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      EPA’s non-targeted analysis collaborative trial (ENTACT): genesis, design, and initial findings

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          Abstract

          In August 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened a workshop entitled “Advancing non-targeted analyses of xenobiotic chemicals in environmental and biological media.” The purpose of the workshop was to bring together the foremost experts in non-targeted analysis (NTA) to discuss state-of-the-science for generating, interpreting, and exchanging NTA measurement data. During the workshop, participants discussed potential designs for a collaborative project that would use EPA resources, including the ToxCast library of chemical substances, the DSSTox database, and the CompTox Chemistry Dashboard to evaluate cutting-edge NTA methods. That discussion was the genesis of E PA’s N on- T argeted A nalysis C ollaborative T rial (ENTACT). Nearly thirty laboratories have enrolled in ENTACT and used a variety of chromatography, mass spectrometry, and data processing approaches to characterize ten synthetic chemical mixtures, three standardized media (human serum, house dust, and silicone band) extracts, and thousands of individual substances. Initial results show that nearly all participants have detected and reported more compounds in the mixtures than were intentionally added, with large inter-lab variability in the number of reported compounds. A comparison of gas and liquid chromatography results shows that the majority (45.3%) of correctly identified compounds were detected by only one method and 15.4% of compounds were not identified. Finally, a limited set of true positive identifications indicates substantial differences in observable chemical space when employing disparate separation and ionization techniques as part of NTA workflows. This article describes the genesis of ENTACT, all study methods and materials, and an analysis of results submitted to date.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Implications of the exposome for exposure science.

          During the 1920s, the forerunners of exposure science collaborated with health professionals to investigate the causes of occupational diseases. With the birth of U.S. regulatory agencies in the 1970s, interest in the environmental origins of human diseases waned, and exposure scientists focused instead upon levels of selected contaminants in air and water. In fact, toxic chemicals enter the body not only from exogenous sources (air, water, diet, drugs, and radiation) but also from endogenous processes, including inflammation, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, existing diseases, infections, and gut flora. Thus, even though current evidence suggests that non-genetic factors contribute about 90% of the risks of chronic diseases, we have not explored the vast majority of human exposures that might initiate disease processes. The concept of the exposome, representing the totality of exposures received by a person during life, encompasses all sources of toxicants and, therefore, offers scientists an agnostic approach for investigating the environmental causes of chronic diseases. In this context, it is appropriate to regard the "environment" as the body's internal chemical environment and to define "exposures" as levels of biologically active chemicals in this internal environment. To explore the exposome, it makes sense to employ a top-down approach based upon biomonitoring (e.g. blood sampling) rather than a bottom-up approach that samples air, water, food, and so on. Because sources and levels of exposure change over time, exposomes can be constructed by analyzing toxicants in blood specimens obtained during critical stages of life. Initial investigations could use archived blood from prospective cohort studies to measure important classes of toxic chemicals, notably, reactive electrophiles, metals, metabolic products, hormone-like substances, and persistent organic compounds. The exposome offers health scientists an avenue for integrating research that is currently fractured along lines related to particular diseases and risk factors, and can thereby promote discovery of the key exposures responsible for chronic diseases. By embracing the exposome as its operational paradigm, exposure science can play a major role in discovering and mitigating these exposures.
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            ToxCast Chemical Landscape: Paving the Road to 21st Century Toxicology

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              Non-target screening with high-resolution mass spectrometry: critical review using a collaborative trial on water analysis.

              In this article, a dataset from a collaborative non-target screening trial organised by the NORMAN Association is used to review the state-of-the-art and discuss future perspectives of non-target screening using high-resolution mass spectrometry in water analysis. A total of 18 institutes from 12 European countries analysed an extract of the same water sample collected from the River Danube with either one or both of liquid and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry detection. This article focuses mainly on the use of high resolution screening techniques with target, suspect, and non-target workflows to identify substances in environmental samples. Specific examples are given to emphasise major challenges including isobaric and co-eluting substances, dependence on target and suspect lists, formula assignment, the use of retention information, and the confidence of identification. Approaches and methods applicable to unit resolution data are also discussed. Although most substances were identified using high resolution data with target and suspect-screening approaches, some participants proposed tentative non-target identifications. This comprehensive dataset revealed that non-target analytical techniques are already substantially harmonised between the participants, but the data processing remains time-consuming. Although the objective of a "fully-automated identification workflow" remains elusive in the short term, important steps in this direction have been taken, exemplified by the growing popularity of suspect screening approaches. Major recommendations to improve non-target screening include better integration and connection of desired features into software packages, the exchange of target and suspect lists, and the contribution of more spectra from standard substances into (openly accessible) databases. Graphical Abstract Matrix of identification approach versus identification confidence.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
                Anal Bioanal Chem
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1618-2642
                1618-2650
                February 2019
                December 6 2018
                February 2019
                : 411
                : 4
                : 853-866
                Article
                10.1007/s00216-018-1435-6
                7477838
                30519961
                © 2019

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