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Completing the Link between Exposure Science and Toxicology for Improved Environmental Health Decision Making: The Aggregate Exposure Pathway Framework
Teeguarden, J., C. Tan, S. Edwards, J. Leonard, K. Anderson, R. Corley, M. Kile, S. Simonich, D. Stone, R. Tanguay, K. Waters, S. Harper, AND D. Williams. Completing the Link between Exposure Science and Toxicology for Improved Environmental Health Decision Making: The Aggregate Exposure Pathway Framework. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 50(9):4579-4586, (2016).
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.
Driven by major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computation, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health, the field of exposure science is undergoing a rapid transition from a field of observation to a field of prediction. Deployment of an organizational and predictive framework for exposure science analogous to the “systems approaches” used in the biological sciences is a necessary step in this evolution. Here we propose the aggregate exposure pathway (AEP) concept as the natural and complementary companion in the exposure sciences to the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept in the toxicological sciences. Aggregate exposure pathways offer an intuitive framework to organize exposure data within individual units of prediction common to the field, setting the stage for exposure forecasting. Looking farther ahead, we envision direct linkages between aggregate exposure pathways and adverse outcome pathways, completing the source to outcome continuum for more meaningful integration of exposure assessment and hazard identification. Together, the two frameworks form and inform a decision-making framework with the flexibility for risk-based, hazard-based, or exposure-based decision making.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
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