. For example, the U.S. EPA exposure model performed during the development of the emission standard assumed that formaldehyde concentrations would decrease to "near-zero" concentrations in 10 years or less. Not surprisingly, lower formaldehyde levels are typically found in older as compared to newly constructed residential structures.

#5: Temperature, humidity and fresh air turnover impact air concentration

Increases in ambient environmental factors including temperature and humidity increase formaldehyde emissions. A recent emission study evaluating particleboard resin emissions in an "extreme" environment of 85 F and 75% relative humidity as compared to a typical environment of 77 F and 50% relative humidity found that emissions could be up to 2 to 3-fold higher in the extreme environment. Emissions diminished with time as expected in both environments, and the effects the extreme environment had on emission rate were reversible when typical conditions were restored. The impact of increases in emissions rates with elevated temperature and humidity can be mitigated by steps taken to increase fresh air turnover, such as opening windows or introducing fresh air through mechanical heating and cooling systems. The U.S. EPA considered temperature, humidity, and fresh air turnover during the development of the emission standard.

The above factors represent important considerations when prospectively and retrospectively estimating formaldehyde exposure from composite wood products subject to the new U.S. EPA emission standard. The final installment of this series will explain the benefits of exposure modeling to manufacturers, distributors, importers and sellers of composite wood products.

How Cardno ChemRisk Can Assist with Questions about Formaldehyde

As a state-of-the-art scientific consulting firm, Cardno ChemRisk is well respected for its leadership in human health risk assessment – including computational modeling and statistical services. Cardno ChemRisk has extensive experience using computational modeling to understand past and future exposures in both occupational and environmental settings, especially in situations where collecting measurements is either impossible or impractical. In addition, Cardno ChemRisk applies a variety of statistical methods to understand the important relationships hidden within an environmental or occupational data set. If you are interested in discussing our recommendations for consumer product formaldehyde exposure modeling in more detail, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Science Advisor and Computational Science Service Area Lead at Cardno ChemRisk.
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Cardno ChemRisk is a respected scientific consulting firm headquartered in San Francisco with locations and consultants across the U.S. While our website provides a formal look at our capabilities, the Cardno ChemRisk View provides an informal voice too. Various Cardno ChemRisk consultants will be sharing news and views about current trends, happenings and methodologies in the industry. We’ll also highlight activities of interest at Cardno ChemRisk, within confidentiality restrictions of course.

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