Disinfection By-Products Advisory Committee (DBPAC)

The NHMRC Disinfection By-Products Advisory Committee (DBPAC) will provide expert advice to NHMRC on the evidence on a potential association between disinfection by-products in drinking water and human health effects.  

DBPAC Membership

The DBPAC has the following Chair and members:

  • Professor Bruce Armstrong (Chair), Consultant – Environmental Epidemiology, Environmental Health and Health Services; Adjunct Professor, School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia; Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Sydney
  • Ms Kerri Carr (Consumer Representative), General Manager, Corporate Services, Business & Risk, Haven; Home Safe. Previously Customer Service Manager at Coliban Water
  • Ms Miranda Cumpston, Head of Learning and Support, Australasian Cochrane Centre
  • Dr Mary Drikas, Manager Water Treatment and Distribution Research, Research and Innovation Services, Australian Water Quality Centre, South Australia Water Corporation
  • Associate Professor Jane Ford, Principal Research Fellow, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney 
  • Professor Lin Fritschi, Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Western Australia
  • Dr Andrew Humpage, Senior Scientist, Australian Water Quality Centre, South Australian Water Corporation
  • Associate Professor Cynthia Joll, Deputy Director, Curtin Water Quality Research Centre, Curtin University
  • Professor Brian Priestly, Director, Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment (ACHHRA), Monash University

DBPAC members are individual authorities in their fields which include epidemiology, toxicology, methodology, human health risk assessment, analytical chemistry and water treatment.

Terms of Reference

The NHMRC’s Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) provide an authoritative reference on what defines safe, good quality water. The ADWG undergoes rolling review to ensure it remains current.

The ADWG contains a number of guideline values for disinfection by-products (DBP) which have not been reviewed since they were published in 1996. NHMRC is now due to consider the body of evidence on DBP and potential adverse health effects, to include recent studies and assess their relevance in the Australian context.

This is part of NHMRC’s commitment in the Corporate Plan 2015-2016 to maintain a leadership role in the development of public and environmental health advice.

The Disinfection By-Products Advisory Committee (the Committee) will:

  1. Consider the quality of the published epidemiological and toxicological studies on DBP and potential association with adverse health effects.
  2. Consider and advise NHMRC if the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) guideline values for DBP require revision based on emerging evidence.

The Committee will report to Council.

Appointments to the Committee will commence on 1 February 2016 and conclude on 31 January 2019.

Declarations of Interest

NAME/POSITION AREA OF EXPERTISE DECLARATION OF INTEREST

Professor Bruce Armstrong (Chair)

Consultant – Environmental Epidemiology; 
Environmental Health and Health Services

Adjunct Professor,
School of Population Health, 
University of Western Australia 

Emeritus Professor,
School of Public Health,
University of Sydney 

Medicine, Public Health, Epidemiology; research into the genetic and environmental causes of cancer
  • Current honorary memberships include: Honorary Life Member of the Public Health Association of Australia;  Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences; Honorary Member of the International Association of Cancer Registries
  • Current member of: the Expert Advisory Group on Environmental Health NSW Health;  National Board and the Scientific and Advisory Committee – Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia;  Expert Advisory Group, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Cancer Council Australia – Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines for PSA Testing and Management of Test -Detected Prostate Cancer; and Department of Veterans Affairs Specialist Medical Review Council in relation to smoking and prostate cancer
  • Casual consultant to the Sax Institute Sydney in relation to a Department of Veterans Affairs contract to prepare a framework for evaluation of the effectiveness of rehabilitation under Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 
  • Casual consultant to the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at ANU in relation to the ACT Asbestos Health Study
  • Past memberships include: Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute Sydney; Chair of the Board – NSW Bureau of Health Information;  Senior Visiting Scientist – International Agency for Research on Cancer;  Chair of NHMRC’s Wind Farms and Human Health Reference Group 
Ms Kerri Carr
(Consumer Representative) 
Strategic Advice on Corporate Risk, Customer Service and Operations Management
  • General Manager for Corporate Services, Business and Risk – ‘Haven; Home Safe’ (affordable housing sector)
  • Principal Consultant – Kerri Carr Consulting
  • Previous positions: Operations Manager – Radius Disability Services 2012 – 2015; General Manager for Customer Service – Coliban Water 2009 – 2011
  • Memberships: Coliban Water’s Tasting Panel; Chair for Coliban Water’s customer advisory groups; Australian Institute of Company Directors; Australian Institute of Mangement

Ms Miranda Cumpston

Cochrane Australia,
Monash University 
Medical and Health Research Methodology, Policy Development
  • Head of Learning and Support – Cochrane
  • Publications of numerous journal articles and presentations (on behalf of Cochrane)
  • Membership of: Cochrane Public Health Review Group – Editor, Cochrane Methods Application and Review Standards Advisory Committee
  • Past Membership: Co-Chair of Workshop Committee – Cochrane Colloquium (International Conference) 2009 – 2015; Public Health Association of Australia 2007 – 2013
  • Previous health policy work for the Australian Public Service 

Associate Professor Mary Drikas

Research and Innovation
Services/Australian Water Quality Centre,
South Australian Water Corporation

Adjunct Associate Professor,
University of South Australia 

Adjunct Professor,
Chinese Academy of Science

Water Research, Chemical Analysis 
  • Manager – Water Treatment and Distribution Research/Research and Innovation Services – South Australian Water Corporation
  • Academic affiliations: University of South Australia – South Australian Water Centre for Management and Reuse;  Chinese Academy of Science – Research Centre for Eco Environmental Sciences/State Key Laboratory  for Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
  • Associate Editor for the Water Science and Technology – Water Supply since 2009
  • Member of the Australian Water Association; previous member of the International Water Association
  • Previously a member of NHMRC’s working group – Water Treatment Chemicals Review 2003 – 2006
  • Publications of numerous journal articles book chapters and reports.  Also presented at international and national conferences, seminars and workshops 

Associate Professor Jane Ford

Principal Research Fellow, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney 

Perinatal epidemiology, research into maternal and infant morbidity and mortality 
  • Principal Research fellow, Clinical and Population Perinatal Health Research, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, The University of Sydney. 
  • Chief Investigator on a number of NHMRC/ARC/Other Grants relating to maternal and infant health. 
  • Member of the Sax Institute Sydney 
  • Member of Australasian Epidemiological Association and Society for Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research 
  • Associate Editor, Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 
  • Published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reports on maternal and infant health outcomes. Has also presented at various conferences, workshops and seminars on this topic. 

Professor Lin Fritschi

School of Public Health,
Curtin University

Cancer Research; Exposure Epidemiology; Occupational and Exposure Assessment
  • Professor of Epidemiology at Curtin University’s School of Public Health; Adjunct Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine – Monash University
  • Committee memberships:  Chair of the Cancer Council W.A. – Research Committee; Specialist Medical Review Council – Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reports on cancer research and exposure assessment.  Also presented at various conferences, workshops and seminars on this topic
  • Previous committee memberships: Reference Group in ‘Choices in Cancer Control’ Project – W.A. Department of Health; NHMRC Research Committee – International Schemes/Research Assistance/Quality Control; Chaired joint NHMRC/ARPANSA Working Committee on Electromagnetic Emissions;  enHealth’s Expert Advisory Committee on the development of Environmental Noise Guidelines; expert review committee for NHMRC’s draft paper on Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health 
  • Memberships: Australasian Epidemiological Association; International Commission on Occupational Health; APHRA – Registered Australian Medical Practitioner 

Adjunct A/Professor Andrew Humpage

South Australian Water Corporation

Adjunct Associate Professor,
Department of Medical Biotechnology,
Flinders University 

Affiliate Associate Professor,
Discipline of Clinical and
Experimental Pharmacology,
University of Adelaide 

Toxicology; Chemical contaminants of drinking and recycled waters
  • Senior Scientist (chemical contamination), Customer Value & Water Quality Research Group, Australian Water Quality Centre, South Australian Water Corporation.
  • Published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reports on water quality and toxicology. Also presented at various conferences, workshops and seminars on these topics.
  • Co-authored the ADWG Fact Sheet on cyanobacterial toxins. Co-authored and developed guidelines for cyanobacterial toxin contamination of seafood for the Department of Health, Victoria.
  • Currently a member of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists Task Force on Marine and Freshwater Toxins.
  • Previous member of the Project Advisory Committee for the Australian Recycled Water Centre of Excellence
  • Previous member of the NHMRC’s Water Quality Advisory Committee (2011 – 2015), contributing to the rolling review of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, and led its Disinfection By-Products Working Group
  • Previously Chaired the Project Review Team; member of the Drinking Water Research Steering Team for Water Research Australia Limited.

Associate Professor Cynthia Joll

Curtin Water Quality Research Centre, Department of Chemistry,
Curtin University

Water Chemist; Organic Chemist; Water and Disinfection By-Products research 
  • Deputy Director of the Curtin Water Quality Research Centre – Curtin University; Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry – Curtin University
  • Member of the Australian Water Association
  • Chief investigator for ARC Linkage project on nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment – ARC, Water Corporation W.A., Water Research Australia
  • Published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reports on chemicals and disinfection by-products in water.  Also presented at various international and national conferences, seminars and workshops.
  • Past Chief Investigator for ARC Linkage projects on disinfection by-products and their precursors in drinking water – ARC, Water Corporation W.A., Water Research Australia, GHD Pty Ltd

Professor Brian Priestly

Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment,
Monash University

Office of Chemical Safety,
Australian Department of Health

Risk Assessment; Toxicology; and Environmental Health
  • Director of the Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment – Monash University;  Senior Principal Scientist at the Office of Chemical Safety –  Australian Department of Health
  • Science Fellow for:  Food Standards Australia and New Zealand; and Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Member and Fellow of the Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment
  • Working Committees: CRC CARE Technical Working Group on PFOS/PFOA 2015 – present; Advisor to Air Services Australian PFOS contamination issues 2015 – present; Advisory Panel of TCE contamination at Clovelly/Mitchell Park (South Australia) 2014 – 2015
  • Previous working memberships: Queensland Water Commission Expert Panel – Indirect Potable Reuse (Water Recycling) Project 2007 – 2013; Managed the review and update of the enHealth publication – Guidance on Environmental Health Risk Assessment 2009 – 2012; Water Quality Research Australia – Research Steering Committee 2008 – 2011; Environmental Protection and Heritage Council working group to develop a national risk management framework for recycled water 2004 – 2008
  • Published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reports on water quality, toxicology, and a risk assessment.  Also presented at various conferences, workshops and seminars on these topics