A National Research Council committee will develop a long-range vision for exposure science and a strategy with goals and objectives for implementing the vision over the next 20 years, including a unifying conceptual framework for advancement of exposure science to study and assess human and ecologic contact with chemical, biologic, and physical stressors in their environments. In developing the vision and strategy, the committee will consider exposure-assessment guidelines and practices used by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, the use and development of advanced knowledge and analytic tools, and ways of incorporating more complete understanding of exposure into risk assessment, risk management, and other applications for human health and ecologic services. The study will focus on the continuum of sources of stressors, their fate in or changes in the environment, human and ecologic exposure, and resulting doses or other relevant metrics that are relevant to outcomes of concern. The committee’s report will potentially be a companion document to previous National Research Council reports such as Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy and Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment.
Specific issues may include:
• Factors that affect relationships among stressors (chemical, biologic, and physical) and exposed organisms along the continuum from sources to doses in humans, including susceptible individuals or populations, and from sources to ecosystems.
• Innovative approaches for characterizing aggregate and cumulative exposure to various mixtures of stressors via multiple pathways.
• Enhancement of predictive and diagnostic modeling (including probabilistic modeling) in exposure science to reduce uncertainties in risk assessment, risk management, and assessment of mitigation effectiveness.
• Development or improvement of measurement and monitoring methods and interpretive tools (such as informatics) to provide data fundamental to exposure science.
• Exposure metrics (based on prediction and diagnosis) and exposure indicators (based on observations) for assessing the effectiveness of risk management and other decision-making.
• Approaches to increase the usefulness of data from biomonitoring or environmental monitoring in developing risk assessments and related public policies.
• Identification of exposure aspects among humans and other organisms that do not readily lend themselves to inclusion in a unifying conceptual framework for exposure science.
• Key research and development needs for advancing exposure science.
• Educational approaches for training future exposure scientists.
• Communication approaches for conveying exposure-related information to policy-makers and others.