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Chemical Mixtures Program

Program Research Objectives

  • Develop methods to evaluate toxicologic interactions of chemical mixtures. Trichloroethylene, the most frequently found drinking water contaminant, is being studied in combination with chemicals such as vinyl chloride, arsenic and 1,2-dichloroethane that are found together in water.

  • Test effects of metal mixtures using laboratory techniques. Simple mixtures of environmentally important chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium and mercury are being studied.

  • Improve precision and reliability in toxicity assessment methods for mixtures. Dose-response relationships are being studied using mixtures of liver toxicants such as chloroform and trichloroethylene.

  • Assess the absorption of toxic chemical mixtures through skin. Mixtures of chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pentachlorophenol are being studied in the presence of chemicals that are found together and can influence skin absorption rates.

  • Develop new methods and protocols to estimate the toxicity of complex mixtures. Mixtures containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are found in sediments of certain hazardous waste sites are being studied. Such methods, when fully developed and validated, may be useful to assess the toxicity associated with lifestyle and occupational exposures.