About the Project
Aims & Potential Outcomes
This study aims to begin to better characterize human exposures from potentially harmful agents in soil, both direct (i.e. ingestion/inhalation of soil) as well as indirect (i.e. via uptake into food crops). This project will utilize study populations included in the EPHT programme. This PhD will provide evidence necessary to estimate any health burden related to such hazards and exposures, informs responses to new exposures, and supports the on-going development of environmental epidemiology and toxicology in PHE.
This project provides a student with the opportunity to become involved in a large public health initiative such as EPHT. This project will build on previous soil exposure work undertaken by Hooda, as well as dietary exposure work undertaken by Hough and Leonardi as part of an EU FP5 project (ASHRAM). The proposed project will have three main activity strands:
Activity 1: Experimental study to evaluate soil ingestion within PHEs EPHT study populations – The exact methodology is dependent on the EPHT programme which has not yet reached a decision on where the next field investigation will take place, they are however committed to the continuation of this work and the successful student would be involved in finalizing the field investigation which will include collaboration with BGS for soil sampling, PHE for toxicology, and (potentially) NHS if e.g. fecal samples are used (see below). Engagement with EHPT and the field study team will therefore form a significant part of the PhD itself. This model has already been successfully implemented by PHE with a PhD project looking into arsenic in private water supplies. Regardless of final study population, the PhD will focus on infants and children as these groups tend to experience higher soil exposure. Sampling is likely to include hand wipes of infants, personal dust samplers, conserved tracer analysis of faecal samples (easier for infants using diaper samples), vacuuming and analysis of house dust. It is expected that study design would take 6 – 12 months, with 12 – 18 months for sample collection.
Activity 2: Analysis of soil samples from Activity 1 to determine specific exposures – Soil samples will be taken as appropriate during Activity 1. As described above, samples may be in the form of hand wipes, or dust samples. As well as these, surface soil samples will be taken from identified play or work areas such as gardens, allotments, parks, etc. All samples will be analysed for a range of important toxicants (e.g. As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Phthalates, PAHs, PBDEs, PCBs). The results of activities 1 and 2 will be used to estimate exposures to these toxicants via direct ingestion/inhalation of soil.
Activity 3: Develop a methodology to translate soil information into dietary exposures – The extent of this activity will depend on progress of Activities 1 and 2. Using dietary and recipe data collated as part of EU FP5 ASHRAM, a methodology will be developed that attempts to translate soil information into estimates of dietary exposure. This methodology could then be applied to the soil data collected during Activity 2. While the data from ASHRAM will not relate to the EPHT study population, demonstrating this methodology will show how such an analysis could be carried out on EPHT populations in the future.
Why not add a message here
Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.
Based on your current search criteria we thought you might be interested in these.