Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Quantifying Human Exposure to Chemical Pollutants from Domestic and Imported Food Consumption through Coupled Analysis and Modeling

Bedi, Megha (2023) Quantifying Human Exposure to Chemical Pollutants from Domestic and Imported Food Consumption through Coupled Analysis and Modeling. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (2MB) | Preview


Chemicals are inevitably used in many industrial processes and consumer products and are critical to our daily activities. For instance, as flame retardants in fibers and molded plastics, stain resistant barriers in carpets and upholstery, grease and water-resistant coatings in cookware and food packaging, and pesticides to protect foodstuffs and crops. However, these chemicals and their byproducts are often released into the environment, during production, use,
and disposal of products. In addition, the long-range atmospheric transport and movement of products across borders make them ubiquitous. They may be environmentally persistent and accumulate in organisms to exert toxic effects. Although many toxic chemicals have been regulated, they continue to be widely detected. In addition, many replacement chemicals, which were once believed to be safe, are now gaining attention due to concerns that they may be
equally persistent and toxic.
Among the many potential intake routes, seafood consumption has been identified as a major non-occupational pathway for exposure to chemical contaminants. The objective of this
work was to improve data on the occurrence of pollutants in seafood and quantify the risks involved with seafood consumption. This, coupled with data on bioaccumulation and toxicity of specific chemicals, substantially contributes to the overall body of knowledge on foodborne exposures, a growing public health concern.
In this work, 450+ legacy and emerging chemicals were analyzed, including pesticides, veterinary drugs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in commercial seafood using liquid- and gas-chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry platforms. Our findings suggest that for individual compounds, the tested seafood was safe for
human consumption. However, concerns over chronic exposure and uncertainties around mixture exposures persist.
Based on the measured concentrations, we developed exposure models and found that higher risks were associated with certain populations. Exposure modeling is therefore a
powerful tool to identify which exposures may contribute most to body burdens and thus identify effective interventions to protect vulnerable populations. Overall, our findings warrant continued monitoring and identification of measures to reduce chemical amounts in seafood.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bedi, Meghameb252@pitt.edumeb2520000-0001-7486-7342
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairNg, CarlaCARLANG@pitt.edu0000-0001-5521-7862
Committee MemberGilbertson, Leanneleanne.gilbertson@pitt.edulmg1100000-0003-3396-4204
Committee MemberKhanna, Vikaskhannav@pitt.edukhannav
Committee MemberGao, PengPEG47@pitt.eduPEG47
Date: 19 June 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2023
Approval Date: 19 June 2023
Submission Date: 16 June 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 171
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: exposure modeling, human exposure, risk assessment, seafood, analytical methods
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 12:38
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2023 12:38


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item