Category Archives: Uncategorized

Science-based Risk Communication: Toward a Shared Understanding

The following post is one of a series previewing the research that will be presented at the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy (13-17 May 2018).

A guest post by Annegaaike Leopold, Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, and Charmaine Ajao

‘’How do we communicate accurately about the real risk posed by chemicals and other contaminants in the environment as distinguished from emotions and fears?‘’

Attaining a shared understanding of findings from environmental research among scientists, policy makers, and the public is a challenge. However, the critical importance of this is increasingly recognized, especially if we want to clearly communicate risks and support informed decisions that will protect human health and the planet, building on scientific facts rather than individual opinions. SETAC Europe takes up this challenge as part of the strategic plan 2018, with eight strategic goals to be reached by 2020, with one goal being to “support science-based risk communication.” Continue reading

Safe by Design: Responsible and Innovative Research for Safe and Sustainable Chemistry

A guest post by Ester Papa and Elena Semenzin

The following post is one of a series previewing the research that will be presented at the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy (13-17 May 2018).

“What is sustainable? How can chemicals be Greener? What is safe?” are questions of great importance nowadays. Continue reading

As the Arctic Ice Shrinks, Polar Bears May Need to Work Harder for a Living

By Roberta Attanasio, Blog Editor

It’s celebration time for the iconic polar bear, the poster child of climate change. Or better, it’s a different type of celebration. Every year, February 27—International Polar Bear Day—highlights the challenges that this big, charismatic creature faces in a warming Arctic, and becomes a day of action to reduce carbon emissions. The nineteen subpopulations of polar bears spend their winter on sheets of frozen ocean water, which melt and retreat in warmer months, to then advance again in the fall. As ice keeps melting because of higher temperatures, their natural habitat shrinks, affecting their capacity to travel, hunt, and breed. In other words, their lives are tied to the annual spread and shrinkage of Arctic sea ice.

Polar_bear_silently_stepping_from_an_ice_floe

Polar bear silently stepping from an ice floe by Andreas Weith [Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons Attribution–Share Alike 4.0]

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Sexual Harassment in the Scientific Community: Title IX and Federal Research Funding

By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor

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Lewd Pointing by Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr/CC-BY-SA 2.0

In a recent tell-all letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tackled the issue of sexual harassment of women in the academic scientific community. The committee defined the issue as a “pernicious problem,” and stated that “sexual harassment is not outside the norm for women in academia.” Continue reading

Remembering Peter Chapman

 

Peter M. Chapman (1951 – 2017)

The editorial staff and Editors at the SETAC journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM), with heavy hearts, share with you the loss of our dear friend and colleague Peter M. Chapman. Peter left us much, much too soon on 26 September 2017.

We wish to dedicate this IEAM blog post to his memory. And we invite everyone reading this column to contribute their thoughts and favorite memories from Peter’s stellar career. We invite you to help us build one of many lasting remembrances to our dear friend.

P Chapman

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Fast Fashion and Viscose Production: The Time Is Ripe for Sustainable Practices

By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor

We live in the world of fast fashion, which Kate Fletcher defines as low-cost clothing collections based on current, high-cost luxury fashion trends—it is a system that encourages disposability and is based on the rapid production of a large variety of clothing items that are not made to last and are used only a few times before being thrown away.  Not surprisingly, the global production of clothing doubled between 2000 and 2014.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 15.1 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2013 in the United States and, of these, only 2.3 million tons were recovered through recycling.  Sustainability is not a concept that consumers typically associate with fashion—the result is a general lack of awareness of the environmental impact of clothes manufacturing.  With the increased rapid production of large amounts of newly generated textiles, it’s time to examine on the extent of this impact.  Continue reading

Drylands’ Best Kept Secret: Trees

Dryland forest

Dryland forest, Queensland, Australia. CSIRO, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Roberta Attanasio, IEAM Blog Editor

We face a steady, sobering news stream about the deforestation of the humid tropics, the warming of the Arctic, and more recently, the greening of Antarctica.  In contrast, we hear very little about drylands, the arid regions that cover more than 40% of Earth’s land surface.  Although the United Nations has periodically focused on drylands, the popular and scientific media have given little coverage to them, partly because of the absence of a focused international program.  However, in the past few years, we have been hearing more about drylands, including the recent unveiling of what has been touted as a secret—they are home to large forests, much larger than previously thought. Continue reading