As a student researcher in environmental toxicology, I have come to respect and realize the importance of this field. Environmental toxicology laws have removed many harmful chemicals from the environment (though there is still progress to be made) and have made this planet safer for us and other species.
The field is also constantly evolving and we get bombarded with new information daily. Obesity and plastics; bees and pesticides; fish and birth control pills – I am sure you have heard it all. These issues are important as the health of humans and the environment are at stake. But how exactly do we resolve them? Most issues aren’t black or white and every action (or even inaction) has consequences. Unsurprisingly, the scientists in the field often look at the ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ of every decision.
I started this website for several reasons, including my love for writing and toxicology. I also wanted to address some misconceptions on toxicological issues that circulate on social media and outside. There is a lot of fear and anxiety over chemicals without consideration of risks, and this can lead to people making bad decisions (for example, avoiding certain fruits to reduce pesticide exposure). By understanding the risks of different chemicals, we can effectively focus our energies on chemicals that pose high risks. Finally, as public participation and input have positively shaped our laws and decision-making processes, I believe it is vital to share toxicology-related information so that people continue to be engaged and informed.
An often-ignored theme in toxicology is sustainability. This is unfortunate because excessive consumerism leads to greater exposure to chemicals (think immoderate use of disposable plastics, non-recycling of e-waste or unnecessary use of pesticides), which in turn increases the health and ecological risks of chemicals. While in-depth articles on sustainability are outside the scope of this blog (and my expertise), I will definitely try to cover a few relevant topics on it.
So if you want to learn more about environmental toxicology, risks, and the science behind decision-making, this section is for you. I will keep my posts short and simple. And if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.