2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 5 Dec 2003 17:34:39 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Report Urges Focus on Chemical Mixtures in Studies of Env. Contaminat
Thu Dec 4 11:51:39 2003 Pacific Time
Report Urges Focus on Chemical Mixtures in Studies of Environmental

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass., Dec. 4 (AScribe Newswire) -- The Military Waste
Cleanup Program (MilWaste) has issued a new report on chemical mixtures
authored by MilWaste science director Emily Monosson, visiting professor
of environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College. Chemical mixtures,
two or more toxic chemicals that occur together at the same time and
place, are a key concern among communities affected by hazardous waste
contamination. The report, "Chemical Mixtures: A review of the evolution
of toxicology and chemical regulation from a single-chemical approach to
a science and regulatory process that must address complex chemical
mixtures," shows that toxicology, and the regulations that are based on
toxicological research, has evolved as a "single-chemical science" that
must be restructured to address chemical mixtures.

The report, intended for use by community members, technical advisors,
scientists, and students involved in environmental cleanup, is written
in plain English. "Chemical Mixtures" can be used as a guide to assess
the treatment of mixtures in a specific risk assessment process. The
report contains six sections:

       -- Toxicology Basics

       -- A Brief History of Toxicology: The Study of Poisons - One
Poison at a Time

       -- The Regulation of Toxic Chemicals

       -- Review of EPA's Supplementary Guidance for Conducting Health
Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures

       -- Current and Future Research on Chemical Mixtures

       -- Summary and Conclusion: Where Do We Go From Here?

The report reviews current EPA and other guidance on chemical mixtures,
and offers recommendations for future directions in science and
regulation to deal with the complexities of chemical mixtures. One key
recommendation is for the formation of small working groups and research
funding that would expand the number of creative solutions available for
addressing chemical mixtures, including and in addition to the current
computer modeling approaches.

"In the environment, living systems are exposed to toxic chemicals as
mixtures, not individual chemicals," the report concludes. "If an
understanding of chemical mixtures, rather than single chemicals, had
been the driving force behind the science of toxicology, the principal
science we rely upon to protect humans and the environment, would we be
in a different place now?"

Monosson, author of the report, holds a doctorate in biochemical
toxicology from Cornell University, and has taught as a visiting
professor at MHC since 1999. Her research work includes basic research
in endocrine and reproductive disruption in fish, the toxicology of PCBs
and community-based learning. Monosson has published extensively in
toxicological journals and is co-editor of Interconnections between
Human and Ecosystem Health (Chapman & Hall, 1996). She is a recipient of
numerous grants, including NSF, EPA, and the Hudson River Foundation.

The Military Waste Cleanup Program supports communities and scientists
in their efforts to understand technical, environmental, and human
health issues related to military and nuclear environmental cleanup.
MilWaste accomplishes its goals through research, education, networking,
and outreach activities. The Program is located at the Center for the
Environment at Mount Holyoke College, a liberal arts college for women
located in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

The report, funded through a grant from the US Environmental Protection
Agency, is available in pdf format on the MilWaste website, at

For further information, contact the Military Waste Cleanup Program at
413-538-3246, or milwaste@milwaste.org.

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