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Complex Environments

The world we live in and the choices we make have a direct effect on our health and wellbeing. The type of food we consume, whether we engage in physical activity or not and our recreational pastimes are personal decisions. However, factors such as air and water quality, climate conditions and electromagnetic fields are beyond our direct influence. All these elements contribute to our complex environment.

Chemistry makes up the world that surrounds us. Synthetic chemicals allow us to pursue our modern lifestyle. Substance properties which are required for certain applications may be such that they can have unwanted negative effects on our health if released into the environment. This requires appropriate risk management strategies.

To assess the risk that chemicals may pose, we need to know about their inherient properties (hazard) and whether people are likely to be in contact with them (exposure). LRI projects have been studying potential effects on health (e.g. cancer, allergies, asthma) as well as the likelihood of exposure of consumers and workers. LRI is actively involved in exploring the application of new technologies for toxicity testing. Latest developments (e.g. genomics and high-throughput screening) allow us to study the effects of chemicals at environmentally relevant concentrations.