Progress and development create constant pressures on the environment. Modern society is relying on an increasing use of chemicals for household purposes, cosmetics and personal care products, as pesticides, drugs, food additives and components in various products. Many compounds leak into the environment where they may cause direct harm or more long term consequences that are difficult to observe. Sometimes they enter the food chain and end up as food contaminants on our dinner table. While some pollutants are being banned due to their harmful effects, new compounds replacing them may only later reveal their real toxic properties, becoming the new, emerging pollutants. New technologies, such as nanotechnology, creates new challenges for toxicological understanding of how nanoparticles act. Other emerging challenges in modern society is linked to energy use and climate, and how climate change may affect environmental fate and organismal responses to pollutants.
The study of toxicology serves society in protecting humans and the environment from deleterious effects of toxicants, but also in developing tools for avoiding new mistakes to be made. Modern toxicological research relies on an increasing use of molecular methods for dissecting the details of toxic mechanisms of action, of advanced instrumentation for large scale analysis of samples, and of integrating data using bioinformatics and systems biology approaches.
As before, the proceedings of the symposium wil be published in a special issue of Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (JTEH) published by Taylor & Francis. One of the primary goals of JTEH is to promote scientific excellence through the publication of scientific studies in different countries. The studies are specific for the country involved and in the case of Norway entail the examination of various pollutants on the health of the environment, marine wildlife and lab-simulated experiments. The previous symposia were published in JTEH 69:1-200 (2006), with Janneche Utne Skaare as Guest Editor, and in JTEH 72:111 294 (2009), with Augustine Arukwe as Guest Editor. JTEHʼs Editor-in-Chief Sam Kacew strongly believes in the continued education of young investigators, and is delighted to present 3 Taylor & Francis Book Awards at the symposium as well as a $500.00 award for the Best Paper published in JTEH generated from this symposium.