Vi vill uppmärksamma att det här är en engelsk föreläsning. Därav är även presentationen nedan av Thomas och hans föreläsning på engelska.
Are chemical cocktails a threat for human health and the environment? How can we improve their assessment and management?
We are continuously using several thousand different chemicals in a broad variety of consumer products, industries and public services such as health care, transportation or energy production. It is therefore almost trivial to state that nobody is ever exposed to only a single, pure chemical. In fact, monitoring campaigns routinely detect dozens or even hundreds of man-made chemicals in water, soil or food samples, and even directly in human bodies.
Scientific evidence clearly shows that the joint risk of such cocktails exceeds the risk of each individual component. The critical question is therefore whether the current system of chemical assessment and management is up to the task and adequately accounts for the presence of chemical cocktails in our daily lives. I will argue that modern laws and regulations achieve this is in part – but also that several major issues remain to be tackled if human health and the environment are to be protected. The presentation will also outline the current state of play of the ongoing evaluation on mixture toxicity that was commissioned by the Swedish government.
Thomas Backhaus is Professor for Environmental Science at the University of Gothenburg and Director of its new Center for Future Risk Assessment and Management Strategies (FRAM). His main research interest is chemical risk assessment and management, with a focus on the environmental impacts of chemical mixtures, pharmaceuticals, biocides and pesticides. He has been working with several regulatory authorities in Europe and different international organizations (OECD, OSPAR, UNEP) on the issue.
Additional research interests include the environmental economics of environmental pollution and the substitution of hazardous chemicals. He is senior editor of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management and regularly publishes in the area of chemical hazard and risk assessment in a broad range of journals. In recent years he served on the Council of SETAC Europe, as SETAC’s book editor and in several of SETAC’s advisory committees. Additionally, Thomas teaches in the areas of chemical hazard and risk assessment and co-ordinates Gothenburg’s international master programme in ecotoxicology.