The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) maintains an active interest in the environmental conditions associated with living and working in spacecraft and identifying hazards that might adversely affect the health and well-being of crew members. Despite major engineering advances in controlling the spacecraft environment, some water and air contamination appears to be inevitable. Several hundred chemical species are likely to be found in the closed environment of the spacecraft, and as the frequency, complexity, and duration of human space flight increase, identifying and understanding significant health hazards will become more complicated and more critical for the success of the missions.

NASA asked the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Toxicology to develop guidelines, similar to those developed by the NRC in 1992 for airborne substances, for examining the likelihood of adverse effects from water contaminants on the health and performance of spacecraft crews. In this report, the Subcommittee on Spacecraft Water Exposure Guidelines (SWEGs) examines what is known about water contaminants in spacecraft, the adequacy of current risk assessment methods, and the toxicologic issues of greatest concern.

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Publisher
National Academies Press
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Published on
Oct 18, 2000
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Pages
174
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ISBN
9780309171748
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Space Science
Technology & Engineering / Aeronautics & Astronautics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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National Research Council
In 1993, the National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology developed criteria and methods for EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to develop community emergency exposure levels for extremely hazardous substances for the general population. A few years later, the National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances (NAC)--composed of members of EPA, DOD, other federal and state agencies, industry, academia, and other organizations--was established to identify, review, and interpret toxicologic and other scientific data to develop acute exposure guidelines (AEGLs) for high-priority, acutely toxic chemicals. Three levels--AEGL-1, AEGL-2, and AEGL-3 are developed for each of five exposure periods (10 min, 30 min, 1 hr, 4 hr, and 8 hr) and are distinguished by varying degrees of severity of toxic effects. This current report reviews the NAC reports for their scientific validity, completeness, and consistency with the NRC guideline reports developed in 1993 and 2001. This report is the fifth volume in the series and covers AEGLs for chlorine dioxide, chlorine trifluoride, cyclohexylamine, ethylenediamine, hydrofluoroether-7100, and tetranitromethane. It concludes that the AEGLs developed by NAC are scientifically valid and consistent with the NRC guideline reports. AEGLs are needed for a wide range of planning, response, and prevention applications. These values provide data critical to evacuation decisions and discussions between community leaders and industries as they seek ways to minimize the health impact should the chemical release occur. Some of the finalized AEGLs have been officially adopted by the Department of the Army, FEMA, and the Department of Transportation as the official levels for use by those agencies.
National Research Council
Methyl bromide is gaseous pesticide used to fumigate soil, crops, commodity warehouses, and commodity-shipping facilities. Up to 17 million pounds of methyl bromide are used annually in California to treat grapes, almonds, strawberries, and other crops. Methyl bromide is also a known stratospheric ozone depleter and, as such, is scheduled to be phased out of use in the United States by 2005 under the United Nations Montreal Protocol. In California, the use of methyl bromide is regulated by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), which is responsible for establishing the permit conditions that govern the application of methyl bromide for pest control. The actual permits for use are issued on a site-specific basis by the local county agricultural commissioners. Because of concern for potential adverse health effects, in 1999 DPR developed a draft risk characterization document for inhalation exposure to methyl bromide. The DPR document is intended to support new regulations regarding the agricultural use of this pesticide. The proposed regulations encompass changes to protect children in nearby schools, establish minimum buffer zones around application sites, require notification of nearby residents, and set new limits on hours that fumigation employees may work. The State of California requires that DPR arrange for an external peer review of the scientific basis for all regulations. To this end, the National Research Council (NRC) was asked to review independently the draft risk characterization document prepared by DPR for inhalation exposure to methyl bromide.

The task given to NRC's subcommittee on methyl bromide states the following: The subcommittee will perform an independent scientific review of the California Environmental Protection Agency's risk assessment document on methyl bromide. The subcommittee will (1) determine whether all relevant data were considered, (2) determine the appropriateness of the critical studies, (3) consider the mode of action of methyl bromide and its implications in risk assessment, and (4) determine the appropriateness of the exposure assessment and mathematical models used. The subcommittee will also identify data gaps and make recommendations for further research relevant to setting exposure limits for methyl bromide.

This report evaluates the toxicological and exposure data on methyl bromide that characterize risks at current exposure levels for field workers and nearby residents. The remainder of this report contains the subcommittee's analysis of DPR's risk characterization for methyl bromide. In Chapter 2, the critical toxicological studies and endpoints identified in the DPR document are evaluated. Chapter 3 summarizes DPR's exposure assessment, and the data quality and modeling techniques employed in its assessment are critiqued. Chapter 4 provides a review of DPR's risk assessment, including the adequacy of the toxicological database DPR used for hazard identification, an analysis of the margin-of-exposure data, and appropriateness of uncertainty factors used by DPR. Chapter 5 contains the subcommittee's conclusions about DPR's risk characterization, highlights data gaps, and makes recommendations for future research.
National Research Council
Diisopropyl Methylphosphonate (DIMP) is a groundwater contaminant at the U.S. Army's Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado. DIMP is a by-product created from the manufacture and detoxification of the nerve agent GB which the arsenal produced from 1953 to 1957. For awhile the Army and the State of Colorado disagreed upon the appropriate drinking-water contaminant guideline for DIMP. A drinking-water guideline of 600 micrograms per liter was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1989 but the State of Colorado promulgated a lower guideline of 8 micrograms per liter. The significant difference between the two suggested values arose from the fact that both sides used different studies to determine their values. Colorado used one-generation reproductive toxicity study in mink, whereas EPA used a subchronic toxicity study in dogs.

To resolve the disagreement, a two-generation reproductive study in mink was conducted. The Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) to independently evaluate the 1997 study and re-evaluate the drinking-water guideline for DIMP. This task was assigned to the Committee on Toxicology, which established the Subcommittee on the Toxicity of Diisopropyl Methylphosphonate, a multidisciplinary group of experts. The subcommittee evaluated the two-generation reproductive study as well as other studies relevant to the task. Data on the use of mink as a predictive model in toxicology were also reviewed. Re-Evaluation of Drinking-Water Guidelines for Diisopropyl Methylphosphonate is the subcommittee's report which shows that neither party was corrected in their DIMP guidelines. The report includes the subcommittee's evaluation and recommendations concerning the topic.


National Research Council
Elder Abuse and Its Prevention is the summary of a workshop convened in April 2013 by the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Global Violence Prevention. Using an ecological framework, this workshop explored the burden of elder abuse around the world, focusing on its impacts on individuals, families, communities, and societies. Additionally, the workshop addressed occurrences and co-occurrences of different types of abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial, as well as neglect. The ultimate objective was to illuminate promising global and multisectoral evidence-based approaches to the prevention of elder maltreatment. While the workshop covered scope and prevalence and unique characteristics of abuse, the intention was to move beyond what is known about elder abuse to foster discussions about how to improve prevention, intervention, and mitigation of the victims' needs, particularly through collaborative efforts. The workshop discussions included innovative intervention models and opportunities for prevention across sectors and settings.

Violence and related forms of abuse against elders is a global public health and human rights problem with far-reaching consequences, resulting in increased death, disability, and exploitation with collateral effects on well-being. Data suggest that at least 10 percent of elders in the United States are victims of elder maltreatment every year. In low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of violence is the greatest, the figure is likely even higher. In addition, elders experiencing risk factors such as diminishing cognitive function, caregiver dependence, and social isolation are more vulnerable to maltreatment and underreporting. As the world population of adults aged 65 and older continues to grow, the implications of elder maltreatment for health care, social welfare, justice, and financial systems are great. However, despite the magnitude of global elder maltreatment, it has been an underappreciated public health problem. Elder Abuse and Its Prevention discusses the prevalence and characteristics of elder abuse around the world, risk factors for abuse and potential adverse health outcomes, and contextually specific factors, such as culture and the role of the community.

National Research Council
A Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) describe a new vision for science learning and teaching that is catalyzing improvements in science classrooms across the United States. Achieving this new vision will require time, resources, and ongoing commitment from state, district, and school leaders, as well as classroom teachers. Successful implementation of the NGSS will ensure that all K-12 students have high-quality opportunities to learn science.

Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards provides guidance to district and school leaders and teachers charged with developing a plan and implementing the NGSS as they change their curriculum, instruction, professional learning, policies, and assessment to align with the new standards. For each of these elements, this report lays out recommendations for action around key issues and cautions about potential pitfalls. Coordinating changes in these aspects of the education system is challenging. As a foundation for that process, Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards identifies some overarching principles that should guide the planning and implementation process.

The new standards present a vision of science and engineering learning designed to bring these subjects alive for all students, emphasizing the satisfaction of pursuing compelling questions and the joy of discovery and invention. Achieving this vision in all science classrooms will be a major undertaking and will require changes to many aspects of science education. Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards will be a valuable resource for states, districts, and schools charged with planning and implementing changes, to help them achieve the goal of teaching science for the 21st century.

National Research Council
Assessments, understood as tools for tracking what and how well students have learned, play a critical role in the classroom. Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards develops an approach to science assessment to meet the vision of science education for the future as it has been elaborated in A Framework for K-12 Science Education (Framework) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These documents are brand new and the changes they call for are barely under way, but the new assessments will be needed as soon as states and districts begin the process of implementing the NGSS and changing their approach to science education.

The new Framework and the NGSS are designed to guide educators in significantly altering the way K-12 science is taught. The Framework is aimed at making science education more closely resemble the way scientists actually work and think, and making instruction reflect research on learning that demonstrates the importance of building coherent understandings over time. It structures science education around three dimensions - the practices through which scientists and engineers do their work, the key crosscutting concepts that cut across disciplines, and the core ideas of the disciplines - and argues that they should be interwoven in every aspect of science education, building in sophistication as students progress through grades K-12.

Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards recommends strategies for developing assessments that yield valid measures of student proficiency in science as described in the new Framework. This report reviews recent and current work in science assessment to determine which aspects of the Framework's vision can be assessed with available techniques and what additional research and development will be needed to support an assessment system that fully meets that vision. The report offers a systems approach to science assessment, in which a range of assessment strategies are designed to answer different kinds of questions with appropriate degrees of specificity and provide results that complement one another.

Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards makes the case that a science assessment system that meets the Framework's vision should consist of assessments designed to support classroom instruction, assessments designed to monitor science learning on a broader scale, and indicators designed to track opportunity to learn. New standards for science education make clear that new modes of assessment designed to measure the integrated learning they promote are essential. The recommendations of this report will be key to making sure that the dramatic changes in curriculum and instruction signaled by Framework and the NGSS reduce inequities in science education and raise the level of science education for all students.

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