Chemicals

What we aim to study and understand

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Asbestos

Our team at Paustenbach and Associates has published more than 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts on asbestos regarding exposure science, toxicology, take-home exposures, bystander exposures, and exposure to residents. 

Dr. Paustenbach, in particular, has given more than 400 depositions on asbestos toxicology, conducted more than 1,000 exposure assessments, and is a known expert on “state of the art” matters, i.e., understanding of hazards of asbestos over time. 

Benzene

Paustenbach and Associates has studied benzene extensively since 1988 and has published over 20 papers on this chemical. We regularly provide support to our clients with matters related to benzene exposures.

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Chemicals in Sunscreen

Beginning in around 2015, a growing number of scientists expressed concerns about sunscreens (oxybenzone, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide) and their alleged ability to damage marine environments, specifically, coral reefs.  Swimmers, municipal outfalls, residential outfalls, and boat wastewater discharges have all been claimed to be potential sources of suntan lotion-based contamination into the ocean. 

Chromium

We have been involved in chromium research since the early 1990s, e.g., in the Hudson County, New Jersey superfund sites, litigation regarding occupational exposures within the chrome plating industry, and claims of exposures by communities living near facilities that emitted chromium. We have evaluated Cr(VI) in air, water, soil, and sediments.  We have also been named as experts in numerous lawsuits involving both occupational and environmental exposures to chromium.

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Coal Ash

Due to the slides involving coal ash storage and the occasional leachate from basins to groundwater, there has been increasing interest in this substance. Although it has historically been considered a relatively non-toxic material, there has been concern about the hazards posed by fly ash in fugitive dusts and the metals in the leachate (both to groundwater and surface waters).

Cosmetic Talc

Since 2015, billions of dollars of awards have been distributed by the American court system due to claims of elevated levels of asbestos exposure from talc.  Our staff at Paustenbach and Associates has written more than 30 published papers on asbestos, and has been advising clients on how to incorporate more science into the asbestos litigation.  We believe that we are well positioned to assist our clients that will be impacted by the litigation that is unfolding in a significant manner.

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Dioxins and Furans

Our staff at Paustenbach and Associates has extensive experience studying the health effects of various dioxins, such as TCDD, and furans in the environment and in occupationally exposed workers.  Our work with respect to determining acceptable concentrations in soil has been cited worldwide for almost 30 years.

Formaldehyde

We, at Paustenbach and Associates, have conducted numerous studies to understand the capacity of formaldehyde to cause irritation at low does and its alleged potential to cause respiratory cancer in workers exposed to chronic high doses, e.g., hair stylists in salons.  We have also evaluated exposures to formaldehyde from laminate flooring and published papers on this and other topics related to formaldehyde exposures. 

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Glyphosate

This chemical has been the focus of attention by numerous parties for thirty or more years.  It was featured in a broadcast of 60 minutes in the 1970s.  There have been hundreds of studies of this chemical and the vast majority of them have indicated that it can be used safely and that it doesn’t pose a chronic health hazard.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, beryllium, mercury, and a few others, have merited the attention of occupational physicians, industrial hygienists, toxicologists, and epidemiologists since the early 1900s.

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N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

In 2019, after concerns were raised about the presence of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), also known as dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), in pharmaceuticals, it was reported in the newspapers that NDMA was also present in the over-the-counter drug Zantac (ranitidine). When it was originally released by GlaxoSmithKline, the drug was so effective at dealing with excess stomach acid and the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), that it became one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States.

PFOA & PFOS

We have been involved with PFOA/PFOS since the early 2000s. We have evaluated occupational exposures to these chemicals and the effects of their release to groundwater.  We were among the first to recognize that water from factories that treated fabrics and carpets was a source of contamination of groundwater due to the distribution of sludges from the local water treatment facility have been applied on to farmlands.

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Polychlorinated Biphenyls

The PCBs are a broad category of chemicals that have been well studied over the years. The concerns were initially on its environmental persistence, then the occupational hazards, then the dermal hazards, then the inhalation hazards (more recent).

Silica

For a period of nearly 50 years, silica was one of the most studied occupational hazards in the world. It underwent dozens of evaluations by Science Advisory Boards and regulatory bodies in the pre-1970 era. The focus has nearly always been on those working in foundries, cement factories, cutting of concrete, and some other occupations.