Bid to clean up the world

Sep 17, 2013

An international scientific initiative aimed at reducing the impact of human-made pollution on the health and wellbeing of the whole world was launched in Melbourne, Australia, today.

The Global Contamination Research Initiate (GCRI) is a world-wide alliance of scientists, industry and regulators which aims to understand and curb human chemical emissions, which are causing widespread concern over major health effects around the world.

It was launched at CleanUp 2013, the leading international conference on contamination science and technology today.

"There is now clear evidence that human-made chemicals are spreading around the whole planet via air, soil, water, food, plants, animals, traded goods and in people themselves," said GCRI co-ordinator Professor Ravi Naidu of the University of South Australia and CRC CARE.

"Many of these substances are toxic: hundreds have been linked by science to cancer, heart disease, , obesity, infertility, child development and many other diseases.

"However the full extent of their distribution and their effect on the health of the and life on Earth in general remain largely unknown.

"This is a scientific challenge as large, or larger even, than in that are only part of total human chemical emissions from industry, mining, agriculture, energy production and other activities.

"The task of understanding and correcting this process is urgent. Yesterday we heard evidence from speakers that almost every baby born today comes into the world already contaminated by a hundred or so toxic – and then is exposed to many more in its food, home environment and the air it breathes.

"Clearly this is an issue demanding immediate and worldwide research – but the current effort is fragmented across different countries, industries and disciplines. The idea behind GCRI is to help bring focus to a global effort to clean up our world."

Professor Naidu says that according to the United Nation Environment program, world chemical output is around 20 million metric tonnes, about one third of which is thought to be toxic or carcinogenic. This is growing at a rate of about 3 per cent per year.

"At the same time there are even larger emissions of toxic substances from mining and mineral production, energy production, fossil fuel use, agriculture, combustion engines and waste burning, about which we know remarkably little at global level.

"These chemicals, deliberate and unintentional, are being found from the peak of Mt Everest, to the snows of Antarctica, to the deep oceans. They are especially concentrated in the world's big cities, and in the soils and water used to grow our food supplies.

The Global Contamination Research Initiative (GCRI) is a worldwide knowledge network, performing new scientific research, aggregating existing knowledge, developing novel assessment and clean-up technologies, advising governments and industry on ways to improve existing regulation or industry practices, training high-level experts and sharing knowledge about ways to reduce man-made contamination in all facets of society and the natural environment.

Some of the world's leading scientific institutions have indicated they wish to take part in GCRI, which is currently hosted by Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE).

Explore further: Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

More information: www.crccare.com/

Provided by CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Eminent scientist warns of global contamination risks

Feb 26, 2013

(Phys.org)—Eighty-three thousand man-made chemicals now circulate freely around the Earth, in water, soil, air, wildlife, food and manufactured goods and people, posing unquantified but genuine hazards to human and environmental ...

'Save our kids from computer toxics' scientists warn

Sep 16, 2013

An international scientific expert has called for an urgent global effort to save the coming generation of children from being poisoned by toxic residues from the world's ever-growing garbage pile of old mobile phones, computers ...

Bugs and slime to clean poisoned water

Sep 16, 2013

Australian scientists have developed a way to clean up the potentially deadly arsenic that pollutes the drinking water of tens of millions of people around the world.

Are there drugs in our water?

Sep 16, 2013

Recreational drugs could become a major source of Australian urban water contamination, scientists warn.

Everyone 'is now polluted'

Sep 16, 2013

Virtually every human being on Earth can now be considered physiologically and biochemically polluted by human-made chemicals, a leading medical doctor will tell CleanUp 2013 in Melbourne today.

Climate risk of toxic shock

Feb 06, 2012

The effects of climate change could expose Australians to greater risks from toxic contamination, a leading scientist has warned.

Recommended for you

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Dec 21, 2014

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.