Cambridege Environmental

58 Charles Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: 617-225-0810

411 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: 301-695-0251

Scientific Literature Reviews and Analyses

Cambridge Environmental reviews and analyzes scientific literature for various purposes, sometimes to meet needs of private clients, and sometimes as commentary on proposed government documents or policies. Such literature reviews have been the main product, or part of the product, of our work on numerous occasions.

Sample Projects

Health effects of orthopedic implants

Cambridge Environmental conducted epidemiologic and toxicologic research in connection with the risks associated with implanted metal orthopedic devices. We conducted thorough literature reviews on various technical issues, such as wear and corrosion of the metal, tissue reactions, and cancer epidemiology, and prepared detailed memoranda summarizing the scientific data to support the work of the client and scientific experts.

Health effects of trichloroethylene

In on-going projects since the mid-1980's, Cambridge Environmental has assembled and assessed the literature concerning the environmental and toxicologic affects of trichloroethylene. We have added to the literature as well, both in the form of published (and peer-reviewed) letters to the editors of various journals, and in technical comments submitted to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in response to requests for reviews of their Draft Toxicologic Profiles for Trichloroethylene. We have also served as technical advisors to the Justice Department, assisting them in their work on trichloroethylene in toxic tort litigation, and as invited expert peer-reviewers for the ATSDR on proposals to study various impacts of trichloroethylene and related compounds on the public health. We also co-authored extensive comments, primarily regarding epidemiological literature, on the National Toxicology Program's Draft Report of Carcinogens, Background Document for Trichloroethylene (2000).

Toxicology and epidemiology of mobile source emissions

For the Federal Highway Administration, Cambridge Environmental analyzed the health-effects literature on diesel engine exhaust, benzene, and 1,3-butadiene. We evaluated the uncertainties associated with the derivations of "unit risk" factors for these chemicals, focusing on the validity of key qualitative and quantitative assumptions. In other contexts, we evaluated the toxicology of diesel engine exhaust as a form of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and with respect to the dose-response relationships of diesel engine exhaust and lung tumors in rat bioassays. Details may be found in two publications:

Green, L.C. and Armstrong, S.R. (2003). Particulate matter in ambient air and mortality: toxicologic perspectives. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 38:326-335.

Valberg, P.A. and Crouch, E.A.C. (1999). Meta analysis of rat lung tumors from lifetime inhalation of diesel exhaust. Environmental Health Perspectives 107:693.699.

Toxicology of carbon monoxide

In several matters, Cambridge Environmental has evaluated the scientific and medical literature regarding the effects of exposures to carbon monoxide at various airborne concentrations, and as reflected in exposed individuals' levels of carboxyhemoglobin in blood-samples. These matters have involved exposures due to insufficiently vented gas-fired appliances or from fires.

Health effects of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10)

Cambridge Environmental has assessed the hypothesis that current, low-level, ambient concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) in the U.S. cause disease and death. We have found that the weight of the evidence does not support this hypothesis. We have provided our assessments to U.S. EPA, and have published some details in two publications:

Green, L.C. and Armstrong, S.R. (2003). Particulate matter in ambient air and mortality: toxicologic perspectives. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 38:326-335.

Green, L.C., Crouch, E.A.C., Ames, M.R., and Lash, T.L. (2002). What's wrong with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5)? Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 35:327-337.

Public health impacts of a solid waste management plan

Cambridge Environmental Inc. was a subcontractor on this highly complex project performed for the New York City Department of Sanitation. For each of numerous proposed solid waste transfer facilities, we evaluated the health significance of modeled changes in atmospheric concentrations of criteria pollutants and hazardous air pollutants due to on-site equipment and off-site trucks, summarized the toxicologic bases of national ambient air quality standards, presented a review of epidemiologic studies of the effects of traffic emissions on respiratory health, presented a review of asthma statistics for New York City, and evaluated the significance of anticipated odors and noise.