Current Research Interests
Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that commonly contaminates maize and other types of crops during production, harvest, storage or processing. Exposure to aflatoxin is known to cause both chronic and acute hepatocellular injury. In Kenya, acute aflatoxin poisoning results in liver failure and death in up to 40% of cases …more.
- Improving National Surveillance for Chemical and Radiological Illness
The Environmental Toxicology Team, in conjunction with the American Association of Poison Centers, is constantly evaluating and refining the national surveillance methodologies utilized for detecting events of potential public health significance in the National Poison Data System Surveillance Program. This work also seeks to describe and characterize previous events of public health significance captured by NPDS surveillance to determine if patterns or trends exist. If so, this data could be used to develop potential interventions.
- Environmental Exposures
Assessing and interpreting the effects of exposure to various chemicals and other environmental factors is a substantial part of the work done on the Environmental Toxicology Team. We currently have projects in various stages of development looking at the potential for arsenic exposure from contaminated drinking water in Alaska, examining the relationship between organophosphate exposure and paroxonase-1 (a serum enzyme involved in the metabolism of organic phosphorous compounds) genotype in fieldworkers in Nicaragua, assisting with various heat-related illness studies and studying exposures from various agents as reported by the National Poison Data System.
- Diethylene Glycol
As a result of numerous medication associated diethylene glycol (DEG) mass poisonings, NCEH has developed several DEG-associated projects including following DEG poisoned patients over time to assess outcomes, better understanding the metabolism of DEG in humans, and describing the effects of DEG-associated pathology. This work will hopefully increase our understanding of how DEG causes poisoning and how to prevent it.
- Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC)
The Environmental Toxicology Team is assisting the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) by evaluating the potential for ToxIC (a database of information collected from actual patient encounters between a patient and a medical toxicologist (or medical toxicology fellow) to serve as a surveillance system for chemical illness. This work will hopefully help ToxIC optimize its ability to capture information that could be used for public health surveillance and practice.
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