NC Board to Evaluate Emerging Chemicals' Risks

Increased in size from eight to 16 members, the Science Advisory Board has a new charter and the scope of its work has expanded from toxic air pollutants to the broader focus on the impact of new and emerging chemicals, including GenX and hexavalent chromium.

The leaders of North Carolina's state environmental and public health agencies recently announced the new members of the expanded Secretaries' Science Advisory Board, which has been given the task of examining new and emerging chemicals' potential human health and environmental impacts. Increased in size from eight to 16 members, the board has a new charter and the scope of its work has expanded from toxic air pollutants to the broader focus on the impact of new and emerging chemicals, including GenX and hexavalent chromium.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality this month directed Chemours to provide bottled water to nine more well owners near the company's Fayetteville facility after the most recent preliminary test results show GenX concentrations above the provisional state health goal in residential drinking wells.

The agency said Oct. 17 that 35 residential well owners living near the Fayetteville Works facility are receiving bottled water because of GenX detections above the state health goal of 140 parts per trillion. The state Department of Environmental Quality and Chemours have sampled 105 residential wells since testing near the facility began in September and is sending all well owners the testing results and health and other information based on the results.

Four members of the new board also were serving on the former board. All members are appointed by the DEQ and DHHS secretaries, and they come from academic institutions, the public and private sectors, and independent research facilities and include experts in toxicology, public health, ecology, engineering, and related fields. The board will meet at least six times annually and held its first meeting Oct. 23.

"We selected top talent from a robust pool of more than 50 candidates from across North Carolina," said Michael Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. "The panel we've assembled will provide vital long-term scientific guidance on how to best protect public health and the environment from emerging chemical compounds."

"We share a goal to protect the safety and health of all North Carolinians," agreed Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. "We look forward to working closely with the panel and our partners at the Department of Environmental Quality."

Dr. Jamie Bartram, the new chairman of the board, is a professor and founding director of The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other members of the board include:

  • Viney Aneja, Ph.D., a professor in N.C. State University's Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Tom Augspurger, Ph.D., an ecologist/environmental contaminants specialist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Raleigh adjunct associate professor in the Toxicology Program at N.C. State University, and president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
  • W. Greg Cope, Ph.D., department extension leader in Applied Ecology and coordinator of N.C. State's Agromedicine Program
  • David Dorman, DVM, Ph.D., DABVT, DABT, an N.C. State University professor of toxicology in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and a former associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies at N.C. State's College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Jaqueline MacDonald Gibson, Ph.D., an associate professor at UNC's Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Richard T. Di Giulio, Ph.D., the Kleberg Professor of Environmental Toxicology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and director of its Superfund Research Center and Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program
  • Elaina Kenyon, Ph.D., DABT, principal investigator in toxicology at EPA's research laboratory in Research Triangle Park
  • Woodhall Stopford, M.D., MSPH, a physician at Duke University Medical Center and past director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Toxicology Program at Duke
  • Phillip Tarte, MPH, public health director of New Hanover County
  • Betsey Tilson, M.D., MHP, a pediatrician and preventive medicine physician serving as state health director and chief medical officer

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