Sites-How Clean is Clean?
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
--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