The Chemical Mixture Methodology (CMM) is the Department of Energy (DOE) recommended analysis method to assess health effects when individuals are exposed to an airborne mixture of chemicals. The CMM provides both emergency response planning guidelines and safety planning information that DOE uses to prepare for a chemical accident. The CMM uses the chemical concentration, protective action criteria (PAC) limit values, and health code numbers to calculate heath indices that provide information on potential health effects on target organs or modes. The CMM provides more realistic results for cumulative health effects compared with other commonly applied alternatives. Currently, the CMM analysis is conducted using a Microsoft Excel based Workbook. This workbook performs analysis using Macros and user inputs. However, the workbook is restrictive for users because of its lack of flexibility. For example, only 30 compounds are allowed by the current CMM Workbook and only one downwind distance can be assessed at a time. Our research project was to develop a CMM wizard, a web-based software product, to capture the functionality of the CMM workbook and provide it in a more flexible, accessible, and user friendly format. It accommodates an unlimited number of chemical components in a given mixture, up to four downwind distances, and a more efficient user interface – all advances that will permit quicker emergency preparedness analyses. In order to develop the wizard, visual basic programming language was utilized with basic HTML programming to make this active server web-based software. The CMM wizard has been developed to meet the software quality assurance requirements for DOE Safety Software. The project plan for the CMM wizard calls for it to made available online on the Subcommittee for Consequence Assessment and Protective Action (SCAPA) website alongside the currently available and downloadable CMM workbook. We also will make a version of the CMM wizard version available on DVD, so that internet connection is not required if the CMM tool needs to be used in an emergency situation. The CMM wizard is the beginning of a continued development project to provide an integrated analysis tool combining an atmospheric-dispersion model with the CMM. This will provide real-time results for users to create safety plans for the DOE sites and the public.


Xiao-Ying Yu

Lab site

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/12


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