Superfund Research Program
The AESOP Study: Airborne Exposures to Semi-volatile Organic Pollutants
Project Leader: Peter S. Thorne
Co-Investigators: Andres Martinez, Rachel F. Marek
Grant Number: P42ES013661
Funding Period: 2006-2025
Final Progress Reports
The AESOP Study (Airborne Exposures to Semi-volatile Organic Pollutants Project) seeks to answer key questions about the determinants of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposures among children and their mothers, the exposure levels indoors and out, and how to best monitor exposures and metabolites. In the current year, the AESOP Study team continued data collection from participants including demographic, residential, occupational, activity, diet history, and baseline health information. Air samples were collected inside and outside at homes and schools for measurement of congener-specific concentrations of atmospheric PCBs. Blood and urine were collected from all subjects for quantification of PCB congeners, congener-specific metabolites, toxic metals and biomarkers of health status. Food samples were collected from the Columbus Junction cohort for analysis of PCBs.
The AESOP Study team worked to complete analysis of air, blood, urine, and dietary PCB data for year nine and year 10 from a set of dyads (mother-child participants). Completing this task has facilitated more sophisticated and inclusive exposure models and has provided data to explore new statistical tools to deal with left censoring of exposure and health outcomes data. The AESOP Study team has worked with the East Chicago community and the EPA to address concerns about the lead and arsenic contamination of their community that emanated from a former lead smelter site. To this end, the AESOP Study has partnered with the University of Iowa Environmental Health Sciences Research Center and measured lead, arsenic and other metals in surficial soil samples from East Chicago, Indiana and Columbus Junction, Iowa. The researchers have also used ICP-MS to assess levels of lead in whole blood and arsenic in urine samples archived in our biorepository. This has revealed that there are a significant number of AESOP Study participants with blood lead values that exceed the CDC guideline of 5 micrograms/dL. In the first quarter of 2020, pamphlets, letters and presentations are being refined and pilot tested for report back of lead, arsenic and PCB results to participants and the community.