ENVIRON International Corporation

Emeryville, CA, United States

ENVIRON International Corporation

Emeryville, CA, United States
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Crump K.,Louisiana Tech University | Van Landingham C.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Critical Reviews in Toxicology | Year: 2012

NIOSH/NCI (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and National Cancer Institute) developed exposure estimates for respirable elemental carbon (REC) as a surrogate for exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) for different jobs in eight underground mines by year beginning in the 1940s-960s when diesel equipment was first introduced into these mines. These estimates played a key role in subsequent epidemiological analyses of the potential relationship between exposure to DE and lung cancer conducted in these mines. We report here on a reanalysis of some of the data from this exposure assessment. Because samples of REC were limited primarily to 1998-2001, NIOSH/NCI used carbon monoxide (CO) as a surrogate for REC. In addition, because CO samples were limited, particularly in the earlier years, they used the ratio of diesel horsepower (HP) to the mine air exhaust rate as a surrogate for CO. There are considerable uncertainties connected with each of these surrogate-based steps. The estimates of HP appear to involve considerable uncertainty, although we had no data upon which to evaluate the magnitude of this uncertainty. A sizable percentage (45%) of the CO samples used in the HP to CO model was below the detection limit which required NIOSH/NCI to assign CO values to these samples. In their preferred REC estimates, NIOSH/NCI assumed a linear relation between C0 and REC, although they provided no credible support for that assumption. Their assumption of a stable relationship between HP and CO also is questionable, and our reanalysis found a statistically significant relationship in only one-half of the mines. We re-estimated yearly REC exposures mainly using NIOSH/NCI methods but with some important differences: (i) rather than simply assuming a linear relationship, we used data from the mines to estimate the CO-REC relationship; (ii) we used a different method for assigning values to nondetect CO measurements; and (iii) we took account of statistical uncertainty to estimate bounds for REC exposures. This exercise yielded significantly different exposure estimates than estimated by NIOSH/NCI. However, this analysis did not incorporate the full range of uncertainty in REC exposures because of additional uncertainties in the assumptions underlying the modeling and in the underlying data (e.g. HP and mine exhaust rates). Estimating historical exposures in a cohort is generally a very difficult undertaking. However, this should not prevent one from recognizing the uncertainty in the resulting estimates in any use made of them. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Rodricks J.V.,ENVIRON International Corporation | Levy J.I.,Boston University
Toxicological Sciences | Year: 2013

In 2009, the National Research Council (NRC) released the latest in a series of advisory reports on human health risk assessment, titled Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment. This wide-ranging report made a number of recommendations related to risk assessment practice at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that could both influence and be influenced by evolving toxicological practice. In particular, Science and Decisions emphasized the scientific and operational necessity of a new approach for dose-response modeling; addressed the recurring challenge of defaults in risk assessment and the question of when research results can be used in place of defaults; and reinforced the value of cumulative risk assessment, which would require enhanced understanding of the joint influence of chemical and nonchemical stressors on health outcomes. The objective of this article is to summarize key messages from Science and Decisions, both as a stand-alone report and in comparison with another recent NRC report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. Although these reports have many conclusions in common and reinforce similar themes, there are important differences that merit careful consideration, such as the move away from apical endpoints in Toxicity Testing and the emphasis on benefit-cost analyses and related decision tools in Science and Decisions that would be strengthened by quantification of apical endpoints. Moving risk assessment forward will require toxicologists to wrestle with the implications of Science and Decisions from a toxicological perspective. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology.

Rotz C.A.,University Park | Montes F.,University Park | Chianese D.S.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their potential effect on the environment has become an important national and international issue. Dairy production, along with all other types of animal agriculture, is a recognized source of GHG emissions, but little information exists on the net emissions from dairy farms. Component models for predicting all important sources and sinks of CH4, N2O, and CO2 from primary and secondary sources in dairy production were integrated in a software tool called the Dairy Greenhouse Gas model, or DairyGHG. This tool calculates the carbon footprint of a dairy production system as the net exchange of all GHG in CO2 equivalent units per unit of energy-corrected milk produced. Primary emission sources include enteric fermentation, manure, cropland used in feed production, and the combustion of fuel in machinery used to produce feed and handle manure. Secondary emissions are those occurring during the production of resources used on the farm, which can include fuel, electricity, machinery, fertilizer, pesticides, plastic, and purchased replacement animals. A long-term C balance is assumed for the production system, which does not account for potential depletion or sequestration of soil carbon. An evaluation of dairy farms of various sizes and production strategies gave carbon footprints of 0.37 to 0.69kg of CO2 equivalent units/kg of energy-corrected milk, depending upon milk production level and the feeding and manure handling strategies used. In a comparison with previous studies, DairyGHG predicted C footprints similar to those reported when similar assumptions were made for feeding strategy, milk production, allocation method between milk and animal coproducts, and sources of CO2 and secondary emissions. DairyGHG provides a relatively simple tool for evaluating management effects on net GHG emissions and the overall carbon footprint of dairy production systems. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.

Zhou B.,ENVIRON International Corporation | Du J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Weather and Forecasting | Year: 2010

A new multivariable-based diagnostic fog-forecasting method has been developed at NCEP. The selection of these variables, their thresholds, and the influences on fog forecasting are discussed. With the inclusion of the algorithm in the model postprocessor, the fog forecast can now be provided centrally as direct NWP model guidance. The method can be easily adapted to other NWP models. Currently, knowledge of how well fog forecasts based on operational NWP models perform is lacking. To verify the new method and assess fog forecast skill, as well as to account for forecast uncertainty, this fog-forecasting algorithm is applied to a multimodel-based Mesoscale Ensemble Prediction System (MEPS). MEPS consists of 10 members using two regional models [the NCEP Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and the NCAR Advanced Research version of WRF (ARW)] with 15-km horizontal resolution. Each model has five members (one control and four perturbed members) using the breeding technique to perturb the initial conditions and was run once per day out to 36 h over eastern China for seven months (February-September 2008). Both deterministic and probabilistic forecasts were produced based on individual members, a one-model ensemble, and two-model ensembles. A case study and statistical verification, using both deterministic and probabilistic measuring scores, were performed against fog observations from 13 cities in eastern China. The verification was focused on the 12- and 36-h forecasts. By applying the various approaches, including the new fog detection scheme, ensemble technique, multimodel approach, and the increase in ensemble size, the fog forecast accuracy was steadily and dramatically improved in each of the approaches: from basically no skill at all [equitable threat score (ETS) 5 0.063] to a skill level equivalent to that of warm-season precipitation forecasts of the current NWP models (0.334). Specifically, 1) the multivariable-based fog diagnostic method has a much higher detection capability than the liquid water content (LWC)-only based approach. Reasons why the multivariable approach works better than the LWC-only method were also illustrated. 2) The ensemble-based forecasts are, in general, superior to a single control forecast measured both deterministically and probabilistically. The case study also demonstrates that the ensemble approach could provide more societal value than a single forecast to end users, especially for low-probability significant events like fog. Deterministically, a forecast close to the ensemble median is particularly helpful. 3) The reliability of probabilistic forecasts can be effectively improved by using a multimodel ensemble instead of a single-model ensemble. For a small ensemble such as the one in this study, the increase in ensemble size is also important in improving probabilistic forecasts, although this effect is expected to decrease with the increase in ensemble size. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

Sarwar G.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Simon H.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Bhave P.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Yarwood G.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2012

The heterogeneous hydrolysis of dinitrogen pentoxide (N+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/ inf+AD4-O+ADw-inf+AD4-5+ADw-/inf+AD4-) has typically been modeled as only producing nitric acid. However, recent field studies have confirmed that the presence of particulate chloride alters the reaction product to produce nitryl chloride (ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4-) which undergoes photolysis to generate chlorine atoms and nitrogen dioxide (NO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4-). Both chlorine and NO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4- affect atmospheric chemistry and air quality. We present an updated gas-phase chlorine mechanism that can be combined with the Carbon Bond 05 mechanism and incorporate the combined mechanism into the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system. We then update the current model treatment of heterogeneous hydrolysis of N+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4-O+ADw-inf+AD4-5+ADw-/inf+AD4- to include ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4- as a product. The model, in combination with a comprehensive inventory of chlorine compounds, reactive nitrogen, particulate matter, and organic compounds, is used to evaluate the impact of the heterogeneous ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4- production on air quality across the United States for the months of February and September in 2006. The heterogeneous production increases ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4- in coastal as well as many in-land areas in the United States. Particulate chloride derived from sea-salts, anthropogenic sources, and forest fires activates the heterogeneous production of ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4-. With current estimates of tropospheric emissions, it modestly enhances monthly mean 8-h ozone (up to 1-2 ppbv or 3-4+ACU-) but causes large increases (up to 13 ppbv) in isolated episodes. This chemistry also substantially reduces the mean total nitrate by up to 0.8-2.0 +ACY-mu+ADs-g m+ADw-sup+AD4--3+ADw-/sup+AD4- or 11-21+ACU-. Modeled ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4- accounts for up to 6+ACU- of the monthly mean total reactive nitrogen. Sensitivity results of the model suggest that heterogeneous production of ClNO+ADw-inf+AD4-2+ADw-/inf+AD4- can further increase O+ADw-inf+AD4-3+ADw-/inf+AD4- and reduce TNO+ADw-inf+AD4-3+ADw- /inf+AD4- if elevated particulate-chloride levels are present in the atmosphere. © Author(s) 2012.

Simmons C.E.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene | Year: 2011

Sanding drywall joint compound is a dusty construction activity. We studied potential factors influencing exposure to respirable and total dust for sanders and bystanders in the area of drywall joint compound finishing in 17 test events within a room-scale isolation chamber. We found the air change rate to be negatively correlated with dust C(twa) both in the sander's personal breathing zone and surrounding area. We could not conclude that sanding tool type systematically influences dust C(twa), but the use of 80-grit abrasive was associated with the highest dust C(twa). We found respirable dusts were uniformly dispersed 1-8.2 m from sanding activities at a fixed location. As anticipated, both respirable and total dust C(twa) in the sander's personal breathing zone are higher than in the surrounding area. The respirable fraction of the total dust mass C(twa) was greater in the surrounding area than in the sander's personal breathing zone. Respirable dust concentrations measured in real time increased over the duration of sanding, exhibiting a temporal trend that is similar to that predicted by the well-mixed box model with contaminant removal by mechanical ventilation only, and continuous emission. Dust concentrations returned to pre-activity (background) levels 2-4 hr after cessation of the sanding activity.

Santamaria A.B.,ENVIRON International Corporation | Sulsky S.I.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues | Year: 2010

Manganese (Mn) is an essential element for humans, animals, and plants and is required for growth, development, and maintenance of health. Mn is present in most tissues of all living organisms and is present naturally in rocks, soil, water, and food. High-dose oral, parenteral, or inhalation exposures are associated with increased tissue Mn levels that may lead to development of adverse neurological, reproductive, or respiratory effects. Manganese-induced clinical neurotoxicity is associated with a motor dysfunction syndrome commonly referred to as manganism. Because Mn is an essential element and absorption and excretion are homeostatically regulated, a reasonable hypothesis is that there should be no adverse effects at low exposures. Therefore, there should be a threshold for exposure, below which adverse effects may occur only rarely, if at all, and the frequency of occurrence of adverse effects may increase with higher exposures above that threshold. Lowest-observed-adverse-effect levels (LOAELs), no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs), and benchmark dose levels (BMDs) have been derived from studies that were conducted to evaluate subclinical neurotoxicity in human occupational cohorts exposed to Mn. Although there is some uncertainty about the predictive value of the subclinical neuromotor or neurobehavioral effects that were observed in these occupational cohort studies, results of the neurological tests were used in risk assessments to establish guidelines and regulations for ambient air levels of Mn in the environment. A discussion of the uncertainties associated with these tests is provided in this review. The application of safety and uncertainty factors result in guidelines for ambient air levels that are lower than the LOAELs, NOAELs, or BMDs from occupational exposure studies by an order of magnitude, or more. Specific early biomarkers of effect, such as subclinical neurobehavioral or neurological changes or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes, have not been established or validated for Mn, although some studies attempted to correlate certain biomarkers with neurological effects. Pharmacokinetic studies with rodents and monkeys provide valuable information about the absorption, bioavailability, and tissue distribution of various Mn compounds with different solubilities and oxidation states in different age groups. These pharmacokinetic studies showed that rodents and primates maintain stable tissue Mn levels as a result of homeostatic mechanisms that tightly regulate absorption and excretion of ingested Mn and limit tissue uptake at low to moderate levels of inhalation exposure. In addition, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models are being developed to provide for the ability to conduct route-to-route extrapolations, evaluate nasal uptake to the central nervous system (CNS), and determine life-stage differences in Mn pharmacokinetics. Such models will facilitate more rigorous quantitative analysis of the available human pharmacokinetic data for Mn and will be used to identify situations that may lead to increased brain accumulation related to altered Mn kinetics in different human populations, and to develop quantitatively accurate predictions of elevated Mn levels that may serve as a basis of dosimetry-based risk assessments. Such dosimetry-based risk assessments will permit for the development of more scientifically refined and robust recommendations, guidelines, and regulations for Mn levels in the ambient environment and occupational settings.

Rodricks J.V.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2014

The publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring marks the mid-point in a century that saw, in its first half, the emergence of public health concerns related to human exposures to chemicals, and, in its second half, the emergence of public policies to deal with those concerns. Those policies made it imperative that the scientific community come to grips with the problem of identifying exposure levels not likely to cause harm. This problem was not significantly discussed within the scientific community until the 1950s, and well-described methods for practical solutions to it did not appear until the 1970s. An important report from the National Academy of Sciences, published in 1983 (Risk Assessment in the Federal Government), provided an analysis of these emerging methods, and recommended a useful framework for the assessment and management of risk. This framework remains central to public health and regulatory decision-making. A high-level perspective is offered on events leading to and following the 1983 report. The article describes early thinking about chemical toxicity and the scientific path that thinking followed through the 20th century, and to the present. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Gauthier T.D.,ENVIRON International Corporation
Analytical Chemistry Insights | Year: 2013

1,3-Dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) is an aliphatic amine with stimulant properties that are reportedly found naturally only in geranium plants (Pelargonium graveolens). The presence of 1,3-DMAA in geranium plants was first reported in a paper published in 1996, but some have questioned the identification of 1,3-DMAA in that study. Since then, a number of additional studies have been published, largely reporting the absence of 1,3-DMAA in geranium plants and commercial geranium oils. However, in two recent studies, 1,3-DMAA was detected in geranium plant tissues and a geranium oil sample using a simplified extraction approach on tissues and oil sourced from China. Whether or not 1,3-DMAA is found naturally in plants has significant implications as to how commercial products containing 1,3-DMAA are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. In this paper, differences in source materials, extraction procedures, and analytical approaches are reviewed in an attempt to rationalize the apparently conflicting evidence for the presence of 1,3-DMAA in geranium plant materials. © the author(s), publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Ltd.

ENVIRON International Corporation | Date: 2010-10-12

A core column simulator device and methods of assessing the efficacy of a wastewater biotreatment system using the core column simulator device are disclosed.

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