Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms, and a toxicologist is trained to examine the nature of those effects and assess the probability of their occurrence. Toxicology is used to help the TCEQ make scientifically sound decisions when developing environmental regulations and policy and when reviewing air quality permit applications.
Effects Screening Levels (ESLs) are health effects guidelines used during the air permitting process to help ensure that authorized emissions of air contaminants do not cause or contribute to a condition of air pollution.
The Air Permits Division relies on TCEQ toxicologists to:
- develop the short-term (hourly) and long-term (annual) ESLs;
- provide guidance by identifying chemical hazards, evaluating potential exposures, and assessing the risks associated with permit issuance;
- participate in rule and standard permit development team meetings;
- attend stakeholder meetings; and
- testify in public hearings.