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Researchers using new technology to study breath for toxins
Date:11/7/2011

hiladelphia a large city with pollutants from buses, factories, and old buildings breathes air containing different compounds than a person living in the rural mountains of Southwest Virginia. That said, scientists know what volatile compounds associated with pollution don't belong in the human body. The study underway by Dietrich is looking at gaseous compounds, versus particles such as dust or sand, or the debris found at New York's Ground Zero immediately following the attacks against and collapse of the World Trade Center towers in 2001.

Dietrich and her colleagues hope to monitor the exhaled breath of their patients to identify and qualify the risk associated with exposure to environmental contaminants. "Achieving such goals will allow for the advancement of breath analysis as a means of quantifying environmental exposures and doses, measure biomarkers that are indicators of diseases, as well as provide useful data which can eventually be used to limit individuals' exposure to harmful contaminants. We will be waiting with bated breath," Dietrich and her colleagues conclude.


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Contact: Steven Mackay
smackay@vt.edu
540-231-4787
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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