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Your Environment. Your Health.

TOXICITY TESTING OF FRESH AND PHOTOCHEMICALLY AGED BURN PIT SMOKE EMISSIONS

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Principal Investigator: Kim, Yong Ho
Institute Receiving Award Univ Of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Location Chapel Hill, NC
Grant Number R03ES032539
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 15 Dec 2020 to 30 Nov 2022
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary A burn pit, a common way to get rid of waste at United States (U.S.) military bases in war zones (e.g., Iraq and Afghanistan), produces potentially toxic compounds in the air. As a result, tens of thousands of deployed military and civilian personnel are exposed to burn pit smoke during their military service. Importantly, burn pit smoke can react in the atmosphere to produce secondary (aged) products that may have even greater toxicity. Consequently, the actual composition of what one is exposed to is mostly aged products not what is freshly emitted from burn pit combustions. Thus, it is critical to understand the health consequences of aged burn pit smoke exposure. While there is a high prevalence of respiratory conditions in veterans returning from war zones, the relationship to burn pit smoke exposure is not well understood. Particularly, the variabilities in toxicological responses to aged and fresh burn pit smoke have yet to be fully established and evaluated in the context of chemical composition. To address this important research issue, we will use novel approaches to 1) simulate burn pit smoke emissions in the atmosphere, 2) evaluate their mutagenic and lung toxic responses following exposures, and 3) determine rank order of adverse health effects induced by different burn pit emissions. Specific aim 1 will determine differences in physico-chemical properties of fresh and aged burn pit smoke. Specific aim 2 will use in vitro models to identify key factor(s) of the burn pit smoke that are likely driving their biological responses. This research will be carried out through a collaboration with laboratories at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University, allowing for a unique combination of expertise in combustion science, analytical chemistry, and cell biology. This project will provide critical information needed to characterize chemical evolution of burn pit smoke in the atmosphere and to identify primary chemical drivers of possible adverse health effects (mutagenic and lung toxic effects) associated with aged burn pit smoke exposure.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 95 - Cookstoves Research - technology and health effects
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Claudia Thompson
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