X-ray Fluorescence for Estimation of Exposure to WTC Dust

ID Number 07-0727

Principal Investigator(s)
Andrew C Todd

Department(s) or Division(s)
Preventive Medicine

Research Entity
Bone Lead X-Ray Fluorescence Laboratory


The purpose of the study is to determine whether the XRF instrumentation and methodology currently available at Mount Sinai are sufficiently sensitive to detect the presence of titanium and other metals in the bones of WTC rescue and recovery workers.This is a pilot study to investigate whether titanium (which is used as a pigment in white paint), lead, or other elements have been incorporated into the bones of people exposed to world trade center (WTC) dust to an extent detectable via existing x-ray fluorescence (XRF) methodology available at Mount Sinai.The XRF technique that will be used has been in use at mount Sinai for the past 13 years (approximately). That technique is tailored to the measurement of lead in human bone but is also capable of measuring elements of atomic number less that that of lead, such as titanium. The sensitivity of the bone lead measurement system for the assessment of these other elements will be element-specific, and is unknown at this time, as is the degree of incorporation into the bones of WTC rescue and recovery workers of the elements that have been found in WTC dust.This study will allow us to determine whether the current bone lead measurement system can help categorize individuals with regard to their relative exposures to world trade center dust. If it can, then XRF may be able to help to evaluate possible dose-response associations between dust exposure and health effects.The research participants will be people who were exposed to WTC dust on September 11th, 2001, or in the three months immediately thereafter.This is a collaborative study with Michael Marmor, Ph.D. and Joan Reibman, M.D. of NYU. The research participants are known to Dr. Reibman and will be identified, approached, recruited, enrolled and consented by NYU faculty (or their designees) under a NYU protocol. Research participants who indicate their willingness to undergo a bone XRF measurement will be invited to come to Mount Sinai where they will be offered the opportunity to provide independent, Mount Sinai, informed consent for the bone XRF measurement.

Contact Information
Andrew C. Todd, PhD

Recruiting Patients: No