Syngenta Toxicologist Decodes "how much is too much?" For Journalists
-- Timothy Pastoor, Ph.D., DABT, participates in Society of Environmental
Journalists' annual conference
-- Provides toxicology "decoder ring"
GREENSBORO, N.C., Nov. 8, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Syngenta Principal Scientist
Timothy Pastoor, Ph.D., DABT, joined reporters and editors at the Society of
Environmental Journalists' 22^nd Annual Conference to explain "how much is too
much?" when assessing compounds. The conference was held October 17 through 21
at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120509/PH04198LOGO )
"As toxicologists, we know that even a substance as common as table salt can
be deadly if too much is consumed," said Pastoor. The goal of this discussion
was to help journalists understand the process regulators go through to
determine whether to register a chemical. "The secret 'decoder ring' is really
the amount of exposure. Determining the no-effect exposure level is a complex
and comprehensive process involving more than 180 required tests."
Pastoor also spoke about the challenge of increasingly sensitive scientific
equipment that now can measure infinitesimal amounts of a compound. But he
stressed that a measurable amount is often still a safe amount. An example he
gave was table salt: Even when dissolved in 50 gallons of water, one grain of
salt can still be detected. Yet that detectable, minute concentration is
completely harmless to humans.
"Being in the labs at Texas Tech was a great opportunity for the journalists
to see the science in action and ask questions about the process," added
Pastoor. "My goal was to provide them with a strong foundation, since they
often play the important role of translator between scientists and the public
on important environmental issues."
As a principal scientist, Pastoor often serves as a scientific expert and
lecturer on toxicology and risk assessment. He also has served as Syngenta's
head of Human Safety, managing a team of toxicologists and risk-assessment
experts who use safety, health and environmental studies to establish product
Pastoor has more than 30 years of international experience in fundamental
toxicity testing, mode-of-action research and human-health risk assessment. He
is a Toxicology Forum board member, a member of the SOT Communications
Committee and past president of its Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty
Section, and a board member of the International Life Sciences Institute
Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (ILSI/HESI).
Pastoor earned his doctorate in toxicology from the University of Michigan and
is certified by the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).
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