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Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium

Improving Emergency Preparedness: Enhancing the Chemical Mixture Methodology

Rebekah Coggin
Calvin College

Thursday, February 21
3:30 p.m.
NH 276

This summer I worked as part of a research team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Our team’s goal was to conduct research to improve emergency preparedness for incidents involving the airborne release of hazardous chemicals. Our efforts focused on maintaining and enhancing the Chemical Mixture Methodology (CMM), which calculates the health risks for humans exposed to a mixture of airborne chemicals at distances from the release point of the chemicals. The current CMM uses an approach which sums the health impacts of chemical that effects the same bodily systems. We found that the method was overly conservative because of a poor breakdown of bodily systems. Our team proposed and tested a new approach for summing the health impacts of chemicals. The new approach showed improved results in three times the number of test cases than the previous approach without compromising on safety.


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