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ECOCHEM Research, Inc.

Superfund Research Program

Trichloroethylene Bait-and-Switch Immunoassay

Project Leader: Robert Carlson
Grant Number: R43ES011894
Funding Period: Phase I: 2002-2005
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)


Halogenated solvents are a significant source of contamination at Superfund sites. Among the most important of these solvents is trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a commodity solvent, with reported production levels in the United States alone as high as 300,000 tons per year. The pharmacology and toxicology of TCE have been extensively studied: it is a carcinogen, a hepatic toxin, and a ubiquitous environmental contaminant.

The primary sources of human exposure to TCE are in the workplace and through contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater, especially near contaminated waste sites. Currently available methods for TCE determination are typically based on Gas Chromatographic analysis. These methods require dedicated instrumentation and are not readily adapted to field or quick response applications. Enzyme ImmunoAssay, in comparison, has repeatedly been demonstrated to have significant advantages over instrument-based methods in terms of simplicity, speed, and cost for field, high throughput and/or worksite monitoring.

The immediate goal of this research project is the commercial development of a TCE Bait-and-Switch Immunoassay which will be used for hazardous waste site monitoring and will serve as the prototype for subsequent development of Bait-and-Switch strategy immunoassays for the halogenated solvent class of environmental contaminants.

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