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Biological Sciences Division

June 2016

Teeguarden behind EPA panel on new framework for Exposure Science

Env Sci Tech

Toxicologist Justin Teeguarden, a scientist in PNNL’s Health Impacts and Exposure Science organization and Director of the Oregon State University-PNNL Superfund Research Center’s Research Translation Core, helped organize and lead a May 9-11 expert workshop hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under discussion was the new systems-based “Aggregate Exposure Pathway” (AEP) concept proposed by Teeguarden and his colleagues, in response to a call by a committee of the National Research Council for an organizing framework for the field of Exposure Science.

The workshop brought together scientists from the fields of toxicology, exposure science, modeling, epidemiology, and risk assessment from academia, industry, regulatory agencies, and non-governmental organizations.  Attendees advanced the AEP concept in three working groups focused on high impact application areas, the infrastructure to support implementation, and ecological exposure assessment.

Teeguarden's involvement in the Research Triangle Park, NC workshop followed his May 2016 paper in Environmental Science & Technology: "Completing the Link between Exposure Science and Toxicology for Improved Environmental Health Decision Making: The Aggregate Exposure Pathway Framework." Researchers from the EPA and Oregon State University also contributed.

Exposure science, the paper averred, is changing fast, and is transitioning "from a field of observation to a field of prediction." The AEP framework is a step in that evolution, the authors wrote, and is a systems-based response to "major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computation, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health." 

The paper and the workshop reflect a growing scientific leadership role for PNNL in the field of exposure science.

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