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Centers of Excellence

Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Posted on behalf of authors Michael Ierardi and Claire McMenamy.

TSCA Stakeholder Meeting for Risk Assessment and Risk Prioritization- Will Your Business be Ready?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held two public meetings to gather input that will inform a proposed rule to establish a risk-based process for chemical prioritization (August 10), in addition to its process for conducting risk evaluations to determine whether a chemical presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment under TSCA section 6(b) (August 9).

By June 2017, EPA must decide on a risk-based screening process for evaluating new and existing chemicals. The previous “unreasonable risk” standard will be replaced by the “safety standard” for regulating chemicals, which will consider both hazard and exposure in a risk-based approach that is protective of human health and the environment.

During these meetings, stakeholders from government, private industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, as well as medical professionals, offered feedback regarding their suggestions and concerns. Cardno ChemRisk scientists, Dr. Denise Hill and Ms. Claire McMenamy, attended the meetings, and offer the following observations, as well as the selected comments, repeatedly offered by multiple stakeholders:

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

Cardno ChemRisk scientist, Denise Hill, will be attending the August 9th and August 10th public meetings hosted by the EPA regarding the amended Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

Posted on behalf of the author, Allison Insley.

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Our study, titled ""An Assessment of Formaldehyde Emissions from Laminate Flooring Manufactured in China" was published in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology journal. We evaluated two laminate flooring products using both chamber testing (for California Air Resource Board [CARB] compliance) and a real-world, room-scale environment. Both products had been previously evaluated by CBS News.

Our general findings are as follows:

  1. One of the two delaminated products that we tested was found to not be in compliance with the current CARB standard; emissions from the other product were equivalent to the standard.
  2. Our chamber testing results were up to 9-fold lower than results that were previously documented by CBS News.
  3. Nonetheless, the actual airborne concentrations of formaldehyde measured following the installation of these products in a real-world setting were far below levels at which acute health effects are known to occur.

The abstract of the article can be found on the journal's website and a brief presentation of our results can be found here. If you would like a full copy of the paper, or if you have any questions regarding its content, please contact Dr. Jennifer Pierce.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Posted on behalf of the author, Allison Insley

Cardno ChemRisk employees conducted a three-month air monitoring study to evaluate the potential community health risks resulting from air emissions from a hydraulic fracturing well pad that was being actively developed in Washington County, PA. This study was performed pro bono at the request of local community members who were concerned about the potential risks that this natural gas development could pose to their children, considering that the well pad was located within 900 m of a school complex. The ambient air at two locations, a local residence and the school, was continuously monitored for total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen sulfide, percent lower explosive limit, and carbon monoxide, and was periodically monitored for 24-hour averages of a set of 62 individual VOCs. Over the three month sampling period, Cardno ChemRisk was able to obtain continuous air monitoring data representative of background conditions and while hydraulic fracturing and flaring occurred on the well pad.

In addition to communicating the air monitoring results to the local community members at the study's conclusion, Cardno ChemRisk scientists Julie Panko, Erin Hynds, Joshua Maskrey, and Allison Insley recently published the total and individual VOC monitoring results in the July 2016 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. Overall, total VOC concentrations did not differ from the background concentrations measured prior to fracking, or those measured following the flaring period. Overall, total VOC concentrations ranged between 0.16 and 80 ppb during all sampling periods. Several individual VOCs were detected in the 24-hour samples, but they were consistent with background concentrations previously measured in the region. A screening-level health risk assessment performed based on these results demonstrated that the measured concentrations of individual VOCs were well below established health-protective levels. The authors concluded that hydraulic fracturing operations did not substantially affect local air concentrations of total or individual VOCs at this site in Washington County.

This study adds to the growing body of research related to unconventional natural gas development. This topic has received substantial attention over the last 15 years because of the specific processes necessary for releasing subsurface natural gas, and its oftentimes close proximity to highly populated areas, as was the case in this study.

An abstract of the manuscript, as well as the option to download the full text, is located here
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