SETAC JUNE 10-12, 2015 MEETING Hilton Gardens Inn – Downtown Freeport, Maine
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION ABSTRACTS CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE AMERICAN MIND. Jennifer Marlon (email@example.com) Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT. Climate change is one of the most daunting challenges of our time. Americans have diverse and sometime opposing views about global warming, fundamentally shaping the political climate of climate change. Dr. Marlon will report on recent trends in Americans’ climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior and discuss strategies for more effective public engagement to build public and political will for climate action. THE
RISK PERCEPTION GAP. David Ropeik (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ropeik & Associates, Concord, MA. Most people are more afraid of some risks than the evidence warrants, and not as afraid of some threats as the evidence warns. As a result we suffer from the Risk Perception Gap, the risks that arise from the choices we make when our fears don’t match the facts. Why do our perceptions of risk seem so irrational? How can a cognitive system whose job is to protect us, put us in harm’s way? This discussion will summarize the research that helps explain the psychology of human risk perception, explore the implications of a risk perception based more on instinct than intellect, and offer some thoughts on how we can narrow the Risk perception Gap and avoid some of the perils it poses.
PLATFORM ABSTRACTS BIOSOLIDS AND SOIL –
REMARKABLE MEDIA FOR MANAGING TRACE ORGANIC CHEMICALS OF POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN. Ned Beecher (email@example.com) North East Biosolids and Residuals Association, Tamworth, NH. Since USGS found numerous pharmaceutical and personal care product chemicals (PPCPs) in streams around the U. S. (Barnes et al., 2002), there has been increasing interest in the presence, fate, and impacts on humans and environmental organisms of low levels of myriad chemicals used in daily life. Advances in analytical methods now allow for quantification of chemicals at very low concentrations in various media (e.g. ng/g or less). Many trace organic chemicals (TOrCs) enter the environment via wastewater, either through septic systems or centralized treatment facilities. Impacts of some TOrCs on aquatic organisms have been measured (SeaWeb, 2008). TOrCs are also being measured in wastewater solids (U. S. EPA, 2009). In the U. S., more than half of these solids are applied to soils. Research on the presence, fate, and impacts of TOrCs in biosolids suggests that a best management for society’s trace chemical outputs to the environment may be through aggressive capture in solids in wastewater treatment processes, with subsequent treatment of solids (biosolids) that are then applied to soils. The biosolids and soil matrices provide abundant physicochemical and biological processes that hasten degradation, transformation, or sequestration (Overcash et al., 2005), reducing potential environmental impacts more than any other cost-effective option (e.g. landfill disposal, incineration, release to air or water). This presentation reviews the research on TOrCs in biosolids, the benefits of their treatment in soils, and the benefits of biosolids and other organic residuals as soil amendments.
TRICLOSAN EXPOSURE AND TREATMENT OUTCOMES IN WOMEN UNDERGOING IN VITRO FERTILIZATION. Courtney Carignan, 1 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Allison Lange, 2 Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, 1 Paige Williams, 3 Antonia Calafat, 4 Russ Hauser1 1 Department of Environmental Health, and 3 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; 2 Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 4 National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA. Introduction: Triclosan, an ingredient used widely in consumer products, is an endocrine disrupting chemical with potential effects on thyroid and sex hormone homeostasis. Due to the importance of these hormones in human fertility we used a prospective cohort study design to investigate the relationship between urinary triclosan concentrations and clinical outcomes in women undergoing fertility treatment utilizing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Materials and Methods: Women (n=134) ages 18-45 years provided one or two urine samples (total 325) for each IVF cycle (181 total cycles) from 2009 to 2012. Urinary triclosan concentrations were quantified at the CDC using isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Intermediate and clinical endpoints of IVF treatments were abstracted from electronic medical records. We used generalized linear mixed models with random intercepts to evaluate the association between quartiles of urinary triclosan concentrations and IVF outcomes adjusted for age, race, body mass index and infertility diagnosis. Results: Triclosan, detected in 83% of urines, had a specific gravity-adjusted geometric mean (SD) concentration of 17.1 (2.57) μg/L and demonstrated good within-subject reproducibility (ICC=0.69). Approximately one more oocyte was retrieved among women in the lowest urinary triclosan quartile compared to second, third or fourth quartiles (p=0.15 to 0.24). No associations (p>0.3) were identified between any of the clinical outcomes and quartiles of urinary triclosan. Conclusions: Urinary triclosan quartiles were negatively associated with oocyte yield but not with the clinical IVF outcomes (implantation, pregnancy rate or live birth rate). Our findings were not consistent with a recent Canadian study (MIREC), which found an association of higher urinary triclosan concentrations with longer time to pregnancy. Support: NIH grants R01ES009718, R01ES000002, T32ES007069 (CC)
IMPACTS OF ELEVATED TEMPERATURE, EUROPEAN BUCKTHORN, AND THE HERBICIDE TRICLOPYR ON LITHOBATES PIPIENS TADPOLES. A.N. Curtis (Amanda.Curtis@dartmouth.edu), Department of Biology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH and M.G. Bidart-Bouzat, Department of Biology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. Multiple factors including habitat loss/modification, pollutants, invasive species, and disease have contributed to the global decline of amphibians and declines in their abundance are expected to continue due to changes in climate. Climate change will likely allow for greater proliferation and range expansion of invasive plants. Since use of chemical management is currently the most common method to control invasive plants, chemical use may increase. A controlled laboratory experiment was performed to examine the individual and interactive effect of several environmental factors on the survival, growth, and morphology of the Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) tadpoles. Specifically, the impact of the invasive plant European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), the herbicide triclopyr, and increased temperature were evaluated on tadpoles for eight weeks. Results from this study showed that the presence of R. cathartica leachates benefited tadpole growth. Elevated temperature significantly increased tadpole growth during the first four weeks, but reached a plateau afterwards. Further at the conclusion of eight weeks, tadpoles in the warmer temperature were smaller, but *Student Presenters more developmentally advanced. The use of triclopyr to chemically manage invasive plants appears to have minimal negative effects on tadpole growth or survival at the concentration used in this experiment. Interaction treatments designed to simulate active chemical management using triclopyr to manage R. cathartica resulted in slight negative effects to tadpoles. Results from this study encourage further examination of the effect of chemical management, but more importantly the full impacts of climate change on declining amphibian populations.
BENTHIC INJURY DOSE-RESPONSE MODELS FOR PCB-CONTAMINATED SEDIMENT. Kenneth Finkelstein (Ken.Finkelstein@NOAA.gov) NOAA, Boston, MA, Tom Dillon (Tom@DillonEC.com) Dillon Environmental Consulting, LLC, Cumming, GA and Nancy Beckvar (Nancy.Beckvar@NOAA.gov) NOAA, Seattle, WA. The goal of this project was to develop a sediment PCB dose-response model based on invertebrate aquatic toxicity data published in the peer-reviewed literature to predict effects (% injury) to benthos. We used an equilibrium partitioning (EqP) approach to generate predicted PCB sediment effect concentrations (largely Aroclor 1254) associated with a gradient of toxic effects in benthic organisms from effects observed in aquatic toxicity studies. This report differs from all other EqP sediment investigations in that we examined a gradient of effects rather than a single, protective value. We reviewed the chronic aquatic toxicity literature to identify measured aqueous PCB concentrations and the associated benthic invertebrate effects. We controlnormalized the toxic effect data and expressed results from various studies as a common metric, % Injury, to create a model based on EPA’s (EPIWEB 4.1) derivation of Koc. After Koc selection, we calculated oc-normalized sediment PCB concentrations (mg/kg-oc) from the aqueous PCB toxicity dataset using EqP theory. We then constructed a non-linear dose-response numerical model for these synoptic sediment PCB concentrations and biological effects (Y = 100/1 + 10(logEC50-logX) • (Hill slope) ). This model was used to generate an easy to use “look-up” table reporting % Injury in benthic biota for a range of Aroclor-specific sediment concentrations. For example, the model using such a Koc predicts the mean benthic injury of 23.7%, 44.6%, 70.9%, 87.2% and 95% for hypothetical sediment concentrations of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 mg/kg dry wt. of Aroclor 1254, respectively (assuming 1% organic carbon). Models for some Aroclors (1016, 1221, 1232, and 1268) could not be developed due to data gaps in the aquatic toxicity literature. Specific step-wise procedures are provided for predicting % benthic injury when sediment PCBs are reported as Aroclor, congeners, homolog groups or total PCBs. The report identifies and discusses the uncertainties associated with the numerical PCB dose-response models and the EqP approach and provides recommendations for addressing outstanding issues, including the two carbon model, and congener data and most specifically the Koc calculation. We recommend using this model shown herein as a conservative first cut example but suggest, when possible, to determine a site specific Koc that along with the tables and equations herein allow the user to create their own protective dose-response sediment concentration at a specific location. IS
CELLULAR ENERGY REGULATION LINKED TO BURROWING BEHAVIOR IN A FRESHWATER MUSSEL EXPOSED TO TRICLOSAN? *Christopher Goodchild (email@example.com) University of New England & University of Oklahoma, Stillwater, OK. Environmental stress may alter the bioenergetic balance of organisms by resulting in greater energy investment into repair mechanisms, which diverts energy from other biological functions (i.e., movement, reproduction, growth). Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found in numerous personal care products and regularly enters aquatic environments through municipal wastewater treatment facility effluent. In this study we *Student Presenters examined energetic stress caused by TCS exposure in a freshwater mussel across multiple scales- spanning behavior (e.g., burrowing and movement activity), organismic (e.g., metabolic rate, heart rate), and subcellular (e.g., gene expression and protein abundance/activity) responses. At the subcellular level we employed both energetic (i.e., AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)) and traditional (heat shock protein (HSP70), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST)) biomarkers. We found diminished burrowing efficiency and movement. Our data also revealed an increase in total-AMPK protein abundance and mRNA expression, and a 2.8-fold increase in AMPK activity after 21 d. GST enzyme activity significantly increased and GST mRNA expression appeared to increase, though this difference did not achieve significance (p = 0.06). Our findings suggest TCS results in an energetic tradeoff between detoxification at the cellular level and whole-animal activity, which may influence mussel fitness and the ability of mussels to conduct ecological services.
ACTIVATION OF THE ARYL HYDROCARBON RECEPTOR BY CRUDE OIL-DERIVED PAHS NEGATIVELY IMPACTS NEURAL CREST DEVELOPMENT IN ZEBRAFISH. Diane Chen, Gina Cho, *Lydia-Rose Kesich (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com), Charis Deadwyler, Kathryn Berg, Rachel Stein, Caitlin Schneider, Anna Campbell, Lillian Nosow, and Michael Barresi. Smith College, Biology Department, Northampton, MA. The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill is considered the largest oil disaster in US history. The rig’s 2010 explosion killed eleven people and released an estimated 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, exposing a variety of marine ecosystems to potential harm1 . Studies on native species following the spill revealed indicators of severe biological disturbance, including changes in killifish gene expression2 and an increased rate of stillbirth among dolphins3 ; however, these phenomena are merely correlated with crude oil exposure and cannot be proven to be directly caused by it. By using zebrafish as a model organism in a controlled laboratory setting, we have been able to characterize several developmental defects directly attributable to crude oil exposure. We have previously published data showing that oil sampled directly from the DWH spill causes craniofacial defects in exposed zebrafish embryos1 , but the mechanism through which this occurs is not fully understood. As individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been shown to cause similar craniofacial defects4 , we hypothesized that the PAHs in the oil were operating through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway to disrupt the development of a precursor cell population, the cranial neural crest cells (CNCs), ultimately leading to a reduction in jaw cartilage. Here we have used naphthalene exposure to model the developmental response to PAHs, showing naphthalene-induced disruption of CNCs results in improper separation of the posterior-most pharyngeal arches. We demonstrate that the PAH-induced craniofacial phenotypes are dependent upon AhR signaling, which may operate through the regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway to influence CNC migration. Greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms through which crude oil influences developmental defects will enable better risk assessment and potential amelioration of some impacts of fossil fuel pollution. 1. De Soysa et al (2012) 2. Whitehead et al (2011) 3. Schwacke et al (2014) 4. Incardona et al (2004)
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGNING IN VITRO ASSAYS TO PREDICT IN VIVO EFFECTS OF CHEMICALS ON THYROID HORMONE ACTION. *B.A. Kiros (Bakiros@umass.edu) and R.T. Zoeller. Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst MA. Majority of the more than 87, 000 chemicals in our environment including about the 3000 high production volume chemicals, with production rate at 1 million pounds or more per year, have no toxicity data. ToxCast is an in vitro high throughput screening (HTS) program which has screened about 2000 environmental chemicals with the aim of prioritizing chemicals for further testing in EPA programs such as the Endocrine *Student Presenters Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), a two-tiered testing program to test environmental chemicals for potential endocrine disruption activity of the estrogen, androgen and thyroid (EAT). Environmental chemicals can disrupt the thyroid during thyroid hormone (TH) synthesis, transport, cellular uptake and metabolism and also by interacting with thyroid receptors. ToxCast has been used to predict estrogen and androgen activity in vivo. However, its use to predict thyroid activity of chemicals in vivo has failed because it only has 4 assays for the thyroid receptors TR alpha and TR beta and one assay for the thyrothropin releasing hormone receptor (rTRH). Because disruption via receptors is one of many ways of thyroid disruption we recommend development and incorporation of HTS assays to screen chemicals activity against the TSH receptor, NIS, TPO, Tg, TTR, TBG, cellular TH uptake and deiodinases into ToxCast.
THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR READ-ACROSS AND SURROGATE USE FOR HAZARD ASSESSMENT. Jessie M. Kneeland, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joel M. Cohen, Sc.D. Gradient, Cambridge, MA. Safe use of chemicals requires that the potential hazards associated with those chemicals are well characterized. A detailed assessment of environmental and toxicological hazards associated with chemicals is often necessary to generate safety data sheets, register the chemicals with regulatory authorities, and ensure that appropriate exposure controls are chosen to minimize risks associated with occupational, cosmetic, or incidental exposure. In response to a growing societal pressure to minimize animal testing, the use of (quantitative) structure activity relationships ([Q]SAR), chemical grouping, and chemical surrogates (also called analogues) to “read-across” the hazards from a previously tested chemical has become commonplace. However, the regulatory guidance regarding when and how to use surrogate-based hazard assessment is not consistent across agencies. We present a synthesis of currently available regulatory guidance for the application of read-across, including the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation, US EPA’s pre-manufacture notice (PMN) requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Australia’s National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), and the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Each of these schemes allows for the use of surrogates, but the requirements and recommendations for when read-across is acceptable vary. They also differ in whether the onus is on the regulatory body (e.g., government agency) or the regulated community (e.g., industry) to assess whether a surrogate-based hazard assessment is sufficient. Expert judgment is required to develop a global regulatory compliance strategy that follows best available practices for surrogate-based hazard assessment while also minimizing the business and social costs associated with animal testing. Furthermore, for responsible chemical stewardship that goes beyond the basic regulatory requirements, a systematic method to incorporate measures of uncertainty in hazard assessments that rely primarily upon surrogate data is necessary. Such a method should account for the degree of structural similarity between the chemical of concern (CoC) and the selected surrogate, consistency (or lack thereof) in toxicity results across multiple surrogates, and concordance of results across multiple toxicity endpoints so as to suggest a plausible mechanism of action that is consistent for both the CoC and surrogate chemical.
RISK ASSESSMENT TO RESTRICT REMEDIATION – A CASE STIDY OF A MASSACHUSETTS OPEN SPACE PARCEL. P.K. LaGoy (Peter_LaGoy@msn.com), LaGoy Risk Analysis, Inc., Hopkinton, MA. In late 2012, a Massachusetts town was given the opportunity to purchase a 120 acre parcel of open space for $5 million. During due diligence, arsenic, apparently applied to fields as a pesticide, was identified in an area covering several acres. The town proceeded to purchase the land, and as part of the purchase, the seller put $1, 000, 000 in an escrow account for remediation of the arsenic. Initial work by a consultant defined the *Student Presenters bounds of the arsenic-impacted soil, which was defined as soil with arsenic that exceeded the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protections (MassDEP’s) Method 1 soil standard for arsenic of 20 mg/kg. The consultant estimated remediation cost at roughly $500, 000. At the request of a major proponent of the land purchase, I was asked to review the potential for risks associated with planned use of the land for walking trails. Although the political climate was heavily charged, with multiple firmly held opinions in conflict, we were able to convince the town to hire a third party risk assessor to evaluate risks with the expected us at the known concentrations. Based on this review, the town has elected to not follow through with remediation but to instead use the funds for other purposes on the land. Risk assessment clearly has the potential to substantially decrease the extent and costs of remediation. However, in my over 30 years in risk assessment, such success stories are few and far between. This presentation will discuss arsenic in soils in Massachusetts, background of the project, and the factors that contributed to the success in this case.
ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF CURRENT DRILLING FLUID FORMULATIONS. Dion Lewis1 (Dion.Lewis@aecom.com), Jerry Neff2 , and Diane Sanzone3 1 AECOM Manchester NH, 2 Neff & Associates LLC, Hendersonville NC, 3 AECOM Pocasset MA. Scenarios for offshore drilling for oil and gas resources typically include an early drilling phase using water based fluids (WBFs) and subsequent (deeper) drilling phases using non-aqueous drilling fluids (NADFs). Many countries with offshore oil and gas resources have enacted environmental regulations intended to protect marine ecosystems and their biological resources from harm due to drilling waste discharges. The offshore oil and gas industry has developed technologies to decrease the environmental footprint of these drilling fluids. The latest generation of high-performance WBFs and NADFs developed for deep water drilling operations include low-toxicity, readily biodegradable polymer WBFs and synthetic and enhanced mineral oil based NADFs, devoid of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the most toxic components of most older drilling fluids. This paper is based on an extensive literature review and summarizes the state-of-the-science regarding our understanding of toxicity, bioaccumulation, and degradation of these newer drilling fluids in the marine environment, based on laboratory experimentation, and discusses areas for additional research. Overall, ester compounds tend to be the least toxic and exhibit the shortest half-lives of the synthetic NADFs, although some evidence suggests that ester mixtures may also degrade under certain borehole conditions resulting in a change in fluid toxicity.
WAITING TO INHALE: CASE STUDIES IN RISK PERCEPTION AND COMMUNICATION AT VAPOR INTRUSION SITES. L.M. McIntosh (email@example.com, DABT, L.J. Campe, LSP. Woodard & Curran, Dedham, MA. Vapor intrusion, which is the migration of volatile chemicals in the subsurface into overlying buildings, has become a major driver in site assessment over the past two decades. Unlike exposure to chemicals in soil and groundwater, a building occupant has little control over exposure to contaminants in indoor air, short of leaving the building. Thus, there is often increased anxiety regarding health risks among building occupants when vapor intrusion is identified as a potential or confirmed migration pathway. Furthermore, evaluation and mitigation of the vapor intrusion pathway is typically “intrusive” in that work is conducted in the interior of the building. Lastly, it is very difficult to convey the concept of an “acceptable” risk, as per state or federal regulations, and the importance of interior versus subsurface sources of contaminants. This presentation will discuss several case studies at vapor intrusion sites where public communication and outreach were key in *Student Presenters successfully identifying, assessing and mitigating the vapor intrusion pathway. We found that a willingness to communicate, open dialogue, and a commitment to transparency fostered a sense of trust and confidence with the building occupants and other stakeholders, and was essential in driving the process forward.
RELEASE OF LEGACY PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS (POPS) IN GLACIAL OUTFLOWS AND MITIGATING THEIR EFFECT ON DOWNSTREAM COMMUNITIES. *Kimberley Rain Miner (Kimberley.firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Karl Kreutz, and Dr. Larry LeBlanc. Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME. During the period of 1950-1970 persistent organic pollutants such as DDT, dioxin and PCB were released in the atmosphere and distributed through precipitation into glaciers throughout the world. Recent abrupt climate change is increasing the melt rate of these glaciers, introducing the toxins to the watershed. Studies have shown the existence of legacy pollutants in glacial ice, but neither the impact nor quantity of these toxins on downstream populations has been assessed. If these pollutants are released at toxic levels it will be necessary to create a mitigation plan to lower their impact on the affected communities.
DIVING DEEPER INTO THE SCBA DATABASE: AN EVALUATION OF THE RELIABILITY OF PAH ESB TU THRESHOLDS IN PREDICTING POREWATER TOXICITY. A.E. Nelson (email@example.com), D. Glaser, D. Haury, and T. Thornburg. Anchor QEA, LLC, Amesbury, MA. Equilibrium-based sediment benchmarks (ESBs) for PAHs based on the protection of benthic organisms via porewater exposures are derived from a combination of equilibrium partitioning, narcosis theory, and the assumption of additive toxicity. The contributions of 34 PAHs are partitioned and normalized to their chronic water quality values and summed to calculate total PAH toxicity units (TUs). In theory, if the calculated TU in a particular sediment sample is less than 1.0, benthic organisms should not be adversely affected. In practice, however, recent studies have shown that the theoretical effects threshold of 1.0 TU is an unreliable predictor of toxicity and is associated with relatively high false positive error rates in both porewater and sediment ( (Beach et al. 2013; Kreitinger et al. 2007 Hawthorne et al. 2013). For this study, we analyzed the database of Arp et al. (2011), which consists of colocated sediment and porewater chemistry measurements and bulk sediment bioassay test results. This database includes more than 300 samples from 19 different sites and was initially compiled by the Sediment Contaminant Bioavailability Alliance (SCBA), a now non-operational consortium of industries and government agencies. This paper provides a more in depth look into the database beyond what is presented in the source reference, including evaluation of porewater PAH TUs versus 28-day Hyalella azteca survival, focusing on the region between TU=1 and TU=7 where 37 out of 40 samples passed their bioassay tests (determined through comparison of site sample survival with field reference survival). Error rates were calculated as a function of the TU threshold value. Results indicate a threshold value of TU=7 does an excellent job of balancing the false negative and false positive error rates. In comparison, a threshold value of TU=1 does not appreciably improve the false negative error rate, but the false positive error rate increases rapidly, indicating nontoxic porewater above the threshold value would be falsely classified as toxic in a majority of cases. An evaluation of TUs greater than 7 was also conducted and suggests that TUs greater than 7 could be considered upper bound thresholds for consideration in a weight of evidence with other site factors in making risk decisions. Based on recent research and analysis of the database presented in this paper, a threshold value of TU=7 provides a more accurate and reliable predictor of porewater toxicity, and is recommended for use in risk screening, especially at former MGP sites, which comprise approximately 75 percent of the samples in the SCBA database.  Arp, Hans Peter H., et al., (2011; Env Sci & Tech 45:5139-5146 *Student Presenters
THE DRAGONFLY MERCURY PROJECT: CITIZEN SCIENTISTS CONTRIBUTE TO NATIONAL-SCALE RESEARCH IN NATIONAL PARKS. Sarah J. Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), University of Maine, Orono, ME; Hannah Webber, Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME; Colleen Flanagan Pritz, Air Resources Division, National Park Service, Lakewood, Colorado; and Michael Marion, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME. In partnership with over 40 national parks across the U.S., and with citizen scientists as key field personnel, we are developing the use of dragonfly nymphs as bio-sentinels for mercury (Hg) in aquatic foodwebs. To validate the use of dragonfly larvae, and gain a better understanding of the relationship between biotic and abiotic pools of Hg, this project also includes collection of landcover/landscape data, surface water chemistry including Hg and Hg-relevant chemistry (pH, sulfate, dissolved organic carbon (DOC)), and most recently, sediment Hg. Because of the wide geographic scope of the research, the project also provides a nationwide snapshot of Hg in these diverse media, primarily in undeveloped watersheds. The project is able to cover this broad scale through the contributions of citizen scientist groups working in each participating park. Each park provides staff from their resource management or interpretation division, who then oversee and coordinate citizen groups, which perform the sampling. Parks choose citizen groups that provide the best fit with their time constraints, build on existing relationships with local constituencies, or broaden their existing interpretive programming. Citizen groups range from formal education groups (i.e., middle school through university students), youth programs (e.g., Youth Conservation Corps, Girl Scouts), members of park volunteer programs (VIPs, Teacher-Ranger-Teachers), or park visitors. Since its start in 2009 over 800 citizen scientists have participated in the project, contributing 4, 000 hours of time to the research effort. The project team provides a sampling kit, field protocol, background materials and curricula, and regular, ongoing support via phone, email, and project webinars. This presentation will include examples of successful implementation strategies, as well as suggestions of best practices for employing citizen scientists in research and communicating science with broad audiences. The project’s major citizen science goal is to connect people to parks by facilitating meaningful experiences in parks across the country. Project Collaborators: Collin Eagles-Smith, USGS-FRESC; James Willacker, USGS-FRESC; David P. Krabbenhoft, USGS-Mercury Research Laboratory; Celia Y. Chen, Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College; and Roger Haro University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
REVIEW OF A COMPREHENSIVE, ALTERNATE APPROACH FOR PCB CONGENER /HOMOLOG ANALYSIS. James F. Occhialini (email@example.com) and Cynthia McQueen, Alpha Analytical Labs, 320 Forbes Boulevard, Mansfield. PCB sampling programs have traditionally had to choose between PCB aroclor analysis and PCB congener analysis by high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). This paper focuses on another option for PCB analysis – low resolution mass spectrometry (LRMS), which is much more comprehensive than aroclor analysis without the high cost of HRMS methods such as EPA Method 1668. Comparative chemistry and practical applications of this LRMS analytical approach are discussed. The limitations of PCB aroclor analysis by GC-ECD have been well characterized. The method’s reliance on pattern recognition and peak ratios for the identification of aroclors opens it up to both qualitative and quantitative uncertainty. This uncertainty can most impact determinations of “total PCBs” by the summation of aroclors. In this paper, the authors describe how the summation of PCB homologs by LRMS can be a representative and cost effective way to measure total PCBs. The authors also describe how the LRMS technique can be used for the analysis of the 209 PCB congeners, where PCB homologs, congeners and an estimation of what PCB aroclors are present can be determined, all from the same sample aliquot.
CASE STUDY: ARSENIC IN PRIVATE WELLS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: THE CHALLENGES OF COMMUNICATING AND TRANSLATING RISK AND RESEARCH TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES. L.R. Rardin (firstname.lastname@example.org), M. Borsuk, K. Lawlor, Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH While risk communication and research translation go hand in hand, particularly when environmental public health exposures are involved, the issue of arsenic in private well water in New Hampshire provides a particular challenge. With some extreme exceptions, most of the arsenic levels found in New Hampshire private wells do not cause immediate health effects. In fact, the low-dose exposure typically experienced can take years to result in a specific health outcome. And though arsenic is a Class 1 carcinogen and ranks number one on the 2013 Priority List of Hazardous Substances, it is naturally occurring and is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Therefore, when working to communicate the potential health risks of low-dose, chronic exposure to arsenic through private well water, a specific set of risk communication criteria comes into play that must be tailored to the target audience and must include effective methods to convince community members that they even have a potential problem. In New Hampshire, more than 40 percent of the population depends on private wells for their water supply. The Safe Drinking Water Act does not grant the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate private wells in the same manner as public water supply systems. Thus, unless state or local authorities have enacted regulations, the onus is on individual households to undertake regular testing for drinking water contaminants and to apply treatment as necessary. Through a grant received by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores of our Dartmouth Superfund Research Program have been contracted to conduct a two year study of private well owners in NH to determine well testing behavior and barriers to testing and treatment. Using the information collected in the first year, outreach interventions have been developed to determine which methods of communicating information will be the most effective in increasing private well testing for arsenic and other contaminants. This case study presentation will examine our study results thus far using a risk communication framework. It will include discussion of the four primary components of our work: community focus groups in four NH towns; a statewide survey; risk assessment of exposure to arsenic in well water; and community intervention strategies.
DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL SEDIMENT CLEANUP VALUES USING STATISTICALLY-SELECTED SEDIMENT QUALITY GUIDELINE QUOTIENTS. Janet E. Robinson (email@example.com), Woodard & Curran Inc., Portland, Maine and Kyle O. Apigian, Woodard & Curran Inc., Portland, Maine. Ecological risk-based sediment cleanup standards were developed at a shipbuilding facility where decades of historical manufacturing activities had resulted in accumulations of PAHs and metals in shallow and deep sediment. Fifteen years of investigations, including toxicity tests and benthic community assessments, had failed to produce consistent results in this industrial site, located in the tidal section of a major river. We implemented comprehensive sampling in 2014 that consisted of 1) physical and chemical analysis of sediments, including analysis of black carbon and an expanded 34-constituent array of PAHs; 2) evaluation of sediment porewater by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) to allow the calculation of site-specific water-sediment PAH partition coefficients and 3) 28-day toxicity tests on sediment at reference locations and along a gradient of PAH concentrations on-site. Significant toxicity was observed in several samples, however, no PAHs were detected in porewater—an anomalous finding. Sediment mass chemistry was quantified using the sediment quality *Student Presenters guideline quotient approach, using NOAA effect-range median values to produce “ERMQ” values for each sample. However, since PAHs can be quantified in different ways, test ERMQs based on six different chemical arrays and PAH-summing approaches were generated, and each of the six compared statistically to toxicity test results. The correlations between test ERMQs and toxicity test results varied widely. The ERMQ array with the highest correlation and statistical significance was the one based on all 34 PAHs, divided categorically by molecular weight. This ERMQ array, along with a 20% effect level, was used as the basis for calculating a cleanup standard in terms of an ERMQ. For delineation purposes, older data comprised of only of 16 PAHs were adjusted to a 34-PAH value using 16:34 PAH ratios in the 2014 data. Separate ratios were developed and applied for shallow and deep sediments, since distinctly different ratios were observed in these samples. Adjusting older data by this method allowed the use of a more comprehensive and representative dataset. This expanded data set, combined with the target ERMQ developed from the field program, was used to direct the evaluation of cleanup options in the subsequent Corrective Measures Study.
THE ROLE OF THE KNOWLEDGE BROKER IN BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY BY USING GIS TECHNOLOGY TO INFORM ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH POLICY: A CASE STUDY INVOLVING USEPA’S DECISION-MAKING PROCESS OF REMEDY SELECTION AT A SUPERFUND HAZARDOUS WASTE SITE. Marcella Remer Thompson, PhD, MS, CSP, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN (firstname.lastname@example.org) University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI and Brown University Providence, RI. Purpose. To describe the role of knowledge broker in building community capacity and using GIS technology to inform USEPA’s decision-making process of remedy selection at a Superfund hazardous waste site. Background. USEPA identifies and remediates the nation’s worst hazardous waste (Superfund) sites. USEPA must engage the public as stakeholders throughout this science-driven process. As non-scientists, community organizations operate at a disadvantage. While communities want to maximize long-term health, responsible parties want to minimize costs. Knowledge brokers connect science to society. Knowledge brokers facilitate multi-directional knowledge exchanges among a wide variety of stakeholders. Collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team from academia provides communities with access to technical resources and content expertise, thus building community capacity to participate effectively in this environmental policy decisionmaking. While USEPA employs a number of analytical tools, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) technology is not widely used in site assessment. Research Questions. A community-based participatory process identified community concerns about USEPA’s remedy selection: o What is the historic and current surface water flow through the Woonasquatucket River Oxbow? o What has been the flood frequency, magnitude and extent of flooding in this area? o What additional evidence exists of continued human activity in this area? o Are the existing USEPA environmental sampling data adequate for assessing risk to human health? o Did the use of GIS technology facilitate a more equitable voice for the community in defining their concerns and promoting effective and long-term remedies for the oxbow? Methodology. Researchers conducted document analysis, analyzed data on flooding frequency and magnitude, and used geospatial data to generate microtopographical figures of surface water flow and flood simulation. Direct visual site observations documented human activity. Community members evaluated the impact of using GIS technology on their ability to engage effectively with regulators. Conclusions and Implications. This study informed decision documents and operational data for scoping the remedial design and the 5-year review with respect to three of nine criteria critical to the statutory *Student Presenters adequacy of the remediation plan. GIS provided visual clarity and scientific substantiation and played a transformative role in public participation. Enhancing community capacity facilitates a more equitable voice in defining issues and promoting effective and long-term solutions for hazardous waste sites.
PANCREATIC BETA CELL DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION ARE AFFECTED BY EXPOSURE TO PCB-126 AND OXIDATIVE STRESS IN THE ZEBRAFISH EMBRYO MODEL. Alicia R. Timme-Laragy (email@example.com), Michelle E. Rousseau, Kari Sant, and Linnea Borden. Environmental Health Science, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, UMASS, Amherst, MA. Exposures to PCBs have been associated with development of diabetes in several epidemiological studies. People may be predisposed to diseases such as diabetes as a result of exposure to environmental contaminants during early life stages. Such exposures can cause oxidative stress, disrupt signaling pathways controlling embryo growth, and result in structural or functional alterations to the insulin producing pancreatic β- cells. Here, we used the zebrafish embryo model to provide a mechanistic understanding of how embryonic exposure to such chemicals can damage the developing pancreas. The embryotoxicity of co-planar PCBs is primarily regulated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and also involves oxidative stress; however, the effects on the developing pancreatic beta cells are not well understood. Ahr participates in crosstalk with another toxicologically important transcription factor, Nfe2l2, or Nrf2. Nrf2 binds to antioxidant response elements (AREs) to regulate the adaptive response to oxidative stress, primarily via upregulation of antioxidant defenses and Phase 2 enzymes. To explore the cross talk relationship between Nrf2 and AhR and its impact on pancreas development, we used a zebrafish model (Danio rerio) with a mutated DNA binding domain in one of the Nrf2 paralogs, Nrf2a, rendering these mutant embryos more sensitive to oxidative stress (Nrf2afh318 -/- ). Embryos were exposed to nominal concentrations of PCB-126 at 24 hpf and examined for deformities, gene expression, and morphology at 96 hpf. We measured changes in gene expression patterns by QPCR of nrf2a, ahr2, and a variety of their known target genes in mutant Nrf2a and wildtype genotypes. cyp1a was highly expressed in the Nrf2a mutants. Decreased expression of heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 (hmox1) in the Nrf2a mutants is thought to be due to the inhibitory effects of increased nrf2b expression. Target genes of Nrf2a and AhR2, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (nqo1) and, glutathione Stransferase, alpha-like (gsta1), showed an increase in expression with and without PCB exposure in the Nrf2a mutant when compared to wildtype. Nrf2a mutant embryos were more sensitive to developing pericardial edema and craniofacial malformations than wildtype embryos. In the beta cells, Nrf2a mutant embryos expressed higher levels of preproinsulin a, and also exhibited migration defects in the primary islet. This study will help elucidate crosstalk between two toxicologically important transcription factor pathways, and the impact of oxidative stress and PCB exposure on pancreas development.
HAZARD VERSUS RISK ASSESSMENT OF ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS. Tim Verslycke, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Gradient, Cambridge, MA. While hazard and risk are terms commonly used in everyday life, they are often misunderstood by the general public and poorly communicated by academia, industry, government, non-profits, and the media. There is certainly no lack of examples where public perception and outrage over environmental health risks has been at odds with the scientific assessment of these same risks. Similarly, chemical hazard and chemical risk are two distinct terms that are generally well understood by environmental toxicologists and chemists (i.e., the “SETAC community”), but are difficult to communicate *Student Presenters beyond (and sometimes even within) this community. In an age of growing consumer scrutiny and information overload, it has become increasingly challenging to effectively communicate hazards and risks, as well as the benefits of chemicals and products. Endocrine disruptors are perhaps the textbook example of the challenges associated with communicating chemical hazards and risks. As illustrated in this presentation, the issue of endocrine disruptors is not only impacting industry through existing and pending chemical regulations, it also poses significant challenges for the development of credible and effective industry product stewardship programs. We reviewed several ongoing and pending chemical legislation intiatives related to endocrine disruptors in Europe and the USA. Similarly, we reviewed several product stewardship and chemical/product labeling schemes that have incorporated assessment of endocrine disruptors. Our review focused on how these regulatory and product stewardship initiatives address the issue of hazard versus risk-based evaluation of endocrine disruptors.
WHAT IS CAUSING ENVIRONMENTAL HARM? LESSONS LEARNED FROM APPLICATION OF A CAUSAL ANALYSIS APPROACH. Ted Wickwire (email@example.com). Exponent, Inc., Brunswick, ME. As environmental scientists, we are often called upon to assist in determining if a particular stressor is responsible for an observed or predicted stress. However, the charge is often more complex because the potential stressors are numerous, often interrelated and the data may not point to a clear conclusion. Causal analysis offers a defensible and transparent stressor analysis approach that facilitates the identification of data needs, illustrates stressor relationships that may not be readily apparent, prevents lapses of logic (correlation versus causation) and helps to facilitate communication with a diverse audience or stakeholders. Although formal approaches have been developed, such as EPA’s Causal Analysis/Diagnosis Decision Information System (CADDIS), in practice application of causal analysis approaches are often project- and site-specific. Casual analyses completed over the past 20 years provide a wealth of information about what has been successful and what may not work as well. This presentation will highlight the general causal analysis approach as well as take a step back and identify lessons learned that can enhance future applications of causal analysis.
POSTER ABSTRACTS THIS IS SPINAL FRACK: AN INVESTIGATION OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING’S IMPACT ON EMBRYOGENESIS. *Katrina Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Charlotte Barber, Lisa Utzig, Lydia-Rose Kesich, Caitlin Schneider, Marc Anderson, and Michael Barresi. Smith College, Biological Sciences, Northampton MA. (Poster 1) The hydraulic fracturing industry has rapidly increased within the United States. This has in turn increased the potential for ground and surface water contamination of chemicals originating from fracturing fluid. The extraction process potentially involves the use of more than 750 chemicals, 100 of which are known or suspected endocrine disrupting compounds (Nagel, et. al. 2014). However, due to the Halliburton loophole, the industry’s use of chemicals has notably remained unregulated. To establish a baseline and directly assess whether natural gas production may impact water chemistry enough to disrupt endocrine function and embryogenesis in a vertebrate organism we took advantage of the zebrafish model system. We tested water samples derived from seven sources in differing proximity to active natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. The samples were reconstituted in DMSO and used to treat tg(olig2:eGFP), tg(fli1a:eGFP), and tg(5XERE:eGFP) transgenic embryos, which enable the visual reporting of neurogenesis, pharyngeal arch formation, and estrogenic activity respectively. Chemical analysis was also performed through Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), and an array of diverse compounds founds some potentially associated with Hydraulic Fracturing. We report here our analysis of site TPS 225 that was considered a potentially “high impact” location due to its close proximity to the Daniel’s well pad. Treatment of tg(olig2:eGFP) embryos with a purified compound mixture from site TPS 225 resulted in a significant and specific reduction in oligodendrocyte development within the spinal cord. No changes to pharyngeal arch formation or estrogenic activity were detected following treatment with TPS 225 water samples. Our results suggest that the compound mixture found in the high impact TPS 225 water source is teratogenic to the development neuroglia cells. Further characterization of the chemical constituents in TPS 225 water is needed with systematic assessment for each compound’s role in neurogenesis.
FUELING ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION: A STUDY OF THE WATERWAYS NEAR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING IN MARCELLUS SHALE, PA. Aditi Balasubramanian, *Tara Bhat (email@example.com), Maya Salvio (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lydia-Rose Kesich, Caitlin Schneider, Marc Anderson and Michael Barresi. Smith College, Biological Sciences, Northampton MA. (Poster 2) A growing interest in endocrine disruptors has directed research towards the chemical composition of waterways near hydraulic fracturing sites and their effects on endocrine disruption (Nagel et al., 2014). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the body’s endocrine function. We employed the zebrafish model system for its quick development and genetic conservation across all vertebrate species to assess potential teratogenicity and endocrine disruption associated with water near hydraulic fracturing. Water samples were collected from 7 different sites in the Marcellus Shale region in the Susquehanna County in PA. We used two specific transgenic reporter lines, Tg(5xERE:GFP) and Tg(Olig2:GFP) to visualized estrogenic activity and neural development. We focused our investigation on sites RC 150 and RC 300, which were considered medium impact sites based on their relative distance to known natural gas wells. Discrete water samples were collected and analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Our chemical analysis provided evidence of the presence of compounds known to be present in hydraulic fracturing fluid and possess the potential to exhibit endocrine disruption. A dose response of the purified chemical mixture was conducted on developing zebrafish embryos to determine whether any morphological defects, abnormalities in neural development *Student Presenters and/or endocrine disruption could be detected. Treatment with RC150 and RC 300 resulted in the most significant mortality as compared to the other five sampling sites in this study. Exposure of embryos to lower doses of RC 150 or RC300 did not cause any obvious morphological defects, nor any disruption of neural development and endocrine function. In comparison to the other sampling sites that were considered of high and low impact based on their proximity to known well pads, we can conclude that RC 150 and RC 300 possess significant general toxicity to embryonic development yet lack a specific influence over precise developmental or endocrine processes.
MEASURING TISSUE-SPECIFIC GLUTATHIONE UTILIZATION IN THE DEVELOPING EMBRYO. *Sarah Brown (email@example.com), Karen Melendez, and Alicia Timme-Laragy. UMASS Amherst, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Stow, MA. (Poster 5) Embryonic development is extremely sensitive to oxidative stress due to the extreme changes in cell growth, development and differentiation that occur during this life stage. These developmental changes depend on reduction and oxidation potentials that influence cell signaling pathways; therefore antioxidant functions during development are essential. The most abundant endogenous antioxidant is glutathione (GSH), however the tissue-specific utilization and distribution of GSH during early life stages is still not well understood. The GSH S-transferase catalyzed reaction that occurs with the dye Monochlorobimane (MCB) and GSH creates a fluorescent adduct that can be seen and measured in vivo. Here, we propose that incubating zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio) of the Mitfa strain that lack pigment, at different developmental stages in .02 mM MCB will allow for a reliable method showing tissue-specific sensitivity to oxidative stress by observing critical windows of organ development and understand the mechanism as to how embryonic stages are effected by oxidative stress. We examined GSH concentrations at 9 developmental stages, and used NAC and Menadione as models to manipulate GSH content in the embryos. Images were quantified using Image J. Stage specific staining of GSH showed that the certain organs using GSH change during development. The yolk sac retained consistently high levels of GSH throughout all developmental stages whereas the cerebellum, eye, and heart displayed transient peaks depending on the developmental stage. We conclude that MCB is a sufficient method to measure tissuespecific GSH utilization during embryonic development and plan to test whether environmental chemicals affect GSH distribution and utilization.
A TAIL OF TERATOGENESIS: THE EFFECT OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING ON NEARBY WATERWAYS. *Stephanie Capsuto (firstname.lastname@example.org), Vivian Morris (email@example.com), Anisha Tyagi, Lydia-Rose Kesich, Caitlin Schneider, Marc Anderson and Michael Barresi. Smith College, Biological Sciences, Northampton MA. (Poster 3) Natural gas exploration through Hydraulic Facturing has great potential for economic benefits, but uses many potentially harmful chemicals in the process that may cause endocrine disruption and teratogenesis. In an in vitro cell assay, Nagel and colleagues have shown that hydraulic fracturing fluid contains chemicals that can disrupt endocrine signaling (2014). We hypothesized that hydraulic fracturing operations in the Marcellus Shale region of PA may lead to contamination in nearby waterways capable of endocrine disruption and teratogenesis during vertebrate embryogenesis. We collected discrete water samples from seven different waterways near hydraulic fracturing operations in the Susquehanna County, and we categorized each site as having a low, medium or high potential impact based on their proximity to a known natural gas pad. We report here on two of these sites TPS-250 (High impact) and Fiddle Lake (Low impact). Samples were filtered and solid phase extraction followed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry conducted. Dry organic extracts were reconstituted and used to assess their affects on zebrafish embryonic development and estrogenic activity. An initial mortality *Student Presenters dose response was conducted to establish non-lethal concentrations for analysis. We used 5xERE:GFP, olig2:GFP and fli1a:GFP transgenic reporter lines to visualize estrogenic activity, neural development, and pharyngeal arch formation respectively. 5xERE:GFP embryos treated with a 1:200 dilution of Fiddle lake water stimulated GFP expression in the heart valves, which indicates activation of the Estrogen Receptor alpha pathway. Whereas, TPS-250 water samples did not yield an estrogenic response. Interestingly, among many compounds, we did detect the presence of a novel hormone-like compound (Norpregnene) in the Fiddle lake sample. In addition, while some embryos treated with either Fiddle lake or TPS250 did show cardiac edema, we did not observe abnormal GFP expression in olig2:GFP or fli1a:GFP treated embryos. Our data suggests that compounds found in Fiddle Lake can cause endocrine disruption in developing zebrafish, whereas in the conditions tested TPS-250 does not despite its closer proximity to sites of hydraulic fracturing. These results establish a baseline analysis of the endocrine disruption and teratogenic potential of these sites for present and future consideration.
DISSOLVED ORGANIC MATTER MEDIATED PHOTOLYSIS OF 17α-ETHYNYLESTRADIOL. *Megan M. Freiberger (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Soren Eustis. Bowdoin College, Department of Chemistry, Brunswick, ME. (Poster 12) The semisynthetic estrogen 17α-Ethynylestradiol (EE2), commonly found in oral contraceptives, is raising concerns due to its resistance to biodegradation and deleterious biological effects at ng/L levels. Indirect photolysis mediated by dissolved organic matter (DOM) may be a primary attenuation pathway, as reactive species like triplet state DOM, singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals may react with EE2 to form photoproducts with reduced estrogenicity. In this study, phototrials using fulvic acid obtained from Suwannee River (Georgia), Androscoggin River (Maine), and Pony Lake (Antarctica) were used to compare the impact of allocthanous verses autochthonous DOM, while competitive scavengers were used to assess the relative importance of degradation pathways involving 1 O2, OH, and 3 DOM. Results demonstrated greater photolysis rates with DOM concentration increasing from 3 to12mg/L and when using allocthanous DOM, with 3 DOM serving as the dominant degradation pathway. These preliminary results suggest that aquatic environments dominated by high concentrations of allocthanous fulvic acid may be best for facilitating the indirect photolysis of EE2.
EVALUATION OF SALICYLIC ACID A PROBE FOR PHARMACEUTICAL SORPTION TO SOILS. *A. Lopez (email@example.com) and D. Vasudevan. Bowdoin College, Chemistry Department, Brunswick, ME. (Poster 13) At environmentally-relevant pH levels, polyfunctional ionogenic compounds (PIOCs) can pass through sewage treatment plants and exist in natural waters, which pose threats to natural ecosystems and human health. Pharmaceuticals and pesticides are commonly categorized as PIOCs, and their fate depends on the extent of sorption to environmental solids. Salicylic acid (SA) was evaluated as a probe compound to quantitatively predict PIOCs sorption to soils via surface complexation and cation bridging. Experimental studies reveal that salicylic acid may serve as a useful predictive quantitative tool for PIOCs possessing carboxylic groups. Traditional soil characteristics were ineffective tools for predicting SA sorption. Further evaluation will focus on correlating the Kd of carboxylic-containing PIOCs – ibuprofen, naproxen, and furosemide – with that of SA to determine its predictive capabilities.
IS HYDRAULIC FRACTURING FRACKING YOUR BRAIN? *Rebecca Matecha (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kalani Williams (email@example.com), Athena Xia, Lydia-Rose Kesich, Caitlin Schneider, Marc Anderson and Michael Barresi. Smith College, Biological Sciences, Northampton MA. (Poster 4) *Student Presenters The controversy surrounding hydraulic fracturing has dominated environmental discussions since the technology’s rise in 2004. In the process hundreds of chemicals are used, very few of which are disclosed to the public due to the “Halliburton Loophole”, which exempting gas companies from the requirement of the Safe Drinking Water Act and others (Engelder et. al., 2011). Recent studies suggest the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the ground and surface water surrounding hydraulic fracturing pads in the Midwest (Nagel et. al., 2014). The presence of EDCs has also been linked to defects in embryonic neural development (Kurrasch et. al., 2014). We used the zebrafish model system to test whether water sources near natural gas extraction might cause endocrine disruption and/or adverse effects during embryonic brain development. Discrete water sampling was conducted at seven different locations in the Susquehanna County, PA associated with the hydraulic fracturing pads, Daniels 1H and 3H. All water samples were filtered and solid phase extraction completed. Purified organic compounds analyzed for Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) analysis and exposed to zebrafish embryos for determination of teratogenic and estrogenic effects. We focused our investigation on two collection sites: Daniel’s Wetland, considered high impact due to its close proximity to the Daniels gas pads (less than a kilometer), and WBL-200, a low impact site untouched by fossil fuel exploration (nearly 10 kilometers from the Daniel’s pads). GCMS revealed eighteen chemicals in our WBL- 200 sample and twenty-four chemicals in our Daniel’s Wetland sample. Initial dose response analysis on zebrafish embryos revealed mortality rates only greater than 10% in 1:50 concentration of both Daniel’s Wetland and WBL-200. Further treatments were done at a sublethal concentration (1:100) to assess gross morphology, neurogenesis, and endocrine disruption. 27% of WBL-200 exposed embryos showed gross morphological defects that included curved tails and reduction in pigment. Moreover, using the tg(olig2:eGFP) transgenic line to visualize neural and glial lineages (Appel et. al., 2007), we show that WBL-200 treated embryos had a complete absence of oligodendrocytes in the spinal cord and reductions of neural progenitors in the brain. However, these WBL-200 phenotypes taken together could be explained by a more general delay in development. In contrast, the Daniel’s Wetland sample showed a significant reduction in spinal cord oligodendrocytes without any other phenotypes detected as compared with embryo medium or DMSO treated control embryos. No estrogenic activity was observed in embryos treated with WBL-200 or Daniel’s Wetland. In summary, we show that the high impact site of Daniel’s Wetland may possess unique neural toxicity during oligodendrocyte development. This data not only helps raise awareness to potential teratogenicity associated with a water source near active Natural gas exploration, but also serves to establish a baseline of toxicity for future testing.
AN ITERATIVE AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY FRAMEWORK FOR DETERMINING READ-ACROSS CHEMICAL SURROGATES. James W. Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org), Halle C. Ritter, Jessie M. Kneeland, Jiaru Zhang, Chase Butler, and Abigail E. Noble. Gradient, Cambridge, MA. (Poster 10) As part of an effort to update safety data sheets and register new industrial chemicals globally, we have identified and critically analyzed chemical-specific toxicological data for a comprehensive portfolio of chemicals. Many of these substances have no readily available toxicity data, necessitating a new technique: “read-across” or “surrogate” identification. The read-across approach involves identifying appropriate chemical surrogates that can be considered structurally and toxicologically similar to a chemical of interest (COI) and for which there are robust toxicological data that can be used to inform the COI’s hazard profile. Based on this approach, we have developed an iterative, multidisciplinary framework for consistently and reproducibly identifying targeted and justifiable surrogates in the absence of chemical-specific data for COIs. Applying chemical expertise and documenting rationale within this framework is particularly important when choosing surrogates for complex *Student Presenters chemicals, such as those of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, and biological materials (UVCBs). Identifying and evaluating chemical surrogates always involves preserving COI reactive functional groups, considering structural alerts and bioavailability, and using an internally developed database of chemical groupings to validate or challenge potential hazard profiles. The use of chemical grouping and structure activity relationships (SARs) to evaluate chemical hazard profiles is well established; with a large portfolio of chemicals to assess, the systematic use of chemical groupings additionally streamlines surrogate selection and ensures consistency within the portfolio. Our read-across framework, used to review nearly 300 COIs to date, is dependent on regular communication and knowledge sharing between toxicologists and chemists. The framework includes quality assurance protocols and requires that users compare toxicity data for multiple surrogates to ensure that they are concordant. Ultimately, correctly applying the read-across approach guarantees that chemicals are used more safely, minimizes analytical costs and dependence on animal testing, and assists compliance with hazard communication frameworks such as the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
DEGRADATION PRODUCTS AS READ-ACROSS SURROGATES FOR HAZARD ASSESSMENT OF READILY DEGRADABLE SUBSTANCES. Halle C. Ritter (email@example.com), Daniella M. Pizzurro, and Tamara D. Lunsman, Gradient, Cambridge, MA. (Poster 11) Businesses and industry leaders registering new chemicals internationally are obligated to comply with jurisdictional regulations as well as Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) guidance on chemical hazard classification. To reduce reliance on animal testing and minimize analytical costs, a read-across approach is encouraged by a variety of regulatory agencies and increasingly being put into practice. This approach relies on identifying suitable “surrogate” compounds, for which toxicological data already exist, that are chemically and toxicologically similar to the compound of interest (COI) so that appropriate hazard assignment of the COI can proceed. Among the less straightforward scenarios for read-across surrogate identification is the case in which the COI can readily degrade or dissociate – defined herein as the propensity for substances to degrade through biotic or abiotic mechanisms with speed or facility – into other constituents. In this case, it is necessary to evaluate the appropriateness of assigning dissociation or degradation products as a surrogate for the COI, an evaluation which is often complex and for which no unified set of standards currently exists. Such an evaluation involves considering various important factors, including the mechanism, extent, and timescale of dissociation or degradation of the substance, as well as the potential for the constituents to recombine. Based on these variables, there are instances in which this approach is appropriate for identifying read-across surrogates for the COI and instances in which it is not appropriate. This poster presents examples of assessing read-across surrogates for several categories of readily degradable compounds – including compounds readily undergoing ionic dissociation, abiotic degradation, and biotic degradation (e.g., metabolism) – and outlines a multidisciplinary approach to identifying well-supported and toxicologically appropriate read-across surrogates for hazard classification evaluation in these instances. *Student Presenters
ASSESSMENT OF MERCURY FATE AND METHYLATION IN LOW PRODUCTIVITY SEDIMENTS. A. Schierz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX/ EXPONENT, Ecoscience practice, Maynard, MA, J.S. Grundy, P. Bireta, L.E. Katz, The University of Texas at Austin Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department-EWRE, Austin, TX, and D.D. Reible, Texas Tech University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Lubbock, TX. (Poster 15) Mercury is a pollutant of global concern. Risks associated with mercury in sediments are primarily due to exposure to methylmercury, an acute neurotoxin with high potential for bioaccumulation. In sediment environments, the rate of transformation of inorganic mercury to methylmercury by sulfate and/or iron reducing bacteria is controlled by biogeochemical conditions in the sediment. In strongly reducing organic rich sediments, maximum methylation rates are observed at the transition zone between iron reduction and sulfate reduction. The goal of this study is to develop an improved understanding of mercury methylation in environments with low levels of microbial activity and to identify key controlling factors. Examples include environments with low levels of labile organic matter or that are strongly influenced by systems dynamics, which results in only mildly reduced conditions and lower methylmercury production. This study examines sites with elevated mercury accumulated in sediments as a result of past industrial or other discharges. The study sites include a river system, the South River in Virginia, and several coastal bays (e.g. the site of the mercury submarine U-864 [Norway]). Additionally, the study discusses potential for capping and in-situ amendments as remedial options and evaluates bioavailability of mercury and methylation under anaerobic conditions beneath a sediment cap.
INORGANIC ARSENITE SUPPRESSES PHOSPHORYLATION OF THE KINASES SYK AND PI3K IN MAST CELLS. *J. Shim 1 (email@example.com), R.H. Kennedy-Smith1, 2, L.M. Weatherly1, 2, A.Velez1 , H.N.Hashmi1 and J.A.Gosse1, 2 1Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME and 2Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Orono, ME. (Poster 7) Exposure to arsenic (As) causes many types of human diseases worldwide. Mast cells are ubiquitous in the human body and play crucial roles in numerous physiological processes and diseases. Upon antigen or Ca2+ ionophore stimulation, mast cells secrete myriad effectors, such as histamine and β-hexosaminidase, from their granules. Using rat mast cells (RBL-2H3), we previously demonstrated that inorganic arsenite inhibits antigenmediated mast cell degranulation. Here we show that arsenate causes similar effects. We previously found that As affects neither stimulated F-actin ruffling nor degranulation stimulated by the G-protein activator compound 48/80. Also previously, we found no As effect on degranulation stimulated by either A23187 Ca2+ inonophore or thapsigargin, both of which bypass early mast cell signaling events. Taken together, all these findings suggest that arsenic’s target in mast cells lies upstream of Ca2+ influx. Indeed, we found that As inhibits antigenstimulated Ca2+ influx. Thus, we present new ELISA data on As effects on the early signaling molecules Syk kinase, phospholipase C-γ (PLC- γ), and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). We found that As interferes with phosphorylation of Syk. Therefore, we investigated downstream substrates of Syk and found the antigenstimulated phosphorylation level of the p-85 subunit of PI3K is decreased by 750ppb As exposure, whereas the phosphorylation level of PLC-γ is unaffected by As. These data provide a mechanism underlying As inhibition of mast cell degranulation and suggest that the important kinases Syk and PI3K may be affected by As in numerous other cell types.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL FATE OF AVITROL. *J.K. Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and D. Vasudevan. Bowdoin College, Chemistry Department, Brunswick, ME. (Poster 14) Avitrol is a flock repellant avicide used against a variety of bird species on farms, parks, and cities across the country. 4-aminopyridine, the active ingredient in Avitrol, is also highly toxic to most other animal species. Thus, understanding what happens to this chemical after release into the environment has significant implications for human and ecosystem health. Understanding the mechanisms of chemical transfer that 4-aminopyridine undergoes is paramount to protecting environmental health. One such transfer mechanism examined in this study is sorption- the process by which chemicals are retained onto environmental solids. In order to determine the environmental fate of 4- aminopyridine, susceptibility to sorption in multiple soil environments must be assessed. Sorption experiments were conducted where a set concentration of 4-aminopyridine and a set amount of soil were rotated end-over-end until equilibrium was reached. The equilibrated 4-aminopyridine solution was then analyzed by HPLC and the concentration in water and concentration sorbed were calculated. The type of aluminosilicate present, 1:1 kaolinite or 2:1 montmorillonite, was found to affect 4- aminopyridine sorption with kaolinite resulting in lower sorption than montmorillonite. Furthermore, in more kaolinitic soils such as the ultisol order, a lower extent of sorption was observed than in vertisols, a highly montmorillonitic soil. However, three of the six vertisols studied showed much lower sorption than expected. As such, the contamination of surrounding surface and groundwaters by 4-aminopyridine will be dependent on soil type and characteristics. Future work will focus on understanding differences in sorption within the montmorillonite rich vertisols.
ANTIMICROBIAL AGENT TRICLOSAN IS A MITOCHONDRIAL UNCOUPLER IN RAT AND HUMAN MAST CELLS. *L.M. Weatherly1, 2 (email@example.com), J. Shim2 , R.H. Kennedy-Smith1, 2, H.N. Hashmi2 , K. Blais2 , S.E. McGillicuddy2 , and J.A. Gosse1, 2 1 Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Orono, ME and 2 Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME. (Poster 8) Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial that is used widely in hospitals, consumer goods, and personal care products, at concentrations ~10 mM. TCS is readily absorbed into human skin. Mast cells, ubiquitous in the body, are key players both in physiological processes and in disease, including eczema, infectious disease, carcinogenesis, and autism. We previously showed that non-cytotoxic, µM levels of TCS inhibit degranulation, the release of histamine and other mediators, from both rat (RBL-2H3) and human (HMC-1.2) mast cells. Here, we show that TCS disrupts ATP production in RBL-2H3 cells cultured in glucose-free, galactose-containing media, with an EC50 of 7.5-9.6 µM (95% CI), without causing cytotoxicity. The same experiments were performed with human HMC-1.2 cells and also with mouse NIH-3T3 fibroblasts, yielding similar results: disrupted ATP production with an EC50 of 4.2-13.7 µM (95% CI) and no cytotoxicity. As expected, ATP depletion was not observed in experiments utilizing glucose, wherein cells produce sufficient ATP via glycolysis. Known mitochondrial uncouplers (e.g., CCCP) previously were found to inhibit mast cell function, and we have confirmed those findings. The reduction in ATP with no change in plasma membrane integrity, in two cell types, indicates that TCS is a mitochondrial toxin. Using these same glucose-free conditions, 15 µM TCS dampens RBL-2H3 cell degranulation by 40%. TCS-methyl, which has no ionizable proton but, instead, a methyl group in its place, affects neither degranulation nor ATP production. Thus, triclosan’s effects on mast cell function are due, at least in part, to its ionizable proton. Also, 5 µM TCS inhibits thapsigargin-stimulated degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells: further evidence that TCS disrupts mast cell signaling and Ca2+ influx. As a proton ionophore, TCS likely affects numerous cell processes which depend on electrochemical gradients, in diverse cell types.
EVALUATING RISKS TO BENTHIC INVERTEBRATES AND FISH AT AN URBAN WATERFRONT SITE ON THE LOWER ANACOSTIA RIVER. M. Welsch (firstname.lastname@example.org), B. Ruffle, H. Jones, J. Bleiler, R. Damera, AECOM, Portland, ME, and Fariba Mahvi, Pepco, Washington D.C. (Poster 9) The lower Anacostia River has been impacted by a variety of historical and ongoing sources of chemical, physical, and biological stressors from point and non-point sources, including NPDES discharges, surface runoff, combined sewer and storm sewer outfalls, refuse disposal practices, tributary inputs, and atmospheric deposition. As a result, diffuse distributions of some contaminants in sediments are present throughout the river, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and pesticides. Due to the widespread presence of a variety of chemical contaminants in the Anacostia River watershed, ecological risk assessments need to be evaluated in the context of regional background conditions. An ecological risk assessment was recently conducted to evaluate potential risks to benthic invertebrates and fish based on exposure to sediment at a waterfront site, the Benning Road site (Study Area), located on the Anacostia River in the District of Columbia. To account for regional background conditions, sediment chemistry data for the Study Area were compared to regional background data sets for the Anacostia River watershed obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program [DARRP] Query Manager Database. Based on comparisons between the Study Area and background data sets and comparisons of both data sets to low effect and probable effect ecological screening values, the results indicate that many of the surficial sediment COPCs found in the Study Area reach of the river are present at similar levels in the background data set. In addition, fish tissue chemistry data from areas adjacent to and upstream and downstream of the Study Area suggest that PCB levels in fish caught in vicinity of the Study Area are consistent with levels in fish caught in the downstream and upstream reaches. The results suggest that potential risks to benthic invertebrates and fish in the Study Area are similar to regional conditions. Further, determining the contributions of upstream and regional sources versus site-related sources of contaminants is difficult in urban water ways.
DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPETITIVE ELISA TO MEASURE EE2 IN THE TISSUE OF THE MARINE MUSSEL, MYTILUS EDULIS. *Felicia M. Woods (email@example.com), Brian J. Duphily, William E. Robinson, and Helen C. Poynton. UMASS Boston, Boston, MA. (Poster 6) 17-α ethinylestradiol (EE2) is a synthetic estrogen used in oral contraceptives, and the potential for EE2 to act as an endocrine disruptor has raised concerns in the aquatic environment. Marine organisms are exposed to EE2 from human excretion, improper disposal, and a lack of waste treatment techniques in place to address EE2 concentrations in sewage effluents. The goal of this research project is to develop a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure EE2 in mussel tissue. There are two objectives; (1) the development of an easier, yet rigorous, way to measure low concentrations of EE2 in both whole body and individual mussel tissues and (2) use this technique to address the hypothesis that chronically exposed wild mussels will display an identical tissue distribution of EE2 to that shown in the laboratory using moderately high concentrations of radiolabeled EE2, and that analyzing digestive glands would be a more sensitive index of environmental exposure to EE2 than the analysis of whole body tissues. This research is important in both social and natural sciences because of the potential affects of EE2 on marine bivalve populations and the cascading effect that it could have on their availability as a food resource and its accompanying economic impacts.