Barbara D. Beck, Ph.D., DABT, ATS Bio PDF Contact/vCard


Ph.D., Molecular Biology & Microbiology, Tufts University

A.B., Biology, Bryn Mawr College

Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology

Fellow, Academy of Toxicological Sciences

EU-registered toxicologist via membership in the UK Register of Toxicologists


  • Inhalation Toxicology
  • Metals Toxicology
  • Historical Understanding of Toxicology
  • Regulatory Comment
  • Risk Communication

Barbara D. Beck, Ph.D., DABT, ATS


Dr. Beck is an expert in toxicology and in health risk assessment for environmental chemicals, especially metals and air pollutants, and is the author of over 100 book chapters and journal articles on these topics.  She has performed site-specific and chemical-specific risk assessments, developed exposure and risk assessment methodologies, and has presented the results to different audiences including regulatory agencies, the US Congress, and the public.  Before joining Gradient, she was Chief of Air Toxics Staff for US EPA Region I.  Prior to that she was a Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Programs in Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.  She is at present a Visiting Scientist in the Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences Program in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Representative Projects

Safety Assessment for Medical Implant:  Performed a toxicological evaluation of oil residuals on medical implants. Assessed the potential for long-term effects.

Pesticide Spray Drift Evaluation:  Developed a sampling plan to assess air concentrations of pesticides, and performed a risk assessment for spray drift exposure to pesticides.

Historical and Current Knowledge Regarding Toxicity of Chlorinated Solvents:  Evaluated historical uses as well as standards and criteria for trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. Evaluated epidemiological and toxicological literature regarding carcinogenicity of trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene.

Historical and Current Knowledge of Asbestos:  Evaluated evolution in understanding of asbestos health effects in different industries over time.  Analyzed toxicological differences among forms of asbestos.

Evaluation of Toxicology and Risks of PFOA and PFOS: Provided comments to US EPA regarding their Health Effects Documents for these compounds.

Toxicological and Risk Evaluation of Arsenic:  Evaluated arsenic mode-of-action and assessed implications for low-dose risks.

Evaluation of Lead Releases from Consumer Products:  Developed and applied adult blood lead model to predict blood lead levels from discontinuous exposures to lead released from a consumer product.

Toxicological and Risk Evaluation of Perchlorate:  Conducted in-depth evaluation of animal toxicological studies in terms of human relevance.  Coordinated a human volunteer study involving low-level perchlorate exposure. 

Testimony at Congressional Briefing on Lead Exposure from Recreational Vehicles:  Presented an analysis of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act on exposures to lead and potential impacts of blood lead of lead released from valves on bicycles and motorcycles.

Selected Publications

Dodge, DG; Beck, BD.  2016. "Historical state of knowledge of the health risks of asbestos posed to seamen on merchant ships." Inhal. Toxicol.

Beck, BD; Seeley, M; Calabrese, EJ.  2014. "Use of toxicology in the regulatory process." In Hayes' Principles and Methods of Toxicology (Sixth Edition). (Eds.: Hayes, AW; Kruger, CL), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL., p35-87.

Cohen, SM; Arnold, LL; Beck, BD; Lewis, AS; Eldan, M.  2013. "Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of inorganic arsenic." Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 43 : 711-752.

Lewis, AS; Beck, BD.  2010. "Nonlinear low-dose extrapolations." Cancer Risk Assessment: Chemical Carcinogenesis, Hazard Evaluation, and Risk Quantification. (Eds.: Hsu, CH; Stedeford, T), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, p659-680.

Bailey, LA; Goodman, JE; Beck, BD.  2009. "Proposal for a revised Reference Concentration (RfC) for manganese based on recent epidemiological studies." Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 55 : 330-339.

Goodman, JE; Gaylor, D; Beyer, LA; Rhomberg, LR; Beck, BD.  2008. "Effects of MTBE on the reported incidence of Leydig cell tumors in SpragueDawley rats: Range of possible Poly-3 results." Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 50 : 273-284.