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Metabolic Fate of Chemical and Biological Contaminants

Smith, David; Shelver, Weilin; Shappell, Nancy; Hakk, Heldur
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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Objective 1. Investigate the kinetics of uptake, metabolism, distribution, and excretion of chemicals in food animals with the goal of reducing public exposure to chemical residues in food animal products (milk, meat, eggs).

Objective 2. Determine the fate of endogenous reproductive hormones, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals in wastes of food animals, including transport through soil and water.

Objective 3. Develop sensitive and accurate analytical tools to rapidly detect and quantify chemicals identified in objectives 1 and 2.

More information
Approach: The broad objective of this project is to determine the fate of natural and man-made chemicals in food animals and in food animal systems (wastes, soil, water). Three broad classes of chemicals will be targeted for study: (1) veterinary drugs or feed additives administered to food animals under extra-label use conditions, (2) endogenous steroid hormones, and (3) novel developmental chemicals of potential utility to the livestock industry. Use of veterinary chemicals in an extra-label manner without knowledge of residue depletion kinetics has led to unsafe residues in meat products. Endogenous steroid hormones excreted by livestock are highly potent endocrine-disrupting compounds that are thought to disrupt the development of aquatic species after their entry into surface waters. Finally, chemical technologies developed by the ARS, e.g., chloroxyanions and nitro compounds, are active against Salmonella and E. coli pathogens in livestock immediately prior to slaughter, but the impacts of chemical residues in meat products have not been fully investigated for these compounds. Regardless of the chemical class being investigated, the development of sensitive and accurate analytical tools is critical completion of the objectives. Therefore, a significant portion of the project is devoted to developing the analytical tools required to ensure success of the project. The overall project goal is to understand the broad impact that chemical residues play in influencing food and environmental safety.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
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Escherichia coli
Chemical Contaminants