Discussion: Science, Risk, Public Policy and Low Dose Toxins
IPN Press release
London: On Thursday 10 November, 2005, International Policy Network will host a discussion featuring Edward J. Calabrese, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Massachusetts and Sir Colin Berry, Professor Emeritus of Pathology at Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry at IEA.
Professor Calabrese will discuss the theory of hormesis - the idea that some substances when used in small doses produce beneficial effects in organisms and the human body, even though large doses of the same substance may be toxic. For the past 40 years, Calabrese has pioneered this theory in the field of toxicology.
Sir Colin will comment on Professor Calabrese’s presentation, reflecting on the implications of hormesis for environmental, health and safety regulations.
“A good example of hormesis is Botox - a medical procedure which derives from the one of the most toxic bacteria known to man, Clostridium botulinum. In small doses, it has beneficial uses for human beings (including repairing damaged vocal cords), but in large doses it causes botulism, which can be fatal. Professor Calabrese’s extensive work on hormesis may imply that policymakers are overly zealous in their efforts to regulate and control exposure to extremely small doses of chemicals, radiation and other substances,” said Kendra Okonski, programme director at IPN, and editor of IPN’s book Environment and Health: Myths and Realities (2004).
Professor Edward J. Calabrese is a board certified toxicologist who is professor of toxicology at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health, Amherst. Dr. Calabrese has researched extensively in the area of host factors affecting susceptibility to pollutants, and is the author of more than 300 papers in scholarly journals, as well as 24 books.
Sir Colin Berry is Professor Emeritus of Pathology at Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Chairman of the Campaign for Fighting Diseases Advisory Council (an IPN project). Sir Colin is an active participant in debates about risk and public policy in the UK and abroad.