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Environmental Assessment

The Application of Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Determine Route-Specific Contributions to Tissue Dosimetry of Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water

Report Information

This project summary describes an improved approach for estimating route-specific exposures and tissue doses for trihalomethane (THM) compounds found in drinking water.

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John C. Lipscomb
  • by phone at:   513-569-7217
  • by fax at:   513-487-2539
  • by email at:  lipscomb.john@epa.gov

Background

Finished drinking water contains numerous contaminants, including drinking water disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Animal studies are often conducted via the oral route, and the understanding of their relevance to humans is complicated because of the uncertainties in human exposure assessments for DBPs. Volatile contaminants, including some DBPs, in drinking water may enter the human body across the skin, through the lungs and through oral consumption. This study was undertaken to estimate the total exposure of humans to the trihalomethane DBPs through the dermal, inhalation and oral routes. The results for volatile compounds demonstrate that additional exposure through inhalation may represent a quantitatively important exposure route.

History/Chronology

Aug 2002A letter peer review of the report, The Feasibility of Performing Cumulative Risk Assessments for Mixtures of Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water (EPA/600/R-03/051) was conducted by Eastern Research Group.
Jun 2005An independent panel review of the report, Drinking Water Exposures and Internal Doses of Trihalomethanes in Humans (EPA/600/R-06/087), was conducted by Versar, Inc., in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Sep 2008EPA releases the summary report, The Application of Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Determine Route-Specific Contributions to Tissue Dosimetry of Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water.

Next Steps

Several manuscripts describing these findings in the EPA’s 2006 report will be prepared and published in the open, peer-reviewed literature.

Citation

U.S. EPA. The Application of Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Determine Route-Specific Contributions to Tissue Dosimetry of Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water. 2008.

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