Largest Meeting Of Toxicologists In The World Held In Texas

This week, San Antonio will host the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), an organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry who practice toxicology in the U.S. and abroad.

Toxicology is the study of poisons. One of the oldest adages of toxicology (from Paracelsus, who is considered the father of toxicology) is that the dose makes the poison. I’ve always found this to be one of the most interesting things about the field – that literally anything can be toxic at a high enough dose. Toxicologists examine the adverse effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects.

Given the number of large petrochemical and refining industries in Texas, the state is no stranger to dealing with toxics of all sorts. Over the years, emissions of toxics in the state have declined overall, but new challenges have risen, including increased drilling for natural gas and strengthened health-based standards for some pollutants. These topics and more will be covered at the upcoming toxicology meeting.

Some of the sessions most applicable for clean air policy in Texas include:

  1. Diesel and Gasoline Exhaust and Cancer
  2. Human Health and Environmental Concerns around Natural Gas Production Using Hydraulic Fracturing
  3. “Air”-ing on the Side of Caution: Anticipating Impacts of Emerging Issues in the Health Effects of Air Pollution

I look forward to learning more about the latest significant scientific achievements in toxicology and how such knowledge can enhance EDF’s work – ultimately improving the health of all Texans through better air quality advocacy.

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