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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

In a continuation of our series spotlighting our SOT presenters, please read below for Matt Abramson's thoughts on his recent poster presentation.  

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Posted by on in Occupational Health/IH
We are excited to announce that our very own Dr. Shannon Gaffney was awarded the Kusnetz Award by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). This award is given to an industrial hygienist who is under 40 years of age who has demonstrated leadership and scholarship in the profession. The historical winners have made significant contributions to the field. Named for its donors, Florence and Past President Howard Kusnetz, the award is presented each year at the annual conference. Congratulations, Shannon!  
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
As a follow up to last week's blog, Bethany Winans answered a few questions regarding her upcoming SOT presentation:  

1. What's the title of your presentation and when is the presentation/poster session?

QSAR Modeling Toxicity Predictions of the Constituents of Crude 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) and Structurally Related Chemical. Bethany will present on Monday, March 14th in the afternoon session

2. What was the scope of your research?

Approximately two years ago, a mixture containing crude MCHM was accidentally released into the Elk River in West Virginia, affecting the drinking water supply of ~300,000 people. We used quantitative structure-activity-relationship ((Q)SAR) modeling and structural alerts to predict the toxicity of the constituents of crude MCHM and other structurally related chemicals. For those constituents for which toxicity data exist, we compared the (Q)SAR predictions to the toxicity data to assess the applicability of the models for these compounds.

3. What did you find?

Overall, the constituents of crude MCHM and structurally related compounds were predicted to have low to moderate acute toxicity, low potential for skin and eye irritation, and low mutagenic potential; these findings are consistent with available toxicity data. Some of the chemicals were predicted to have the potential to be skin sensitizers or associated with developmental toxicity, but these predictions were not supported by the animal data, suggesting that the models may not be valid for predicting these endpoints for these chemicals. Predictions from (Q)SAR modeling and experimental data for the constituents of crude MHCM and structurally related compounds suggest that these chemicals pose little risk to human health at concentrations likely experienced following the Elk River spill.

4. What the next steps/what other research is needed?

Following the Elk River spill, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) performed a number of toxicity tests on crude MCHM and its constituents. The NTP recently completed these studies, and noted that "[th]e collected findings from the studies supported the adequacy of the drinking water screening levels established at the time of the spill [1 ppm in water], and found very little reason for concern about long-term health effects" (West Virginia Chemical Spill: NTP Research Response and Findings, February 2016, p. 1).

This type of predictive toxicological evaluation can be used in other situations as well. (Q)SAR modeling can be used to predict the toxicity of a number of compounds, and provides a rapid screening-level assessment to identify potential toxicological endpoints for chemicals of concern.

Continue checking our site to read more from our scientists!
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Last year the EU passed the Food Information Regulation that requires food business operators to make allergen information available for non-pre-packed/loose foods. Learn about the number of food recalls that the EU has experienced since this regulation was put into effect and the potential consequences of not following this regulation here.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
The new safety data sheet and label format requirements under OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication standard went into effect Monday, June 1, 2015. Learn about employer, manufacturer and distributor responsibilities  here.
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