This issue marks a milestone in the history of the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. This is Issue 1 of Volume 100. In 2016, the journal reached another milestone, its 50th anniversary. These are noteworthy achievements in the world of scientific publishing, and we are proud of the Bulletin’s role in advancing the state of knowledge in the field of environmental contaminants and their effects upon organisms and ecosystems.
When the inaugural issue of this journal was published in 1966, John Hylin was Editor-in-Chief (EIC). The “Aims and Scope” stated the following. “The Bulletin --- will provide rapid publication of significant advances and discoveries in the fields of pesticide residue research, air, soil, and water contamination and pollution, methodology and other disciplines concerned with the introduction, presence, and effects of toxicants in the total environment.” (Editorial Board 1966). The emphasis was definitely on pesticides in the first issue consisting of five articles, as well as in subsequent issues in 1966 (20 total). Early articles dealt largely with original research studies on residues and effects of various organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, and the herbicide 2,4-D. Several papers reported on analytical methods for isolating and detecting residues of such chemicals in plant and animal products, particularly as related to agriculture. The journal had been launched with an emphasis on synthetic pesticides, an area of real concern at that time, considering the rapid growth in the pesticide industry that occurred following the end of World War II.
In the subsequent five decades, increased awareness developed regarding environmental contamination by a broad array of inorganic and organic chemicals, many of which were detected in both the abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems. Some of the chemicals were found to pose substantial risk to man and the environment, and became regulated by newly established governmental bodies. The field of environmental toxicology blossomed during the 1970s and 1980s, and research results on many chemicals were published in the Bulletin, as well as in a host of other new journals that sprang forth. New insights were developed over this period of time regarding the specific nature of the environmental distribution, fate, bioavailability and toxicity of the chemical contaminants, and how the natural environment itself interacted with the contaminants to affect toxicity. Publications in the Bulletin over the past 50+ years have both contributed to and reflected this evolution of knowledge in environmental toxicology. The changing nature of articles published in the Bulletin from its inaugural issue through 2009 has been documented in a recent review (Drouillard and Bennett 2015).
The current issue contains 21 invited original research articles on a variety of chemicals, some being inorganic (e.g., cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, silver, titanium and ozone) and others organic (e.g., benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes, crude oil and various pesticides). Some articles are focused on residues of the chemicals in the abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems. Others are focused on toxic effects of environmental chemicals, including biomarker responses, upon organisms. Some studies have examined the interactions of chemical contaminants with naturally occurring chemicals in the environment that influence the degree of toxic responses in aquatic life. Further, some articles have provided new insights into the collection and analysis of samples for environmental contaminants, while others have examined the levels of protection provided by regulations of specific contaminants. Some of the articles have mentioned our changing climate, and a need to consider possible effects of climate change upon contaminant distribution, fate and effects as we move forward. Thus, it can be readily seen that the subject matter of articles in the Bulletin has evolved, even though pesticides still remain as a very important chemical group within the broader array of chemicals that are included in published papers today.
This issue also contains six articles of a new type (i.e., focused review) that was initiated by our current EIC, Dr. Erin Bennett, in 2016. These include “Negatives and positives: contaminants and other stressors in aquatic ecosystems” by Chapman, “An embryonic field of study: the aquatic fate and toxicity of diluted bitumen” by Alsaadi et al., “Methylmercury biogeochemistry in freshwater ecosystems: a review focusing on DOM and biogeochemistry” by Klapstein and O’Driscoll, “Water quality and management changes over the history of Poland” by Szalinska, “Management practices used in agricultural drainage ditches to reduce Gulf of Mexico hypoxia” by Faust et al., and “Integrative application of life cycle assessment and risk assessment to environmental impacts of anthropogenic pollutants at a watershed scale” by Lin et al. Here, we also note that the Bulletin initiated the publication of three other types of articles in 2016, namely retrospectives, editorials, and letters to the Editor. We invite potential contributors to consider these types of submissions, as well as original research articles.
Two authors of articles in Volume 100 (Issue 1) passed away before their papers were published. They were Drs. Peter Chapman and Russell Bell. We extend our sympathies to their families, friends and colleagues. We are grateful for their numerous contributions in the areas of environmental chemistry, toxicology and risk assessment, and are pleased that this issue of the Bulletin will help to memorialize their rich legacies in our career field.
We would like to acknowledge John Hylin and Herb Nigg as past EICs of the Bulletin, current EIC Erin Bennett, staff of Springer-Verlag, Springer, and Springer Nature publishers, and especially all of the authors who have contributed articles up through and including Volume 100 (Issue 1). Your collective dedication has advanced our base of knowledge regarding the occurrence, distribution, fate and toxic effects of a broad array of environmental contaminants.
It has been a privilege for us to serve as Co-Senior Editors of this special issue of the Bulletin. We appreciate having had the opportunity to review the outstanding invited manuscripts that were submitted, and to have assisted in their publication. In conclusion, we wish the Bulletin continued success as it forges ahead in the twenty-first Century.
Drouillard KG, Bennett ER (2015) The changing face of BECT. A citation analysis covering 1966–2009. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 94:1–5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-014-1438-8
Editorial Board (1966) Aims and scope. http://www.springer.com/environment/pollution?and?remediation/journal/128. Accessed 2 Dec 2017
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Call, D.J., Gorsuch, J.W. 2018: Celebrating Volume 100. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 100, 1–2 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-017-2256-6