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.