Biomonitoring Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) & Their Connection to Environmental Forensics

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Keeping up with the scientific literature nowadays could be a full time job itself. I still try to keep up with the literature for all the things I find interesting. These include past research topics from my biomonitoring days at CDC and my graduate studies as well as to current day business client’s interests, such as carbon capture and storage. I was watching a TED talk by Dr. Firestein on The Pursuit of Ignorance, which I highly recommend. Although not specifically the topic of his talk, he mentions the accumulation model of science where there were 1.5 million papers published in 2012 (3 per minute). I wondered why I always seemed to be falling behind in my science literature reading.

One of my previous passions was human biomonitoring, measurement of contaminants in humans to establish exposure of that individual or population. A recent publication from a biomonitoring study in California has even made the news here in Canada. The study by Zota et al published in Environmental Science and Technology looked at the effects of a California ban and US production phase out in 2003-2004 of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in a pregnant women cohort. The study recruited women from a clinic in 2008-2009 and then again in 2011-2012 and measured serum concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), the BFRs that were banned.

To read more about how this is related to environmental forensics, visit this link to my guest blog at @ELSenviron.

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About the Author

Court Sandau

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Court is the President and owner of Chemistry Matters – a niche environmental consulting firm which specializes in geoforensics, environmental forensics, biomonitoring, and arson investigations. As an international speaker and expert chemist, Court is often called upon to provide his expert services in oil & gas investigations and litigious chemistry issues.

Dr. Court Sandau is the principal of Chemistry Matters and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary in the Schulich School of Engineering. Dr Sandau provides expert support to projects involving litigious or contentious subjects including developing of a sampling plan, determining the appropriate data quality objectives, sampling and documentation to meet legal standards, analyzing and interpreting data and explaining the results in judiciary proceedings or public forums. He specializes in Analytical data quality, Data validation, Human bio-monitoring, Environmental forensics and Risk Assessment with the goal of improving data quality and the understanding of analytical measurements in the environmental industry.