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ANALYTICAL CHALLENGES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR MONITORING
Van Emon, J M., K. L. Bowman, AND C. L. Gerlach. ANALYTICAL CHALLENGES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR MONITORING. Chapter 3, Analysis of Environmental Endocrine Disruptors. Oxford University Press, Cary, NC, , 23-32, (2000).
More cost-effective field screening and monitoring methods will be provided to increase the amount of information available concerning the location, source, and concentration of pollutants. Rapid and sensitive immunoassays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to monitor remediation and cleanup activities at Superfund sites will be developed. Each new method will be tested on real-world samples from monitoring studies. Field studies will be conducted when time and resources permit. The feasibility and application of immunosensors to provide field analytical methods for the dynamic monitoring of hazardous substances of interest to the EPA will also be investigated. Concern has been expressed for the potential exposure of individuals to toxic compounds who live near hazardous waste sites or who may become exposed through other means. Thus, the development of methods for measuring biomarkers for human exposure assessment studies is also addressed.
During the remainder of the Task several projects will be undertaken including:
- Complete the development and evaluation of bioanalytical methods for dioxin and related compounds
- Perform dioxin immunoassay analysis on samples from a dioxin SITE demonstration
- Comparison of an ELISA with gas chromatography (GC) for monitoring polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soils/sediments collected from a Superfund field demonstration
- Survey of bioanalytical methods and sensor technologies for environmental monitoring
- Development of immunoaffinity chromatography sample preparations for PCBs
- Preparation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each bioanalytical method developed
- Conduct yearly research meeting
- Conduct survey of high priority chemicals at National Priorities List (NPL) sites for bioanalysis suitability
- Develop new bioanalytical methods for hazardous compounds of public concern
- Perform PCP immunoassay analysis on soil and sediment samples from a Superfund site and compare with GC data
- Preparation of fact sheets and journal articles
Reported increases in the incidence of endocrine-related conditions have led to speculation about environmental causes. Environmental scientists are focusing increased research effort into understanding the mechanisms by which endocrine disruptors affect human and ecological health. Fundamental to this understanding is the ability to characterize and quantify these types of chemical compounds. Immunoassays and tandem analytical techniques, that team chromatography with sensitive immunochemical methods, enable bioanalysis of compounds in complex matrices. Examples of immunochemical methods with applications to environmental monitoring and human exposure assessment are given.