More efforts are needed to increase transparency concerning the use of chemicals
Bethanie Carney Almroth´s research is on the impacts of environmental contaminants, microplastics, and plastic associated chemicals in aquatic organisms. Within CeCAR, she works with scientific communication and interdisciplinary projects aimed at driving solutions-oriented research and decision making.
Why is collective action research so important?
We are facing so many complex, wicked problems that are affecting nature, us included, on both small local scales, but also large scale populations and ecosystems on a global level. The interconnectedness of global systems and human societies is becoming more and more evident, and the damage we are causing is becoming more and more evident. In order to move towards a more sustainable future, we will need to act together. Collective action can guide us in finding appropriate measures, in finding the right levers to pull, in order to solve some of those wicked problems.
I aim to inspire individuals to love nature, to be curious about science and the environment, and to make more informed decisions in their daily lives.
What are you currently researching at CeCAR?
I am an ecotoxicologist working on the impacts of environmental contaminants, microplastics, and plastic associated chemicals in aquatic organisms. The knowledge I produce there is important in risk assessment and decision making at different levels in society. So I spend time moving between the study of really detailed, molecular level changes in individual organisms, to high-level dialogues addressing the large scale, global issue that is plastic pollution. Within CeCAR, I work with scientific communication and interdisciplinary projects aimed at driving solutions-oriented research and decision making.
What impact will this research have on our society?
On the one hand, I hope to contribute to safer use of chemicals and materials, and to push towards more protective legislation and sustainable technologies. On the other hand, I aim to inspire individuals to love nature, to be curious about science and the environment, and to make more informed decisions in their daily lives.
If you could ensure one “collective action” related policy was enacted by government, what policy would you choose?
There are currently a number of global policies and resolutions in place addressing plastics and waste, but I would like to see more efforts to increase transparency concerning the use of chemicals in materials used in our global communities. Glaring knowledge gaps concerning the presence of chemicals in materials, including plastics, hinders safe use of products and recycling of materials. More information could guide better technologies and safe and sustainable use of materials.
Bethanie Carney Almroth, Linn Åström, S. Roslund, H. Petersson, M. Johansson et al. (2018). Quantifying shedding of synthetic fibers from textiles; a source of microplastics released into the environment, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(2): 1191-1199.
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