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Nutrition and Superfund Chemical Toxicity: Implications in Risk Assessment


(November 2010) -- The University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program (SRP) will host a one-day workshop on December 2, 2010, to discuss the importance of nutrition as a potential modulator of environmental insult, as well as the related implications for risk assessment methodologies.

This event will provide an interactive forum for environmental health researchers and representatives from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Experts in the field will present evidence about the potential impacts of nutrition on diseases that have been associated with exposure to environmental stressors, while US EPA representatives will outline the mechanisms of the risk assessment process. These presentations will generate discussions about the ways in which nutrition may be critical for understanding susceptibility and other variables associated with cumulative risk assessment issues. These discussions are intended to contribute to recommendations about the importance of incorporating nutrition into the risk assessment process.

Featured Speakers will include Craig McClain, MD, from University of Louisville; Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., from the University of California, Irvine; Bruce Watkins, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut; Annette M. Gatchett and Jason C. Lambert from US EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment, Cincinnati office; and Wayne Sanderson, Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky. The audience primarily will consist of individuals associated with the University of Kentucky SRP, additional scientists from UK and other universities, and community members from across the Commonwealth. Representatives from US EPA and the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH Superfund Research Program will participate in presentations, discussions, and the crafting of recommendations.

Numerous studies suggest that proper, i.e., "healthy", nutrition can positively influence human health risks associated with exposure to mixtures of environmental chemicals. As previously argued in Environmental Health Perspectives (Hennig, et. al., 2007), "future directions in environmental health research [should] explore this nutritional paradigm that incorporates a consideration of the relationships between nutrition and lifestyle, exposure to environmental toxicants, and disease. Nutritional interventions may provide the most sensible means to develop primary prevention strategies of diseases associated with many environmental toxic insults." In fact, "healthy" nutrition could significantly lower long-term remediation costs by "buffering" the relative health risks related to environmental pollutant exposures.

For additional information about this workshop, please contact Stephanie Jenkins at swjenk2@uky.edu, or call 859-257-1299.

 
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