Environmental chemists discuss alternatives to animal testing and eco-toxic chemicals

Largest German-language conference of environmental chemists and eco-toxicologists begins in Dessau-Roßlau

Does a pharmaceutical drug or cleaning product break down completely in sewage treatment? What are the environmental risks and side effects of the use of biocides and plant protection products? How can chemicals be developed, produced and applied in the most eco-friendly way possible? Although we all use chemical substances for the most diverse purposes daily, such questions rarely occur to most people.  However, they are the order of the day for some 350 environmental scientists meeting at the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) from 6-9 September in Dessau-Roßlau for the Umwelt 2010 - Von der Erkenntnis zur Entscheidung zur Tagung conference. The event is the largest event in the German-speaking world for environmental chemists and eco-toxicologists.

The latest results of research on how chemicals act and react in the environment will be presented and discussed at UBA.  Both of the largest expert companies in environmental chemistry and eco-toxicology (GDCh and SETAC) are sponsoring the event. UBA is first-time host to the professionals, most of whom are from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  The busy schedule of events and its more than 200 lectures and poster presentations that cover 18 topic areas will address the latest research developments. In addition to classic topics such as environmental analysis and monitoring or biological testing methods, other newer methodology such as the use of biochemical  processes (omics), alternatives to animal testing, or new approaches to modeling substance behaviour in the environment will be discussed. Furthermore, there are relevant scientific and chemical policy issues such as the unresolved environmental risks of nanomaterials, principles of “green chemistry”, as well as approaches to risk assessment of substance mixtures in the environment. As the name of the conference implies a will to make decisions, focus will be placed on drawing conclusions from the research results so as to better protect the environment. The conference motto complements host UBA, which as Germany’s supreme specialised authority assumes a wide variety of tasks in the course of implementation and enforcement of German and European chemicals and environmental legislation. In keeping with the motto, three renowned speakers representing academic research (PD Dr. Martin Scheringer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), industry (Dr. Utz Tillmann, Director General of the German chemical industry association VCI, Frankfurt/M.) and politics (Dr. Sabine Gärtner, departmental head at the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Bonn) are scheduled to hold talks. Their plenary talks will introduce their respective perspectives on the state of environmental research and chemicals safety. The choice of speakers reflects the conviction of both professional societies whose primary role it is to provide a forum of communication for experts in these three areas. The event aims to support the next generation of young scientists and will also include prize awards for last year’s top degree theses and publications as well as the best conference presentations and posters.

German Environment Agency

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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 environmental chemistry  animal testing  ecotoxic  chemical sewage treatment