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Toxic Shocks
  Contamination examination
Dr Andrew Symons, from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, outlines the role of the state’s environmental forensic laboratory. Environmental forensics is associated with any sort of investigation into contamination in the environment, its purpose being to help a court of law determine the facts. Dr Andrew Symons is part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, one part of the 20-strong team that has been working in environmental forensics for many years. They are also involved in research projects, working with a range of organisations like universities and the CSIRO. The team has people with different backgrounds to reflect the range of investigations it undertakes. Skills in chemistry, biology and environmental risk assessment are all covered. Members of the team act as expert witnesses in court, helping to establish scientific facts.

  Does that stack up for Orica?
Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, from the National Toxics Network, reviews the fallout from Orica’s recent chemical leak in Newcastle NSW.

  Atrazine - more toxic than the DDT it replaced
Atrazine, a widely used agricultural pesticide that replaced DDT, causes nasty tumours in frogs. Dr Arthur White brings us news from research conducted in Minnesota.

  Croaking it - a new threat from atrazine
Extensively tested in laboratories at spray concentration levels, atrazine showed no effects on frogs or other aquatic organisms. It also effectively killed all target insects and broke down quickly in the soil. Scientifically, it was given the green light, was widely taken up and used in modern broad scale agriculture and was thought to be the answer that farmers were looking for. Everyone was content until… A few years ago frog fieldworkers in the USA noticed that frog populations were declining in areas where atrazine was used and in some areas, frogs had disappeared altogether.

  Poisons without passports - the impact on Tasmanian Devils
Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith casts a critical eye over the “dirty dozen” chemicals and explains how bromide-based flame retardants became a growing menace for an Australian icon – the Tasmanian Devil.

  The dirty dangerous dioxins
The so called Dirty Dozen is a group of chemicals, chosen from the 80,000 chemicals in use worldwide, was decided by the international community as THE most important to be eliminated. They include PCBs, phenyls, old pesticides and dioxins. They are all highly, highly toxic and accumulate in our bodies. They do not respect national borders, traveling by air and water to be deposited far and wide. Some of the highest levels of these chemicals can be found at The Arctic, even though they have never been used there.

  WEEE and RoHS compliance
What really lies in our landfill sites? Are there poisonous materials entering our environment and are we ignoring ways of reducing this hazard?

  WEEE and ROHS update
Saindhav Tamhane, Centre for Innovation at Government of South Australia, looks at how Australian manufacturers deal with regulations regarding waste from the manufacture of electronics and electronic equipment goods.

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