Stalking the Elusive Wildlife Toxicity Reference Values, with David Mayfield and Anne Fairbrother

Nearly a decade after the US Environmental Protection Agency developed ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) to provide a source of toxicity reference values (TRVs) that would improve consistency among risk assessments, TRVs remain highly variable and without a standardization scheme. Join us as we speak with David Mayfield and Anne Fairbrother, authors of the article “Efforts to standardize wildlife toxicity values remain unrealized,” to hear how they describe the challenges that ecological risk assessors face when trying to employ wildlife toxicity values. Access their article in the January 2013 issue of IEAM.

Podcast available on iTunes and YouTube

About the Guests


Mr. Mayfield, MS, DABT, is a board-certified toxicologist with the Seattle-based environmental consulting firm Gradient. His expertise is in both human health and ecological toxicology and risk assessment. Mr. Mayfield’s main interests include examining environmental exposures and resulting toxic effects of chemical agents (e.g., heavy metals, specialty minor metals, and PAHs). He has authored and presented on a variety of topics, including heavy metals and rare earth metals toxicology, exposure science, ecological effects of coal combustion products, and site-specific ecological risk assessment. He received his BS in Biology (Systematics and Ecology) from the University of Kansas and his M.S. in Environmental Health (Toxicology) from the University of Washington. Mr. Mayfield was certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT) in 2008.

Anne FairbrotherDr. Anne Fairbrother, DVM, PhD, is a Principal Scientist and Director of the Bellevue, WA office of Exponent. Dr. Fairbrother has more than 30 years of experience in wildlife toxicology and disease, risk assessment, and regulatory science in the US, Canada, and Europe. She has conducted CERLCA-based risk assessments at mines in tropical, desert, mountain, and prairie ecosystems and has assessed risks to fish and wildlife at sites contaminated with organic chemicals, including DDT, PCBs, dioxins, and petroleum hydrocarbons. She is highly qualified and knowledgeable about metal bioavailability and bioaccumulation in both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Dr. Fairbrother spent 13 years as a research scientist at U.S. EPA and wrote Agency guidance for human health and ecological risk assessment of metals. She also has written ecological risk assessment guidance documents for CalEPA and British Columbia Ministry of Environment, and contributed to the development of ecologically-based soil standards for the protection of plants and wildlife for both the U.S. and Canada. She served on the EPA’s science advisory panels for endocrine disruptors and pesticide testing guidelines. Dr. Fairbrother lead research programs in population and organism effects of environmental stressors to birds, small mammals, and amphibians. She developed protocols for testing nontarget avian effects of biopesticides, studied immunotoxic and endocrine activity of chemicals in wildlife, and led research into the ecological risks of bioengineered crops and manufactured nanomaterials. Dr. Fairbrother has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and serves on numerous scientific boards, expert panels, and editorial boards in support of scientific and regulatory issues.

Articles Referenced in this Podcast
Sample et al. 2013. Assessment of risks to ground-feeding songbirds from lead in the Coeur d’Alene Basin, Idaho, USA. IEAM 7#4:596–611.

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