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Adherence to Scientific Method while Advancing Exposure Science
Vallero, D. Adherence to Scientific Method while Advancing Exposure Science. Symposium - Tribute to Dr. Paul J. Lioy, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute. Piscataway, NJ, Piscataway, NJ, November 12, 2015.
The National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.
Paul Lioy was simultaneously a staunch adherent to the scientific method and an innovator of new ways to conduct science, particularly related to human exposure. Current challenges to science and the application of the scientific method are presented as they relate the approaches employed to addressing risks. For example following a disaster, much attention is paid to potential hazards, such as flammable materials, disease vectors, and toxic substances. However, our shared experiences following the World Trade Center attacks, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the spillage of crude oil during the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico remind us that exposure is often the major rate limiting step in risk assessment. We must gauge potential exposure and select interventions to reduce exposures to a broad range of hazards. This paper discusses how exposure assessment varies during the five stages following a disaster (the 5 Rs): rescue, recovery, reentry, reconstruction, and re-habitation. Although every disaster response follows this sequence, the spatial and temporal extent and type of disaster (e.g., immediate threat to human health and safety, long-term threat to ecosystems) determine how an exposure assessment must be conducted. These stages began to be tested in our Urban Dispersion Study, a personal exposure study conducted in New York City as part of the Urban Dispersion Program, which was the first prospective study to compare measurements of a tracer at a stationary site with personal exposure measurements were taken during each period, and the first half hour after the release ended.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
HUMAN EXPOSURE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES DIVISION
EXPOSURE MODELING RESEARCH BRANCH