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Fostering the Remediation & Redevelopment of
Manufactured Gas Plant Sites

Dr. Christopher M. Teaf


Dr. Christopher M. Teaf

Dr. Christopher M. Teaf, Director, Center for Biomedical & Toxicological Research, Florida State University


Dr. Teaf is the Director of the Center for Biomedical and Toxicological Research. Dr. Teaf's research and applied activities involve the study of toxicological properties of environmental and occupational chemicals, particularly with regard to the potential human health risks.He has authored many technical articles, monographs and book chapters on aspects of human health and environmental impacts. 

Chris received a Bachelor Degree (with Honors) in Biology from Pennsylvania State University, a Master Degree in Biological Science from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Services. He conducted his graduate research in the Division of Genetic Toxicology at the National Center for Toxicology Research. 

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Teaf has conducted risk-based evaluations under federal or state occupational and environmental requirements at sites exhibiting contamination by solvents, metals, radionuclides, pesticides, petroleum constituents, biological agents and other substances. He also has served as a member of technical teams on environmental projects and has provided critical reviews of risk-based evaluations for many local, state, federal and international agencies, including the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), the World Health Organization (WHO), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Energy.

In addition to his graduate and undergraduate teaching activities, Dr. Teaf conducts OSHA Health & Safety courses for personnel in environmental agencies, as well as private industry. 

He served under 3 Florida governors as Toxicologist to the State Financial and Technical Advisory Committee and was Chairman for the Toxic Substances Advisory Council within the Department of Labor and Employment Security.

Dr. Teaf presently is the Senior Human Health Editor for the international journal Human & Ecological Risk Assessment. Dr. Teaf also has held an adjunct faculty positions in the Florida A & M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

He presently serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic Health Preparedness at the FSU College of Medicine.


Presentation Title:

Health Risk and Risk Communication in the Context of Manufactured Gas Plant Sites:  Science, Perception and Reality

Dr. Christopher M. Teaf, Director, Center for Biomedical and Toxicological Research, Florida State University

Co-Authors: Douglas J. Covert and Michele M. Garber, MPH, Hazardous Substance & Waste Management Research, Inc.


Many historical manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites are located in heavily populated areas, as a result of the need for the gas products in municipalities of the past. Subsequent redevelopment at former MGP properties typically involves site-specific health risk assessment, and the results of those activities often require presentation to various groups, including regulatory agencies, nearby homeowner groups, and plaintiff or defense oriented groups in the event that litigation ensues.  There rarely is a second chance to get it right with any of these groups.  Accurate, understandable, and often personalized information can go a long way toward ameliorating otherwise contentious and even hostile interactions. The toxicological and health evaluation may represent the most straightforward of the elements, but it rarely is sufficient in and of itself, for a variety of reasons.  Rather, careful listening and answering of sometimes highly personal  questions, and the provision of supplementary technical information, can be the greatest service provided by the medical and scientific community, regardless of the audience.  Examples of potential strategies, approaches and past cases will be used to illustrate ways to navigate highly charged circumstances of various types.