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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.


Contaminated Sites-How Clean is Clean?

with
Kenneth Reimer, Royal Military College of Canada

Sites contaminated with industrial chemicals, usually from historical practices, are commonplace throughout Canada. These “brownfield” sites concern local communities, and removing all traces of chemical contamination can be overly expensive and is usually unnecessary. A fundamental question is: When is a site clean enough to eliminate health risk and allay the public’s fears? Brownfield chemicals are often bound to soil particles that can be inhaled, adsorbed to the skin, or ingested. It is the latter pathway that typically provides the greatest risk of exposure.

Professor Kenneth Reimer’s research uses chemistry, biology, and environmental science to investigate innovative approaches for ecological and human health risk assessments. He will consider how to determine what portion of a chemical becomes digested and enters the bloodstream, and how many particle-borne chemicals typically pass through a human system without posing any risk. These bio-accessibility tests can make the remediation of brownfields both health- and cost-effective. He will also discuss the need for effective risk communication tools so that this approach meets with public acceptance.

Professor Reimer is the Director of the Environmental Sciences Group at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston. He also holds cross-appointments at the Biology and Chemistry Departments, as well as at the School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University. He is a frequently invited peer reviewer for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and he is currently the Chair of the Environment Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate, the Hon. Daniel Hays
--the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken
--Science and Engineering Research Canada (NSERC)

DATE: Thursday October 20, 2005 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am