(March 4, 2013, Reston, Virginia) —Scientists from around the country and around the world will converge on San Antonio at the Society of Toxicology’s Annual Meeting and ToxExpo March 10-14 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Texas will be the specific focus of three of the more than 60 sessions on the adverse effect of chemical, physical and/or biological agents impacting human health and the environment. Three prominent sessions of concern to the citizens of the State of Texas include hydraulic fracturing, food safety in food produced in Texas and fished off the Texas Gulf Coast, and the health effects of air pollution.
“Human Health and Environmental Concerns around Natural Gas Production Using Hydraulic Fracturing”
This panel will look at current and projected use of hydraulic fracturing to meet energy needs, and will also engage in a detailed discussion of the questions surrounding the public health and environmental impacts of this technology. Scientists note there are insufficient data on either the toxicity of fracturing fluid mixtures as formulated for injection or as recovered spent fluids for treatment and reuse or disposal. They will also explore the importance of learning more about the potential adverse consequences of mixtures of hydraulic fracturing agents, hydrocarbons and natural agent that are brought to the surface. Finally, panelists will talk about the need to initiate a major study focused on determining the actual additives used and the concentrations used at each site.
John Imse, ENVIRON International Corporation, Denver, Colorado
Angela Harris, ENVIRON International Corporation, Little Rock, Arkansas
Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh; John Adgate, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
Michael Honeycutt, Texas Commission on Air Quality, Austin, Texas
Ziad Naufal, Chevron Energy Technology Co., Houston, Texas
“Toxicological Challenges in Food Production in Texas and the Gulf Coast”
This panel will explore food production in Texas and the Gulf Coast. Panelists note that while contamination events caused by human activities, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, raised public concern, naturally occurring toxins and deadly bacteria in Gulf waters sicken, maim and kill far more people than oil and chemical dispersants. Most seafood specimens from state, territorial, and federal waters that were tested after the oil spill had dissipated and before waters were reopened for fishing did not contain measurable levels of oil or dispersant residues. According to scientists, the waters did not contain measurable levels of oil or dispersant residues. The goal, according to panelists of this session, will be to describe the weaknesses and strengths of current regulations and practices to ensure a safe food supply as well as worker safety.
Laura M. Plunkett, Integrative Biostrategies, Houston, Texas
Jeffrey Levine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Tyler, Texas
Eva Shipp, Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, Texas
R. W. Dickey, US Food and Drug Administration, Dauphine Island, Alabama
Erica Bruce, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
“Air-ing” on the side of Caution: Anticipating Impacts of Emerging Issues in the Health Effects of Air Pollution”
This panel covers the ongoing efforts by regulators and scientists to ensure that we continue to reduce and control air pollution. Presenters in this symposium note that more than 120 million people in the United States live in regions including Texas that exceed national standards for common air pollutants. These pollutants are principally derived from combustion of fossil fuels. They also will suggest that the assessment of the potential health risks associated with the exposure to these different air sheds will likely get more difficult because of the unknown impact of several emerging issues, including climate change and the use of alternative fuels. Panelists suggest there is a growing relationship between obesity, diabetes and urban air pollution, the potential impacts of new fuel standards and alternative energy sources on traffic emissions.
Aimen Farraj, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Michelle Bell, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Sanjay Rajagopalan, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Jacob McDonald, Lovelace Respiratory Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Daniel Costa, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
About the Society of Toxicology
The Society of Toxicology, founded in 1961, is an international organization of more than 7,000 scientists who practice toxicology. The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing a wide variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the US and abroad. SOT is committed to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology. The Society promotes the acquisition and utilization of knowledge in toxicology, and aids in the protection of public health. The Society has a strong commitment to education in toxicology and to the recruitment of students and new members into the profession.