Biophysical Modeling to Improve Analytical Methodology in Environmental Toxicology
Oates III, R.P.
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Proper conceptual understanding of biophysical interactions with emerging contaminants is required for modern toxicology, as its scope continues to broaden alongside technological innovations that present challenges to environmental health. This dissertation is designed to address several areas of concern on a conceptual and non-hypothetical basis: ototoxicity associated with earbud technologies, per capita chemical efflux as a function of human population density, and methods to increase accuracy in quantitation of environmental contaminants throughout the field of toxicology. Principles at the interface of acoustics, physics, and organic chemistry were applied to further elucidate biophysical mechanisms associated with toxicity on a conceptual basis. It was determined that: special relativity can be applied to calculate pressures from earbud speakers to monitor sound exposure, biophysical viscosity is a factor that can be used to link fugacity with epidemiology through chemical potentials of contaminants, and primary standards from analytical chemistry can be used to normalize pollutant concentrations reported from methods that utilize mass spectrometry more accurately. This dissertation is written under the premise that if we can accurately model fundamental physical processes that monitor environmental health, then it is possible to extend stewardship as a mode of human health.