EPA Taps Researcher for Herbicide Health Study
EPPS Prof to Address Geographic Sampling and Spatial Statistics Issues
Jul. 21, 2011
Dr. Daniel Griffith, professor of geospatial analysis at UT Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to aid a review of the health effects of atrazine, a herbicide used extensively in farming.
Griffith, an Ashbel Smith Professor, is one of 19 scientists asked to serve on the Food Quality Protection Act Science Review Board. The board assists in reviews conducted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP).
“I was surprised,” Griffith said of his selection. “I had done some work with the EPA in the early ’90s through its environmental monitoring and assessment program. … I think it’s a real honor, and it also gives me an opportunity to contribute to the country in a scientific way. I think it gives me something that I‘ll feel satisfied about because I’m making a useful contribution.”
The FIFRA SAP advises and provides information to the EPA on health and safety issues related to pesticides. For this review, Griffith and the other experts are addressing questions raised by the FIFRA SAP that pertain to a set of scientific issues known as, “Re-evaluation of the Human Health Effects of Atrazine: Review of Non-cancer Effects, Drinking Water Monitoring Frequency and Cancer Epidemiology.”
Specifically, Griffith will be responsible for the assessment of geographic sampling, spatial statistics and spatial epidemiological issues. For example, he’ll use his expertise in spatial statistics to review the water monitoring networks that the EPA uses to study the contamination impact of atrazine seeping into rivers, reservoirs and watersheds that are sources of community water supplies. Griffith will study where the monitors are located and the frequency of data that is collected from them.
From July 26 to 29, Griffith, the other Science Review Board members, and FIFRA SAP will convene in Washington, D.C., where they’ll deliver their responses during a public forum.