Abstract of Meeting Paper

Society for Risk Analysis 2000 Annual Meeting

Pollutants Without Borders: Tracking the Long-Range Impact of Persistent Chemicals. D. H. Bennett, M. McCloud, R. Maddalena, T. E. McKone, and D. Mackay, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Trent University

Many pesticides, combustion products and chemicals in commerce are subject to long range environmental transport (LRT) which can distribute pollutants across regional, continental or even global scales. Owing to variability in individual susceptibility, if more people are exposed to the chemical, there is a higher chance of someone experiencing an adverse effect from chemical exposure. Long range transport presents a unique societal and regulatory challenge because the source of the pollutant is often separated geographically and jurisdictionally from the region of impact. Although we have a significant amount of monitoring data and modeling approaches have been developed to predict LRT, so far no model framework exists for evaluating pollutants on a continental scale. We report on the development of a continental model for assessing long range transport, identifying source to dose relationships and assessing the importance of LRT at various spatial scales across North America. We will discuss partitioning the continent into appropriate regions and characterizing regionally critical exposure pathways related to LRT. We will present the critical factors that need to be considered in a continental model such as the influence of eco-regions and population density on fate and exposure. We will also begin to identify the critical issues involved in linking source to dose on a continental scale. This model can evaluate transfers between regions to help answer regulatory, health, and political questions related to LRT induced exposures.

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