6th Norwegian Environmental Toxicology Symposium
Assessing and solving environmental challenges in a multiple stressor world.
The NETS is an interdisciplinary symposium with focus on research-based solutions to solve challenges related to protection of the environment, and in particular increasing knowledge on how anthropogenic stressors affect the ecosystem alone and in combination with other stressors. NETS aims to bring research, management and industry together to address contemporarily important topics, as well as those that will become the challenges of tomorrow. NETS2016 is hosted by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).
Aquatic and terrestrial organisms are exposed to a high number of stressors that originate from the production, use of anthropogenic chemicals, and exploitation of natural resources. These multiple stressors have variable sources, behave in different ways once present in the environment and have unique properties that enable their bioaccumulation, effects and risks to wildlife and humans. Although many of these stressors, particularly heavy metals and organic contaminants, are well characterized and strictly regulated (i.e. priority chemicals), a huge number of new chemicals are produced every year, in addition to emerging and re-emerging compounds. Many of these new and emerging chemicals are poorly characterized and thus, generally considered as chemicals of emerging environmental concern. As these chemicals are released to the environment, often at the same time and even from the same sources, they exist in the environment as complex mixtures. The overall risk of complex chemical mixtures in the environment is poorly characterized. To add to the complexity, ecologically relevant exposure scenarios, natural stressors (salinity, temperature, organic material, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation etc.) and climate change (ocean acidification, temperature changes, increased UV-radiation etc.) may affect the exposure, distribution, accumulation and effects of other stressors. The interactions of such multiple stressors introduce a complexity that can only be addressed by inter-disciplinary approaches that is seldom addressed in a sufficiently comprehensive manner.
Improving our knowledge of how different stressors act singly or in combinations to cause exposure, bioaccumulation, biomagnification, toxicity to organisms and impact the environment as a whole are key to protecting natural resources that Norway and other countries rely upon. The NETS meeting aim to meet these challenges by establishing national and international networks of competence, aid recruitment of highly qualified personnel to existing scientific and regulatory communities, in addition to establishing collaborative platforms and discussion arenas for science of high quality.