Domestic Pets as Biosamplers of Toxic Elements at a Superfund Site

EPA Grant Number: FP916368
Title: Domestic Pets as Biosamplers of Toxic Elements at a Superfund Site
Investigators: Robertson, Trisha
Institution: Montana Tech of the University of Montana
EPA Project Officer: Zambrana, Jose
Project Period: January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006
Project Amount: $67,136
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Public Health Sciences , Academic Fellowships , Health Effects


The specific objective of this research project is to develop and test a simple, inexpensive, biomonitoring system to characterize existing exposure patterns in the Butte/Anaconda area. This project proposes to perform a novel type of environmental health research to improve our understanding of actual, long-term exposure to widespread contamination.


The proposed biomonitoring system will utilize domestic pets as sentinel species to provide information on potential human exposure. Hair sampling with subsequent analysis using Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry will provide an easy, nonevasive way to obtain biological data regarding chronic environmental exposure. Although the levels of contact with contaminated soil and water probably are much higher for pets than for humans, domestic dogs and cats represent exciting opportunities for conservatively assessing chronic health risks.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, domestic dogs, pets, domestic cats, biomonitoring system, contamination, Butte/Anaconda area, sentinel species, Superfund, toxicity, exposure, exposure patterns,, Scientific Discipline, Health, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Risk Management, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Physical Processes, Ecological Risk Assessment, Risk Assessment, cumulative exposure, cumulative risk, long term exposure, animal model, dogs, environmental risks, exposure, chronic effects, human exposure, superfund site, toxic environmental contaminants, animal bioassays, exposure assessment, human health risk

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2004
  • 2005
  • Final