CEE Seminar: Bioavailability and Bioaccessibility of Lead and Arsenic in Contaminated Soils
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April 16, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Karen Bradham, Research Physical Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development
Lead (Pb) and arsenic (As) are frequently occurring contaminants on the Priority List of Hazardous Substances, which lists substances of greatest public health concern to people living at or near U.S. National Priority Listing sites. EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) has developed a bioavailability method that simulates how the human digestive system absorbs arsenic and lead in soil. "Bioavailability" refers to the amount of a substance that is absorbed by the body's gastrointestinal system following exposure. In May 2017, EPA validated the in-vitro bioaccessibility method after it was shown to meet rigorous regulatory acceptance criteria. This means that States and public health risk assessors can use the in-vitro bioaccessibility method during cleanups at EPA Superfund sites and other locations with arsenic and lead contamination issues. In addition to protecting public health, methods developed by EPA's ORD improves the accuracy of human health risk assessments. The presentation will include research on 1) development, testing, and validation of EPA Method 1340 as an efficient and effective in-vitro test to predict in-vivo bioavailability as a cost-effective way to conduct site-specific evaluation of risk, 2) in-vivo methodology for evaluating soil lead and arsenic bioavailability, 3) and a nationwide study of residential related hazards, including lead.