Jeffrey Fisher, professor of environmental health science in the College of Public Health, has received a $550,000 grant to support translational research to create a mathematical modeling code or toolkit from existing models that describes the fate of chemicals in the human body. This is the first time a federal agency has used a toolkit of such models to address the variety of human health risks that occur from exposure to chemicals.
The toolkit will be used to calculate the effects of solvents on health and safety. For example, in cases where residents are provided bottled water because their water supply is contaminated with solvents, their exposure to the chemicals is greater by inhalation of the volatile solvents off-gassing from the water than by oral ingestion. The model will be used to help determine the contribution of exposure to these chemicals. A second component of this grant is to create models for selected priority pollutants such as carbon tetrachloride, benzene, acetone trichloroethylene, PCBs, dioxin and methyl mercury to determine effects on women who are pregnant or nursing.