Friday, April 27, 2007
On March 30-31 2007, current ETOX students Yong Jiang, Catherine Gibbons, Kelly Thrippleton and Mary Ann Rempel and former ETOX student Bjarte Furnes joined fellow graduate students from the UCR campus to form team UCR Tail Ends and compete in the Ragnar Relay Del Sol. The Del Sol is a 187-mile footrace that winds through the beautiful Sonoran desert in Arizona, beginning in Wickenburg and ending in Scottsdale. Despite losing one team member hours before the race, an extreme lack of sleep and minor injuries the team finished well ahead of their projected time. They finished in 27 hours and 10 minutes, placing a respectable 14th out of 32 in their division. All had a great time.
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Mae Nillos was selected for the best student poster presentation, and Mary Ann Rempel won best student platform presentation at the recent meeting of the Southern California SETAC chapter. The conference was held on April 9-10 at Lake Arrowhead. Mae and Mary Ann beat out students from UCLA, UC Berkeley, Cal State Long Beach, and Loyola Marymount for the awards. Mae's poster was titled "Investigation of the enantioselective endocrine disruption effects of synthetic pyrethroids." Mary Ann's talk was titled "Uptake of estradiol from sediment by hornyhead turbot (Pleurnichthys verticalis) and effects on oxidative DNA damage in male gonads."
Congratulations to both Mae and Mary Ann for their excellent work.
Taking a broader look at human exposure to substances in the environment, Carl Cranor, philosophy professor at the University of California, Riverside, observed: "It is arguable that the current moral basis for legally regulating exposure to toxic substances is problematic." First, he explained, the current harm-based, or risk-of-harm-based, legal structure does not work well enough. Firms proposing to manufacture a new chemical, other than a pharmaceutical or pesticide, are required to submit only what they know about the product to EPA, he said, and for many new chemicals, the firms have no toxicity information.
And even if the legal structure could be made to work better with sufficient political will, there would still be a moral concern about the basis for current regulations, Cranor continued. "Because most substances are subject to postmarket regulation, the existing legal structure results in involuntary experiments on citizens. The bodies of the citizenry are invaded and trespassed on by commercial substances, arguably a moral wrong," he said. "If we were to recognize that chemical invasion is a wrong," then we could authorize actions—especially testing—to prevent additional wrongs, he said. "We can gain greater sovereignty over our bodies by requiring no trespass without testing."
To see the full article, click here.
"It's been known for a long time that E85 is not the cleanest fuel in the world."
Roger Atkinson, director of the Air Pollution Research Center, on the results of a study that found that fuels high in ethanol may pose an equal or greater public health risk than regular gasoline.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
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