Study in Progress

Advancing Understanding of the Implications of Environmental-Chemical Interactions with the Human Microbiomes

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Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will develop a research strategy to better understand the interactions between environmental chemicals and human microbiomes, including the intestinal, skin, and lung microbiomes, and the implications of those interactions on human health risk. The committee will assess the state of the science regarding the health implications of chemical metabolism by microbiota and chemical exposure on microbiota diversity and function. It will also assess what is known about how effects might differ depending on, for example, life stage or interindividual differences. The committee will then develop a research strategy that identifies the types of studies needed to improve understanding of how different microbiome communities can affect chemical absorption and metabolism, how population variation in microbiome activity might affect individual chemical exposure, and the effect of chemical exposure on microbiome functions and possible implications for human health risk. The committee will also identify methodological or technological barriers to advancing the field, discuss possible opportunities for coordination or collaboration, and indicate which research investments might provide the most information for improving understanding of microbiome implications for human health risk.