Environmental Health Takes Center Stage At Baylor Friday and Saturday

Oct. 26, 2006

More than 60 environmental and human health scientists in Texas will be on the Baylor University campus Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, for the annual meeting of the Gulf Coast Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology. Toxicology is the study of poisons and their effects on the environment and human health. This is the first time the Society has come to Baylor.

"We are honored to have them come to Baylor," said Dr. Bryan Brooks, assistant professor of environmental and biomedical studies at Baylor. "The issues that we will be discussing are very timely and have significant importance."

The group, ranging from academic researchers to health scientists with state agencies, will hear presentations on the latest research concerning "emerging environmental contaminants," which is the theme for this year's meeting. The group also will participate in a workshop which will shed light on new approaches to ecological and human health risk assessment when dealing with contaminant exposures.

"One of the main points is to expand the understanding among scientists of the most up-to-date research in the field of toxicology," Brooks said.

One area that will be highlighted is the growing concern over polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). PBDE's are flame retardants used in everyday items such as computer casings, carpet pads and foam cushions. Recent studies have found PBDE's in people's bodies and have been linked to neurological, thyroid and reproductive problems in lab mice. The group will hear a presentation about a recent study conducted in Dallas that found PBDE levels in grocery store bought food products.

Students and post-doctoral scientists also will present papers.

For more information, contact Dr. Brooks at (254) 710-6553.

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