Dr. Thomas Brock

Dr. Tom Brock is one of Duke’s consulting toxicologists for consumer products and arts and creative materials. Tom is Associate Toxicologist at the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where he has worked since 1991.

He and Dr. Sandy Stopford collaborate to ascertain the potential for consumer harm from use (and even abuse) of many product lines, most commonly materials for writing, arts creation and craft work. These pre-marketing evaluations are an incredibly effective form of prevention, in that the potential hazards never reach the potential victims.

After consulting with the Duke toxicologists’ assessment regarding exposures from each products’ ingredients, manufacturers can often adjust constituents to create safer products, or can affix suitable labels for appropriate use of necessary safeguards. The benefits to consumers, to the affected industry and the fact that this avoids the imposition of regulatory delays and disputes are obviously a "Win-Win-Win" arrangement.

The largest group of client firms participating in this endeavor is the Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI), a huge trade association of manufacturers and distributors of hundreds of kinds of arts and crafts products. These companies and their approved products are available on the WWW at the Institute’s own web-site.

Consumers (and school systems and professional artists) have learned to count on the protective information implied by these seals:

Other firms protecting their customers through the use of Duke Toxicology Services’ evaluations include the members of the Writing Instrument Manufacturers’ Association and the Pencil Makers’ Association.

Prior to coming to Duke, he was a Research Associate and Analyst at the Developmental Neuroendocrinology Section at the Brain and Development Research Center at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He was also a Visiting Research Instructor at UNC at the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology.


Tom received his B.S. at the Virginia Military Institute and his Ph.D. from the Bowman Gray school of Medicine at Wake Forest University. He is author of several articles and studies and was the 1989 recipient of a Scientific Achievement Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Brock received his certification from the American Board of Toxicology in 1994.

In his few hours of free time, Tom enjoys keeping active. He plays golf and basketball, runs, fishes and enjoys hiking and camping.

He can be contacted by email here.

Back to the faculty page.