PPRT- Amila Devasurendra

2021-2022 PPRT Project

Chlorinated Naphthalenes in Human Plasma: Occupational Exposure Assessment Using Biomonitoring and Self-Reported Exposure Data in a Michigan Cohort

Research Trainee: Amila Devasurendra, Research Lab Specialist Senior, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan

Principal Investigator: Stuart Batterman, PhD, Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan

Amila Devasurendra, Research Trainee

Stuart Batterman, Principal Investigator

The overall objective of the proposed project is to improve occupational exposure assessments for emerging toxic contaminants, specifically, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), which have been recently listed under the Stockholm Convention and for which little exposure data exists in the USA or worldwide. PCNs are a class of chlorinated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are present in many industrial chemicals and by-products. They include 75 congeners, several of which are highly toxic, bioaccumulative and persistent. The proposed project will focus on (1) the development and validation of a sensitive method to detect and quantify PCNs by homologue group and selected congeners, focusing on the most prevalent and toxic species in biological specimens such as blood or plasma; (2) application of the method using archived plasma samples to develop preliminary statistics on PCN exposures in Michigan workers; and (3) comparison of biological monitoring results with occupational histories previously obtained for each Michigan worker to potentially identify specific jobs or activities associated with PCN exposure. In addition, the proposed study will provide advanced training in occupational exposure assessment methods to a junior researcher. The study will utilize biological samples and survey data that have been previously collected and appropriately stored, and which form part of a large case-control study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); these data form part of the University of Michigan ALS Patient Repository (UMAPR). Currently, the repository includes data and biospecimens from over 800 ALS patients and healthy controls drawn across Michigan. The study will, for the first time, explore the presence of PCNs in a cross-section of US workers, will utilize both surveys and biological monitoring data, which can address gaps in each method, and most significantly, lead to a better understanding of PCN exposure and risk.

PPRT Director:

Adam M. Finkel, Sc. D., CIH
Clinical Professor of Environmental Health Sciences