Panaceas for Polluted Peoples, Places and Policies
Worldwide, tens of thousands of potentially hazardous chemicals are released into our water, air and food systems. Pollution is estimated to cause nine million premature human deaths every year. Even though it is the largest environmental cause of death and disease globally, we seldom hear of it.
As Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Sciences, Dr. Niladri Basu is focusing on contaminants arising from extractive activities such as in the oil, gas and mining sectors. Such activities are being conducted at an ever-increasing rate both in Canada and globally.
While these activities provide immense economic benefits, they are also one of the greatest sources of hazardous chemicals worldwide. These chemicals degrade ecosystems, harm human health, limit intellectual and knowledge-based capital, and stifle economic growth—all of which are vital to Canada’s prosperity.
To address this problem, Basu and his research team are collecting, scrutinizing and comparing different organisms and contaminants, both in the laboratory and in field sites in Canada and around the globe. Their research activities are pursued across multiple tiers of biological organization (such as at the cell, individual and ecosystem levels) as well as through multidisciplinary and collaborative networks.
Ultimately, Basu’s goal is to come up with findings that can be shared with students, policy-makers, scientists and community partners and will lead to evidence-based actions and policies to help improve the quality of the environment and human health in Canada and around the world.