Toxicology

ECBC's toxicology program emphasizes inhalation toxicology applications based on Center-developed inhalation principles. Staff performs toxicological studies of percutaneous, subchronic and acute inhalation and aquatic toxicological studies of chemical/biological warfare agents.

To address issues of low-level toxicology, biological detection/identification and the effects of biological agents on warfighters, the toxicology team also focuses on genomic and proteomic (study of the production and process of proteins) arrays and toxicogenomics (study of the effects of toxins on genes and gene expression). In this field ECBC researchers are identifying genetic sequences that can uniquely identify particular pathogens down to the species and strain level.

ECBC Environmental toxicologists study the toxicology of soil and water contaminants and the ecotoxicological effects of chemicals and military materials including but not limited to chemical and biological agents and agent-related substances, explosives and propellants and smoke/obscurants. They develop ecological risk assessments with special emphasis on contaminated military sites and provide expert consultation and written guidance for the Department of Defense, other government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, industry and academia for determining soil ecotoxicity benchmark values and establishing ecological soil screening levels.

In addition to providing these services, the team manages a toxicological, physiological, pharmacological, biochemical and environmental database in animal and alternative models to aid in defining hazardous compound health hazards.

Mission

The mission of the analytical toxicology team is to provide analytical and clinical chemistry support to the operational and environmental toxicology mission by developing methods to measure concentrations of chemicalsof military interest as generated by all routes of administration from airborne exposure, injection, dermal contact, soils, and water

Capabilities

  • Biomarker/dose-metric methods research to quantify the internal dose of chemical warfare agents
  • PBPK (physiological based pharmacokinetic) model research to improve cross species and route extrapolation for human risk assessment.
  • Safe agent generation for inhalation and contact exposure experiments.

Mission

The Environmental Toxicology Branch conducts basic and applied research and development, with diversified programs and support activities in areas of environmental fate, toxicity, and ecotoxicological effects of chemicals and materials of military importance, toxicology of soil and water contaminants, Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). The team also defines environmental hazards in support of Program Managers (PMs) and maintains environmental toxicological core competency.

Capabilities

  • Terrestrial and aquatic ecotoxicological research, including development of innovative and novel methodologies and techniques
  • Expertise in the areas of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Ecological Risk Assessment

Mission

  • Develop toxicological (clinical dose-response), and biochemical (biomarker and dose-metric pharmacokinetic) databases in animal models to aid in defining the health hazards of military chemicals and compounds of military interest to the soldier.
  • Provide toxicological consultation for materiel development, risk assessment, and chemical agent demilitarization.
  • Maintain toxicological test batteries for assessing effectiveness of decon methods, IPE, and contact hazards for chemicals of military interest.
  • Provide toxicological research support to the materiel developers and the Project Managers for Chemical Demil and Smoke.

Capabilities

  • Unique facilities for acute toxicity testing by Inhalation (whole-body, nose-only, etc.), dermal, oral and iv exposure routes in several animal models.
  • CW risk assessment including cross-species and cross-route extrapolation modeling (allometric and PB-PK/PD).
  • Unique testing facilities for smoke/obscurant, pyro/explosive toxicological evaluations