Professor Ravi Naidu, Managing Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), told the CleanUp 2019 global forum that collaboration is key to cleaning up the environment.
‘The truly international flavour of the conference shows the importance of contamination research worldwide, and through working together and sharing solutions at forums such as this, we can create a healthier environment for all,’ says Professor Naidu.
With 700 registrations representing more than 25 countries, more than 260 oral presentations and 50 posters, the eighth conference in the CleanUp series was the largest to date. The conference also comprised the second international PFAS conference.
‘I keep being reminded that the problem that we have is not simple. PFAS contaminants are gaining a lot of attention right now, but they are only a tiny fraction of an enormous number, many of which are doing harm.’ Says Professor Naidu.
Microplastics also featured strongly in the program, with a focus on the myriad ways in which they can affect the environment and enter the food chain.
‘In many ways, microplastics are not like other contaminants: they have a number of different constituents. That gives us a big challenge. But I am encouraged by the work being done to develop better ways to measure and analyse microplastics and how they are transported in the environment,’ says Professor Naidu.
‘What we do as a society is inextricably linked with the health of our natural environment, which in turn affects our own health. Every person in every walk of life is affected by chemical contamination; it is in the air they breathe, the earth they sit on, the food they eat,’ says Professor Naidu. ‘It is inspiring to see the incredible scope of scientists innovating ways to track, map, target and clean up this contamination.’
CRC CARE does research, develops technologies, and provides policy guidance for assessing, cleaning up and preventing contamination of soil, water and air. CRC CARE hosted CleanUp 2019 – the 8th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference – in Adelaide from 8 to 11 September. Conference program at adelaide2019.cleanupconference.com/program.