Rarely has a technology been so desperately needed by society. Until recently, environmental monitoring has been based mainly on chemical observation and analysis, but the approach is problematic. Chemical monitoring being expensive cannot measure all pollutants and, given the complex array of contaminants in the environment, cannot provide good predictors of the effect of pollution on living organisms. Knowing lists of chemical contaminants is important, but not enough. Furthermore the lists imply the contaminants have an additive effect, when in fact we do not know if the effects are additive, subtractive, or synergistic. Thus, even knowing the major pollutant chemicals is not enough. Also, we learn nothing about which species will be most affected, which organ systems most sensitive, etc.
KeywordsToxicity Europe Recombination Arsenic Hydrocarbon
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